New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

Fly Fishing

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In this stamp issue, four species of trout were featured.

Issue information

Of the species featured in this stamp issue, the rainbow and brown trout are undoubtedly the most widely known - and caught. The brown trout appeals to the more traditional angler, while the rainbow predominates in the popular fishing lakes of Rotorua and Taupo.

Trout were introduced into New Zealand in the late 1800s with the aim of turning our lakes and rivers into 'fishermen's friends'. Today, anglers from all over the world would applaud that initiative by our pioneers, for New Zealand has justifiably gained a reputation for being a trout fishing haven.

Product Listing for Fly Fishing

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Rainbow Trout with Red Setter Fly' gummed stamp.

The rainbow trout thrives best in lakes. In New Zealand lakes where food is abundant, the species grows amazingly fast, with fish weighing up to 8kg caught at less than four years of age. Rainbows are more readily caught than brown trout, which adds to their appeal to the angler. Rainbow trout were introduced into New Zealand in the 1880s. They are a highly piscivorous (or fish-eating) species, with smelt being their most common prey. Anglers often use flies that imitate the small fish species to lure the trout.

Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Sea-run Brown Trout with Grey Ghost Fly' gummed stamp.

Sea-run brown trout are ordinary brown trout which go to sea before returning to spawn in fresh-water. In this process of their lifecycle, the fish develop a distinctive silver colouring which sets them apart from their river-and-lake dwelling counterparts which generally display olive and brown hues. To catch sea-run brown trout, anglers seek to imitate small fish such as smelt and whitebait.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Brook Trout (char) with Twilight Beauty Fly' gummed stamp.

The brook trout or char is relatively scarce, which makes it keenly sought-after by anglers. It has a dramatic marbled, dark olive green colouration with red highlights. This colouring makes the brook trout or char one of New Zealand's most beautiful freshwater fish.

Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'Brown Trout with Hare & Cooper Fly' gummed stamp.

A native of Europe, the brown trout rapidly colonised most of the rivers and streams south of the far north after being introduced into New Zealand in 1867. The brown trout is renowned as a challenging quarry, with catches averaging some 1.5kg to 2kg in weight. Widely distributed in cold, clean waterways, with a quality instream habitat, the brown trout feeds mainly on aquatic insects. Anglers imitate the brown trout's preferred food sources with artificial flies such as the Hare and Cooper.

First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $5.20
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps. $6.75

Technical information

Date of issue:  18 June 1997
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Joanne Kreyl, Wellington, New Zealand
Miniature sheet designed by: Debra de la Haye, Stamps Business, New Zealand Post
Number of stamps: Four
Denominations and designs: 40c Rainbow Trout with Red Setter fly, $1.00 Sea-run Brown Trout with Grey Ghost fly, $1.50 Brown Trout (char) with Twilight Beauty fly, $1.80 Brown Trout with Hare & Copper fly
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand by lithography
Number of colours: 40c - five colours; $1.00, $1.50 and $1.80 - four colours
Stamp size and format: 39.56mm x 30mm (horizontal)
Miniature sheet size: 112mm x 90mm
Number of stamps per sheet: 50
Perforation gauge: 13
Paper type: 103gsm gummed stamp paper
Cost of unadressed first day cover with four stamps: $5.20
Special blocks: Plate/imprint, positional or value blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps.
Colour blocks: Also known as 'traffic lights', these blocks were included in plate blocks.
Barcode blocks: Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 18 June 1998.