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Fly Fishing Questions

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Your Fishing Experience

Is Fly Fishing For You?

Do I need any experience and does it matter?

You don’t need any experience, we cater to both skilled and novice anglers.

Once you make an enquiry we will discuss options and expectations with you based on your skills, fitness, and the type of experience you are seeking and make a suitable plan.

How fit and agile do I need to be?

The level of fitness required depends on the locations and length of trips. Some trips may require no walking at all while on other trips, you may cover 2-5km of river in a day.

When making a booking we will ask about your fitness, and any medical conditions or injuries, then plan according to what you feel capable of doing.

Will I be safe and who's responsible?

Our guides hold NZ First Aid certificates, carry a first aid kit, cell phone, and an emergency locator beacon (EPIRB).

While we take every practical precaution Riverstone Fly Fishing Guides accept no liability for any injuries, medical conditions, losses, or claims of any kind or nature during the guided trip.


Can I bring extra people and what's the cost?

For all fly fishing day trips you can bring one other fishing or non-fishing person at no extra charge, the third person is +$200 per day.

For all multi-day fly fishing packages a second angler or non-angler is +$100 per day.

Generally not suitable for children under 15 years, though we are open to discussing that.

What is the weather like and how may that affect our plans?

The NZ weather is extremely changeable. We keep a close eye on conditions right up to the point of departure and make all decisions with your fishing success and safety as our priorities. Sometimes the weather may require a change of plans but rarely does a trip need to be cancelled.

MetVuw North Island 7-Day Climate Forecast

Met Service Taupo 7-Day Weather Forecast

Met Service Tongariro National Park 5-Day Forecast

Met Service Taupo 5-Day Rainfall Forecast


Do I need a fishing licence and how do i buy one?

Regulations require each angler to purchase their own fishing license.

As the weather and river conditions may change rapidly so the final destination and license required may not be decided until the evening before departure. Please check with your guide when we make contact the day before your trip, about which license to purchase.

Fishing licenses can be purchased online from either the Department of Conservation (DOC) which manages the Taupo fishery or Fish and Game NZ, which are responsible for all NZ fisheries outside the Taupo District.

The type of license you require depends on where we are fishing and what your other fishing plans may be throughout NZ. There are different licenses for NZ residents and non-residents.


Fly fishing trips by helicopter have a number of variables in the pricing but are primarily determined by our chosen location and therefore the length and cost of the helicopter flight. Once we have discussed your needs and made some preliminary plans, we will provide the total cost at the earliest possible time. Pricing for multi-day trips is all inclusive ex food.

Riverstone Fly Fishing Guides
Fishing Guide Rates Taupo Tongariro
Riverstone Fly Fishing Guides Taupo Tongariro
Fly Fishing Spots Taupo Tongariro

A Day On The River

Where Do We Go Fishing?

We fly fish throughout the central North Island in both the Taupo and Fish and Game licensed fisheries.

Some locations require a degree of walking while others we can simply drive to and walk a short distance. We always make the initial plan based on your ability, the experience desired, and safety.

While we will discuss the options with you in advance, the final call is always dependent on weather and river conditions and is made at the time of departure.

Where and when do we start?

We will pick you up from your accommodation or depending on your location relative to our fishing location, we may meet at the river.

In the winter being early matters and a start time between 6-7 am is likely. In the summer beginning late morning and fishing into the evening may make more sense.

Regardless, we can start as early or late as you wish and will confirm this with you the evening before departure.

What About Photography?

Your guide will always attempt to get some good images for you throughout the day. These will be edited and can be sent to you either on WhatsApp or via a Google drive link within a day or two after your adventure.

Can I kill and cook my trout?

The decision to kill a trout or not depends on the nature of the ecosystem where we are fishing.

Generally, trout from outside the Taupo-Tongariro fishery – due to the more fragile environment – are caught and released.

The Taupo-Tongariro fishery requires a degree of harvesting to maintain ecological balance and so local Rainbows which comprise 99% of the fishery are fine to kill and eat.

What Gear Do I Need?

What clothing should I wear or bring with me?

We recommend a layered approach to the clothes you choose to wear and some thought with your choice of fabrics.

  • A base layer under a light, and breathable mid-layer or warmer version if cold and an outer (preferably breathable) shell waterproof layer
  • Wool (merino especially) performs better in terms of heat retention when wet, dries, and breathes better than other fabrics.
  • In summer ‘wet wading’ is often more comfortable than wearing waders so polypropylene leggings with a pair of light nylon shorts over these work well

Recommended clothing and accessories…

  • Thermal gloves (supplied in winter)
  • Clothing i.e. merino wool or polypropylene top and leggings
  • Rainproof and breathable jacket
  • A wide-brimmed hat or woolen beenie
  • Heavier socks for padding
  • Polaroid sunglasses
  • Suntan lotion and bug spray
  • Personal medical supplies
  • Camera
  • Lunch
  • Waterbottle

If you require extra clothing or wet weather gear please discuss this the day prior to departure.

Are food and drinks included or available?

For day trips please bring your own lunch and water.

In summer we supply a complimentary cold beer at the end of the day and on cold winter mornings a warm drink.

For multi-day trips a range of options are available and these can be discussed when planning your trip.

What fishing gear is included and what should I bring myself?

All fishing gear including wading boots and if necessary waders are included in the cost and are supplied by Riverstone Fly Fishing Guides.

If you have your own fishing gear you are welcome to bring this with you but please let us know in advance what you have. The gear required will depend on where we go and the fishing conditions.

What Fishing Gear Do You Recommend For NZ?

If you are bringing gear for an extended trip to NZ this list will be a good place to begin. For recommendations specific to your time with us, please make contact to discuss.

Rods & fly lines…

  • Fly-fishing rod – #6 weight or if you have two maybe a #5 weight and a #7 weight
  • Floating lines – weight-forward and double-taper with dull colored lines preferred for South Island sight fishing
  • Sinking line – weight forward fast sinking tip 150-250 grams lines, or a selection of Skagit style heads

Fishing clothing…

  • Rubber-soled wading boots with cleats
  • Breathable rain jacket
  • Breathable waders – not essential in summer
  • Broad-brimmed hats and woolen beenies
  • Thermal gloves – winter only


  • Tapered leaders: 9ft 2x-5x
  • Poly leaders, 5-9ft
  • Scissors
  • Indicator material
  • Nylon and fluorocarbon
  • Fishing net
  • Backpack or fishing vest
  • Pliers
  • Dry fly floatant


  • Dry Flies – Royal Wulff, Parachute Adams, Stimulators, Blow flies, Klinkhammer style variants, and large terrestrial Cicada style patterns
  • Nymphs – weighted tungsten bead-heads and unweighted – Pheasant Tails, Cadillac nymphs, Stoneflies, Hare and Copper, Green or White Caddis, Damsels, Glo bugs and Blood Worms, etc.
  • Streamers – Wolley Bugger style and Marabou variations, Booby style flies and smelt and bully imitations


  • First aid kit
  • EPIRB emergency locator beacon
Tongariro Roll Cast Turangi Taupo
Fishing Guide Rates Taupo Tongariro
Fly Fishing Reports Taupo Tongariro
Fishing Guide Rates Taupo Tongariro

Tongariro River

Spawning Rainbows & Trophy Browns
All Year Round

King Country & Ruapehu

Backcountry Wilderness Experience

Taupo Small Stream

Spawning Rainbows & Stream Mouths

Hawkes Bay

Backcountry Wilderness Experience

South Waikato

Spring Creeks & Feeder Streams

Rotorua Lakes District

Trophy Rainbows & Browns
All Year Round

Urewera & East Cape

Backcountry Wilderness Experience

Tongariro Lakes

Still Water Trophy Fisheries

Rangitikei District

Backcountry Wilderness Experience

Kaimanawa Forest Park

Wilderness Backcountry

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