Fly Fishing in Canterbury High Country Lakes and Tarns

Nestled up high in “Lord Of The Rings” country these high country lakes fish best in summer months of November through to March. These offer a mix of both Rainbow, Brown Trout, landlocked Salmon {Sockeye and Quinnat} ,and importantly for species searcher, the fancy coloured Brook Char. Diverse fishing methods are employed such as exciting sight fishing to fish cruising along edges, blind nymph fishing over weed beds, streamer fishing especially on windy days and the holy grail dry fly on summer days when Beetles, Cicada ,Damsel flies and Midge abound.


As a Guide I find most visitors seek river and stream fishing experiences and that’s what we do 95% of the time. However lakes offer a great back up during heavy floods and can be an easy going affair. They are super places for teaching folk new to fly fishing .The range in lake sizes varies from very large to smaller and more intimate, we call these Tarns.

Some lakes have very easy road access whilst others are quite remote all making for very interesting angling. Again I am very fortunate that I was brought up fishing high country lakes most weekends as a teenager with my father Ian so have a huge knowledge base on how to approach them as fisheries. Some are open all year round as well enabling winter fishing options.