Fishing FAQ

Fishing Licences and Regulations in NZ

Q. Do I need a fishing licence and if so, what is the cost?

A. Yes, a licence is required for salmon and trout fishing trips. This licence is valid for all New Zealand lake/river fishing with the exception of the Taupo District. As your salmon/trout fishing guide I can arrange fishing licences in advance for overseas visitors to NZ.

Licences are available in daily, seasonal and family formats. Currently a season licence is NZ$121, a winter licence is NZ$73 and a daily licence is NZ$23 (2013/14 prices). Fishing licences are available online at or from fishing tackle stores and various retail outlets in smaller towns and villages.

Your fishing licence comes with a booklet of national and regional regulations, catch and bag limits and further information pertaining to fishing in New Zealand. I will organise your fishing licence on request.

When and where do we fish?

Q. Where will we go fishing?

A. Salmon fishing trips are guided on the braided rivers of the Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Rangitata Rivers. Various locations throughout Canterbury and the West Coast are utilised for trout fishing tours.

Q. When is New Zealand’s fishing season?

A. 1 October to 30 April. Salmon begin their runs up the braided rivers of Canterbury from early November.

Q. What time do we set out for salmon fishing trips?

A. As the best chance of catching a salmon is either at first light or at dusk, it’s best to be on the river as early in the morning as possible, or later in the evening. As your fishing guide I am available to pick you up from your accommodation from 4am. Drop-off can be as late as 10pm. We’ll negotiate exact start times individually.

Fishing trips - equipment and food provisions

Q. Do we need to bring our own fishing equipment?

A. I can supply all tackle and equipment on request at no extra charge. Please ensure you bring sunscreen, a broad-brimmed hat and a camera.

Q. Do you provide food?

A. Lunch and snacks are provided on all fishing trips. If you have any dietary restrictions please advise at time of booking.

Can I bring my own fishing gear into New Zealand?

Q. Are there any customs and/or government issues when bringing in your own fishing equipment?

A. Yes – make sure you DECLARE waders, wading boots and other fishing equipment. MAF/Biosecurity officers may wish to clean, disinfect or fumigate it for you. Felt-soled wading boots are now illegal for freshwater anglers. Flies for fly fishing tours are permitted but they have to be declared to customs as they will need to be fumigated.