Fly Fishing Information - Mt Cook New Zealand

The Mt Cook Area - One of the worlds premier Fly Fishing Destinations

Mt Cook - New Zealand - Wish you were hereBrilliant, sunny summer days. Stunning snowcapped mountains and glaciers. Striking turquoise lakes. Golden tussock hillsides and emerald green valleys. This is what the Mt. Cook/Mackenzie region is all about.
A low population enriches the visiting angler with a feeling of solitude and relaxation. Local "kiwis" are friendly and I guarantee visitors will be made welcome. The grandeur of the Southern Alps is visible from nearly every fishing location and the waters they supply are the clearest imaginable. These clear and cool rivers and streams provide an ideal habitat for the rainbow and brown trout that abound here, and ensure the region maintains its reputation as one of the worlds premier flyfishing destinations. Often my American fishing friends liken the area to Montana or Idaho, but without man's impact on the environment and fishing. So come and breathe the clean air and marvel at the sheer majesty of it all.

Location and Activities

Aoraki/Mt. Cook is situated midway between Christchurch and Queenstown and is approximately 3 hours drive from both. Non flyfishing partners will find plenty of activities and interests from scenic flights by helicopter, fixed wing or ski planes to fabulous walks in the Aoraki/Mt. Cook World heritage park. Also available is hiking, 4WD and boat trips on the glacier lakes. Click here for further information. 


Another day in paradise: Mt Cook, New ZealandMost popular English and American patterns work well in New Zealand and should include Pheasant Tail and Hare and Copper Nymphs, weighted and unweighted sizes 12-16. Dry fly patterns should include Royal Wulf, Adams (both conventional and parachute) and Elk Hair Caddis size 12-16. CDC or Deerhair Mayfly Emergers size 12-16, spent spinners (darker shades) 12-16, weighted Stonefly patterns black, brown and green size 8-12 and Terrestial patterns size 8-12.

This is a very basic list so do not hesitate to bring your local favourites. My own favourite fly is size 16 Pheasant Tail tungsden beadhead and lead, as much weight as you can get on such a small hook.

Fly Fishing Equipment and Clothing

Rods: 5-7 wt. lightweight graphites are most popular in the South Island, used generally with double taper or weight forward lines of dull colours (please - no bright lines!). Don’t forget to bring a hat, polaroids and sunscreen ... the Mt. Cook region has the brightest sun in the world. Reels should be able to handle 100 yds. of backing. Rain and wind proof jacket is advisable. Although the summers are usually very warm, you are surrounded by mountains and the weather can change quickly. Clothing must be of sombre tones, and light weight stocking style waders and light weight boots are ideal (neoprenes are too hot and cumbersome).
Like many kiwi and aussie anglers, I usually wear shorts over polyprop thermal longs with gravel guards and light weight boots. Not designed to win any angling fashion awards, they are very practical and extremely comfortable when walking distances. Sleeping bags are necessary for overnight stays in wilderness regions.


There's a lot more where this came from - come fly fishing in New ZealandHaving travelled and guided extensively overseas I believe New Zealand still offers the finest of flyfishing experiences. Also I note overseas anglers have been quick to realise this. The unspoilt scenery, pollution-free environment, political stability, clean clear waters, true wild strain trout, very friendly natives and favourable exchange rates ensure the numbers increase every year.

Top New Zealand guides possess skills unique to New Zealand. The New Zealand Professional Guides Association members can be relied on for their professional etiquette and honesty. Please feel free to contact me for any free advice on area or relevant information.