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Fly Fishing - Beautiful High Country

Ahuriri River up the Ahuriri Valley

The Mackenzie Basin up around Twizel and Lake Tekapo offers some of the most spectacular fly fishing opportunities in New Zealand surround by some amazing scenery. There are plenty of different options from spring streams to rivers or lakes to choose from and all of them are full or rainbow and brown trout whereas some have salmon also.

Key things to note:

1: While some areas are accessible without a 4wd, in summer they get very busy so it is definitely preferable to have a 4wd to access more options
2. Steffen would definitely recommend bringing some waders or wading boots because you will need to cross rivers to get to the best spots

3. You can get all your supplies from the local shop in Twizel Jakes Hardware or at the Hunting and Fishing shop 

4. Steffen would recommend using a fly rod with 5 or 6 weight

5. If you are bringing your own equipment from overseas ensure it is very clean to get it through customs on your arrival in New Zealand but Steffen recommends buying all your flies once you arrive in NZ

6. You can purchase a fishing licence in advance through this website https://fishandgame.org.nz/licences/fishing-licence-info/or in the local fishing shops. You have the option of either 24 hours or a season pass.

7. Steffen would recommend going with a local guide where possible to get the most out of your day and we are happy to help you out with recommendations on possible guides


From the start of November Steffen ,Ekerdt the Head Chef at Lakestone Lodge disappears for hours on end as he goes in search of his next big catch in the lakes and rivers close to the lodge. Here is an account of a typical day spent fishing


Steffen's first day fishing for the season he caught this beautiful 4 pound brown trout before he released it back into the water.  

I get up in the morning, head to the window and open the curtains to check the weather. 

Sunny day, great!

After this reassuring start I go down to make me a coffee and prep myself a sandwich and a couple of snacks for my day trip ahead. At last I just fill up my water bottle and then I am ready to go. 

Next stop are the beautiful rivers and streams in the area. It usually takes me around 30 - 90 minutes to get to my favourite spots with my four-wheel drive.

Lupins along the Twizel River

As soon I arrive I set up my rod and grab my wading boots.

Now I am ready to go.

I like to walk for a few hundred meters downstream before I turn around to walk back up the river. On my way along the river I am constantly looking for an indication of what the fish are eating on that day. If it’s a new spot where I have never fished before I go into the water and look under rock and stones as what kind of insects are living in this part of the river. On good days you can see a lot of insects flying around and landing on the surface or dropping from the trees. Once I have made up my mind, I open my fly box and collect the flies of my choice. When my rod is all good to go, I start to walk slowly upstream, my focus is in this moment just on the water. As soon I have spotted a fish I start to prepare myself to cast the fish. Whenever I hook a fish it means that my cast was good and that I have chosen the right fly. I always try to get the fish carefully out from the water to take the hook out of the fish’s mouth and bring it straight back to the water after taking a picture. What a great feeling.

After a few hours on the river it is time for lunch so I go back to my car and sit in the back of it with the door open. It’s such an amazing feeling to be in the nature with no one else around. No one can call you on your phone due to the lack of phone coverage in many of these back country areas and you really can enjoy the silence and the gentle sounds of the river.

Tekapo River

After my lunch, I’ll drive to another spot, because next to fly fishing my other interest is in four-wheel driving. So I am always trying to find new spots for my fly fishing by crossing rivers with my car and drive over the hills and follow the rivers from the lake.

The closest fishing spot from our lodge is the Twizel River (12 min by car). It's great at the beginning of the season. (Around November & December).


One of our guests out enjoying some fishing after getting some advice from Steffen


Don't be shy - if there is one thing Steffen enjoys talking about more than food its fishing so you are welcome to ask him for advice during your stay at the lodge.


Posted by Anna Bacchus on November 11, 2020