New Zealand

If you can hike and enjoy large trout in shallow water in truly spectacular country, New Zealand is your place.  NZ is filled with amazing guides, great lodges and some of the best people on the planet.  This fishery though is not for the out of shape--even with a helicopter--as trout populations are generally sparse and spread out.  A great day is a half dozen fish, all sight fished in pools spread out over miles of water. 

Put on you best hiking boots, lower your fish expectations and just enjoy some of the finest trout fishing you'll ever see.  We have a lot of folks that say they can't see the fish so it's not that fun.  Our advice, and guide's will hate us for it, is if you can't see the fish then just wait until you can before you cast.  Guides going to yell at you?  To hell with that.  This is your vacation, let them know you enjoy seeing the fish too and don't mind if you spook a few and catch fewer fish for a better experience.  But whatever you do, when you go that route do not bitch about a slow day if you end up spooking a bunch of fish.  The truth is you won't remember if you landed a pile of fish, but you will remember that one fish feeding on an edge that took five flies to catch. 

The key to being a happy fisherman is to be a happy fisherman no matter what your day brings.  Don't go to New Zealand for quantity.  If that's what you want in the winter, Chile or Argentina are better bets.  NZ is about hiking hard, sight fishing to selective piggish trout in shallow water--and how could that be a bad thing?  If they aren't eating, change flies or head back to casting school, but whatever you do don't whine about a slow day.  If you do, you'll just end up with a bitter guide and your experience will suffer.