Salt Water fly fishing has been around now in the Bay Of Islands for many years and there are many different species available to be targeted.
New Zealand's most known expert in Salt Water fly fisherman and land based Salt Water Fly Fishing Guide Craig Worthington is based out of the Bay Of Islands.
The boat "Anglers Anonymous" has been set-up with Salt Water Fly is its prime ultimate objective. It is complete walk around with only a smallish sized cabin to contend with when casting. There is no outboard motor to tangle around, and the hull is pretty much snag free - having taken on a board a few ideas such as pop up cleats from Clark Reid's boat.
There are plenty of other species that can be taken on fly and often are including our snapper but our predominant targets are those listed below.
The first and possibly most important species is our humble but hard fighting Kahawai. Kahawai in the Bay Of Islands generally average around pounds with plenty of larger species around. Kahawai a typical suited to 8 or 9 weight gear and are going to put a bend in your rod like catching a 20 pound trout. Kahawai can be caught on almost anything sometimes and in fact on one of my first Salt Fly soirees years ago my then girlfriend - now wife - managed 5 on a hook with a silvery bit of a chocolate wrapper attached. There are other times however particularly when they are crilling that you need to match the hatch better so to speak in order to have any joy.Kahawai are often found in schools boiling away on the surface and they are available as a target species 99% of the time.
Trevally are another important Salt Fly species to us in the Bay Of Islands. Similarly to Kahawai these fish fight incredibly hard. Often these fish are a little more tricky to seduce particularly when crilling but once you have the right fly some incredible sport can be had.
Yellowtail Kingfish to me are the pinnacle of Salt Water Fly Fishing in New Zealand in my opinion - though some do chase marlin. New Zealand's Yellowtail Kingfish are the biggest in the world and if you want to chase a world record for this species then you'd better be here. Currently the world record stands at 25.2kg taken on 10kg IGFA tippet. This is a record which can be broken as there are plenty of fish in our water larger than this. Though landing a Kingfish on fly of these proportions would be a huge feat. For targeting these fish a minimum of a 10 weight rod is required and for the larger fish then bigger rods again. Kingfish have some incredible power. We normally target Yellowtail Kingfish on fly over reefs and sometimes tease them to the surface with jigs and poppers. Popper flies are a spectacular way to target these fish around inner harbour buoys are once the have been teased to the surface by other methods. Sometimes you will bump into a school surface feeding and this is where the best action is had. I have ad the joy of fishing with another of New Zealand's Salt Fly guru's Clark Read based near Tauranga who targets these fish in much the same way as overseas anglers target Bonefish and other fish i.e. sight fishing them over shallow Sand flats from a flat bottomed boat.