Yet again, this post is not about Cuba! I apologize, but figure that if you are like me, all fishing is good. And where can trout fishing be better than in New Zealand? If you haven't been, even as just a tourist, you owe it to yourself. Few places are more beautiful, or populated by such lovely people.

There are great lodges on both the North and South Islands. Some of those are Poronui and Tongorairo on the North, and Cedar and Owen River Lodge on the South. These are top notch operations, and some even include daily flights by helicopter to the best rivers in the region. If you have the $'s, like great wine and great food, not to mention a bit of pampering, go for it.

There are also possibilities for a mixture of DIY and guided trips. But for me, nothing beats getting in to the backcountry on your own, and exploring. No country in the world has the elaborate system that NZ has for helping backpackers, deer hunters, and intrepid anglers see these places. There are first of all "huts" built all over the country. They can be extremely rudimentary, and they can be very nice. Just depends on how many people access the area. And, there are DOC offices (Dept of Conservation) in nearly every town to help you with maps, understand access, etc. They are super helpful.

I just returned from spending Christmas with my family on the North Island. My two sons are now 15 and 16, and can handle the rigors of a hike in the wilderness, and tramping up and down streams littered with huge boulders. They especially can do it when there are 4-6 pound trout in nearly every pool, most of which are willing to come up and eat a dry fly. Here are some photos.....

 Working our way to places few other anglers have gone before.....

Working our way to places few other anglers have gone before.....

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