New Zealand has two main trout species.
Brown trout were introduced from Europe in the 1860s. They have spread throughout New Zealand's rivers and lakes offering self-sustaining, plentiful, wild trout fisheries. Areas with a low population are supplemented by releases of trout by New Zealand’s recreational fishery management agency Fish and Game. Trout can grow to trophy sizes of 4.5kg but they get wary and wily at that size. Brown trout can be escape artists, ducking for cover under banks and fallen branches – anything to snag your line and get free. It pays to draw them away from snags if you can. Resident trout populations live in the rivers middle and upper reaches and lower reaches have runs of sea-run brown trout in the lower reaches over spring and summer.
Rainbow trout were introduced from Californian steelhead stock in the 1880s. They are not as widespread as the brown, but have developed into localised fisheries in central North Island and in the backcountry of the South Island. Rainbows tend to be bold feeders, put up a good fight, have a habit of launching into the air when hooked and so, are well worth the effort.