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Trout and Salmon Fishing in Queenstown

There are few more satisfying experiences than stalking, casting and eventually landing a wild rainbow or brown trout. Queenstown and the surrounding area provides excellent fishing opportunities and while fishing amongst the beautiful landscape, you truly can get lost in the moment.

The area is well stocked with brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon which live in the crystal clear rivers and lakes in the area. Many of the rivers and lakes in the area are glacial feed and are surrounded by beautiful mountains. Lake Wakatipu provides plenty of excellent places to fish by either trolling on the lake on a boat, using a spinner in the rivers or lake edge and fly fishing.

Salmon Fishing in Queenstown

Salmon are mostly small and caught by trolling though the lake though they can also be caught in autumn as they move to the river mouths in preparation for the spawning runs. Brown trout congregate around the lake edges where they feed on insects from nearby vegetation. Generally any area where a small stream enters the lake can be good fishing.

Rainbow Trout Fishing in Queenstown

Rainbow trout are often found in deeper water and most commonly targeted by trolling. In late winter they congregate around the river mouths before moving upstream to spawn. Try your luck by trolling in the Frankton Arm around the lake edges.

Good Fishing Spots

There are several good fishing spots around queenstown. It will depend how your fishing on where you want to go. You will find you will have success if different areas depending on if you are spinning, fly fishing or fishing from boat.

Spin or Fly Fishing

You success spin fishing if you pick a spot near where a stream flows into the lake. One particular stream close to Queenstown that can provide great fishing is Wye creak between Queenstown and Kingston. This spot is best fished early in the morning or late in the evening. If the weather permits, try casting a spinner or fly from a boat towards the shore in any likely looking spot.

Fishing from a Boat

Fishing from a boat on Lake Wakatipu can be quite pleasant when the weather is fine. The weather can change quickly so make sure you prepared and check the weather forecast before you go out.

Some of the best fishing spots from a boat are around the Frankton Arm or around Hidden Island. You should have success if you use a fish finder to find where the fish are hiding.

Which Lure to use

The following lures are recommended for the Queenstown area:

  • Nymphs: Beaded Hare, Green Stonefly, Green Cicada, yellow or green Humpy, Hare’s Ear, Hare and Copper.
  • Dry flies: Wobblers, Royal Wulff, Dad’s Favourite, Black Gnat, Love’s Lure, green or brown Beetle.
  • Wet flies / streamers: Grey Ghost, Fuzzy Wuzzy, Hairy Dog,Mrs Simpson, Zonkers.
  • Spinners: Rapala, Toby, King Cobra, Mepps, Tasmanian Devils.

Queenstown Fishing License and Supplies

Fishing in any lake or river in New Zealand requires a fishing license which can be bought online from Fish and Game or from many local fishing gear suppliers. Two suppliers in Queenstown worth a mention are H & J's in the Remarkable's Park Shopping Center and Outside Sports in Queenstown. They also supply any fishing gear that you may need for your fishing trip.

Queenstown Fishing Guides

There are many excellent fishing guides in the Queenstown region with great knowledge of the local fishing conditions and the best places the find that trophy fish. The one that I recommend are the South Island Trout Stalkers New Zealand. They can supply all the gear you need or you can bring your favorite rod. They can also teach you how to fly fish if your are new to fly fishing and keen to learn.