Fly fishing Canterbury River Gorges

Very exciting places to fish and you never know what’s around the next bend. River gorges feature well structured rocky runs and stable deep pools that trout love. These gorges tend to be physically harder going and the water can have more complex currents with the need to get nymphs deep. This makes for interesting fishing to some of the best trout you will find in New Zealand.


The art of getting natural drifts with fast sink rates has been a huge focus of mine over the years and I have highly developed patterns that function remarkably well with pleasing clients results. In contrast we encounter great dry fly fishing in summer months using terrestrial flies such as beetles and cicada. Many Gorges have lush native bush and forests filled with bird song offering adventure angling with a sense of wilderness.

At times, later in the season {March – April}, trout will accumulate in larger pools and finding such places is magic to behold even just observing. Here on the East Coast of South Island we are blessed with many river gorges, often on smaller rivers that are easy to navigate. Larger gorges are only chosen during times of low flow. Gorges are a great choice when angler visibility is limited on grey cloudy rainy days as the structure often enables high vantage points to gaze down upon trout holding water.