Best of Both Worlds: Saltwater in Hawaii & Freshwater in New Zealand

For numerous reasons, Hawaii is an incredible fly fishing destination.  Not only does it shelter trophy bonefish, it harbors a healthy population of the big, strong and wary species.  But foremost, the most amazing feature of the Hawaiian Islands fishing locations is that they virtually resemble Jurassic Park…Just out of this world!

As to New Zealand, it’s all about exploration and adventure. You never know what you’ll stumble upon.  You’re driven to carry on just in case that 15-pound brown trout is just around the next boulder.  It’s not uncommon at the end of the day to realize that it ended up being a 20 kilometers journey.

Rainbow dry fly fishing is such a thrill.  It begins with a tranquil look out atmosphere spotting the fish holding in slow water.  Excitement arises as you try to sneak up, slowly making your way towards the best casting area. But the mind-blowing moment happens when you gaze at that marvelous creature coming up with an open mouth towards your fly.  Instinctively, you set the hook. I am totally addicted to those three seconds of pure madness.

There are several brown trout fly fishing methods but, in my opinion, the one that provides more accuracy and satisfaction is definitely with a 16ft leader and a small nymph on a clear as gin creek!

New Zealand is well known for its rivers and streams, but the saltwater fishery is just as worthy. The kingfish is probably the most popular catch but the Kahawai definitely has a fighting spirit.  When you hook one, beware….they just bounce all over.

When you imagine fly fishing in New Zealand you visualize a remote area and a long trudge to access the best spots.  Surprising enough, sometimes the catch is hiding very close by.  You may actually just drive over it crossing a bridge. Once you’ve experienced the exploit, it’s quite difficult not to stop on every bridge making the excursion a little longer than intended.

Alexis is the host of the tv show Hooke living in Wanaka, New Zealand. For more, check out Alexis Pageau on Instagram and Vimeo.