Fishing photo collage

North Island NZ Backcountry Fly Fishing – big wild trout

We’re blessed in Taupo with amazing wilderness fly fishing in many directions. From your accommodation in Taupo or Turangi we can drive you to stunning locations within 45 minutes, and other great spots may take up to an hour and a half to reach. The drive is worth it. You also have the option of 4×4, raft or helicopter depending on your budget and ability to wade and walk up rivers and through forests.

To the north are easy-wading rivers like the Whirinaki, east is the Mohaka and other smaller rivers and tributaries, south is the beautiful but challenging Rangitikei and its neighbours, south-west is the Whanganui and other alpine rivers and streams like the Waimarino, while west are streams and rivers flowing into the Western Bays of Lake Taupo which can offer awesome sport in summer.

You need to be fit and able to walk up rivers, and confident presenting a fly to a large wild trout that could be easily spooked. The memory of hooking and landing a trout like this will never leave you.

River raft fly fishing trips

The Mohaka and Tongariro rivers in the central North Island of NZ offer a unique fly fishing experience.

Unlike the US, we don’t fish from moving rafts but use them to get from pool to pool in remote parts of a river. This type of fly fishing is best done in summer, and due to the raft cost, is often popular with small groups of angling friends who share the experience and the expense.

The fun of rafting is, of course, amplified when you hook into some beautiful trout during the day as well.

Dryfly and sighted fly fishing

For many, spotting wild trout and then casting a dryfly and seeing a trout move and take it is the ultimate buzz.  Whilst New Zealand does not have the scale of dryfly hatches as the US and Europe, the central North Island NZ backcountry does have a range of exciting sighted fly fishing our guides can show you on small streams, larger rivers and stillwaters that are more easily accessible than most South Island spots.

Early summer sees mayfly and caddis hatches on many rivers and streams, as well as green beetles on the lake.  Mid to late summer can offer incredibly exciting fly fishing using large cicada dryflies on the Tongariro River in Turangi where big brown trout come and attack the dryfly only ten feet in front of you. This can be a great ‘backcountry experience’ without traveling very far.

4×4 wilderness adventures

We have some unique access to stunning fishing waters via a 4×4 that can carry up to two passengers. This is a popular option for those who want an experience equal to backcountry helicopter fly fishing, but for less than the price of a chopper and landing fees.

In some cases you’ll fish water that has had less fishing pressure than rivers that have regular helicopter visits, so at certain times of the year the big trout may be less spooky and easier to cast a fly to. The flipside with this sort of trip is that you have more traveling in car, 4×4 and then walking, compared to a helicopter that is a half hour drive from Taupo and then a 20 minute flight landing you right beside a fishing pool. If you don’t have the budget for a helicopter, and don’t mind a long day with alot of walking, then this could be your dream New Zealand wilderness fly fishing adventure.

Helicopter fly fishing

The central North Island of NZ has a number of remote wilderness fly fishing locations with pristine water and unforgettable Brown and Rainbow Trout.

The fishing can be challenging and involve walking upriver between pools, but if you are an accomplished angler and up for it, the reward can be a fish of your dreams. This type of fishing is subject to availability of choppers and weather conditions.

Have a read of our client reviews to learn more about some of the backcountry fly fishing experiences.

See also

We can customise any fishing itinerary for an amazing Taupo, backcountry, saltwater and lower South Island fly fishing adventure according to your personal preferences and experience. The New Zealand Fly Fishing Company provide all the gear, food and drink, and collect and return you to your accommodation.

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