Top Ten Global Fly-Fishing Spots

Fishing in El Dorado: North & South Islands, New Zealand
By Jorgen Wouters

Seventy years ago, novelist and devoted fly fisherman Zane Grey dubbed New Zealand an "angler's El Dorado," and no one's ever had cause to dispute that lofty claim. If you're after the trophy trout of a lifetime, the land of the Kiwi is the place to go. And thanks to its reversed seasons, you can fish your home waters at peak season before heading way down under. Both the north and south islands of this postcard-perfect land boast unparalleled fly fishing for lunker browns and rainbows, descendants of trout introduced in the late 19th century.

The well-worn cliché "gin clear" was first coined for these pristine rivers, and it's no idle boast. Forget blind casting if you want to catch anything, and leave your neon pink lines behind. These fish are cautious and the water truly is transparent, so you better spot your quarry before you even think of unfurling a cast in its direction. You'll also need the services of one of New Zealand's legendary, eagle-eyed guides to help you tell the difference between a trout and a rock. It won't be cheap, but what's the point of flying halfway around the world just to get skunked?


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