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To New Zealand for the trout fishing.

Have you ever planned an overseas trip around a trout? For a dedicated angler, New Zealand's remarkable streams and the huge and wily trout that inhabit them are reason enough to travel thousands of miles. And for the ordinary tourist

who's a sometimes fisherman, a chance at the more innocent younger brothers of those wily old fish might justify adding some fishing to a New Zealand itinerary. Nature didn't put the trout in those streams: man did. They were first stocked about a century ago, mostly with rainbows from California and browns from Europe. Here's the fact trout fishermen love: both kinds grow much bigger in New Zealand than in their original waters. Here in the West, good rainbows average 13 to 14 inches (I to I 1/2 pounds); in New Zealand, good ones start at 20 inches (about 4 pounds) and can be as big as 28 inches (10 pounds). Brown trout also grow about twice as big there as here or in Europe (up to 12 pounds and 30 inches). As in other parts of the world, your success in catching trout depends on where and how you go fishing. Generally, the farther you get from a road, the better the fishing and bigger the fish. All of South Island offers excellent fishing for trout, particularly in streams fed by the Southern Alps. East of this range, terrain is quite gentle, and it's fairly easy to get around. North Island is good from the town of Hamilton south, especially around the centers of Lake Rotorua and Lake Taupo. Where to stay overnight? Fishermen have three choices. Go camping with a rented camper or rented car and tent. Rent a car and stay in motels. You'll find clean little motels in almost every village; they charge from $20 to $60 U.S. Or-the most expensive alternative-stay at a fishing lodge. The country has about a dozen of them. You should make reservations for these places before you leave the U.S. Consult a travel agent or call the New Zealand Tourism office in Los Angeles at (800) 388-5494. Three agencies in the U.S. organize fishermen's trips to New Zealand: Frontiers, (800) 245-1950; Pathways International, (800) 628-5060; and Travel Center, 213) 826-9105. When is the fishing season? The season is in the South Pacific's spring and summer (October I through April 30), though some streams and lakes on both islands are open all year. In any 14day period from December through March, expect 4 or 5 days of rain heavy enough to prevent fishing. Rains quickly make streams quite high, but water stays clear. Typically, streams return to normal about 48 hours after rains have stopped. It's uncrowded and easygoing Fishing areas are never crowded. Though New Zealand and California are about the same size, New Zealand has only an eighth as many people-and most of them live in Auckland. Access to fishing water is generally unrestricted. However, if you need to cross private land to reach a stream or lake, you must ask the owner for permission. New Zealanders, especially rural folk, are welcoming and will probably be keen to point out the most promising fishing spots. What about gear? Fish will usually rise to any kind of fly pattern, but favorites seem to be sizes 12 to 16 Adams or Humpies. Or use nymphs in sizes 10 to 16 Hare's Ear or Hare-andCopper patterns. Ideal for fly-fishing is a 9-foot fly rod and a 5- or 6-weight floating line, with a 9- to 12-foot leader tapered to 5X or 6X. For spin-casting, best is a 6-foot light spinning rod with 5- to 8-pound-test line. Some rivers are for fly-casting only. Check local regulations and watch for signs. Don't bother to pack waders. Most fishing takes place from shore, and you can cross streams in shorts, as Kiwi fishermen do. Wear glasses with polarizing lenses to let you spot fish more easily. You'll also need a hat, sun screen, and insect repellent (gnat-like blackflies can be a nuisance in forested areas). New Zealand's Automobile Association (AA) offers free maps and other services to American Automobile Association members. Maps show sizable streams in blue, roads in red, mountains in relief.

TRAVEL PLANNER

Mont Blanc Skiing Through March, week-long packages take skiers to Chamonix and Megave, France; Courmayeur, Italy; and Verbier, Switzerland. An instructor leads skiers of similar ability to these ski resorts. Overnight in Chamonix. Cost, from $848, includes hotel, some meals, and six days of skiing but not air fare to Geneva. Write or call Steve Lohr's Ski Holidays, 206 Central Ave., Jersey City, N.J. 07307; (800) 223-1306.

Kyoto history and art On March 28, join nine-day tour of Kyoto during cherry blossom season. Stay in a Japanese inn. Visit textile and pottery museums, shogun castles, Buddhist monasteries, Nara's Deer Park; go to lectures on Buddhist art. Cost of $3,565 includes lodging, some meals, and air fare from San Francisco. Write or call Smithsonian Travel Program, 1100 Jefferson Dr. S.W., Washington, D.C.; (202) 357-4700.

Holland, Belgium: spring flowers Starting April 19, view gardens, nurseries, flower markets, and blooming fruit trees on a 13-day coach tour from Amsterdam to Delft, Ghent, and Brussels. Tour museums, pottery works, and cheese markets; visit the old cities of Haarlem and Bruges. Price of $3,295 includes lodging and some meals. Write or call Coopersmith's England, 6441 Valley View Rd., Oakland 94611; (415) 339-2499.

Panama and Costa Rica cruise In February, March, and November, join 13-day excursions from Panama City on the 138-passenger Yorktown Clipper. Visit Panama's historic Portobelo, snorkel in the San Blas Islands, and traverse the Panama Canal. Enjoy Costa Rica's beaches, Marenco biological station (renowned for its tropical birds and trees), Manuel Antonio National Park, Carara Biological Reserve, and Poas Volcano. Cost is from $2,750. Write or call Clipper Cruise Line, 7711 Bonhomme Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63105; (800) 325-0010. What a travel agent can do for you: provide information on tours; help you plan a trip; reserve space on air, rail, bus, and ship lines; make hotel, ranch, and resort reservations. Travel agents usually do all this without charge, but they do charge for "custom" tour service.
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Title Annotation:Beyond the West
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Words:1034
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