Once we took an overseas visitor trout fishing in a stream near Rotorua. We tried a couple of places and didn't have much luck. My friend decided to teach our visitor how to fly fish and was showing him how to caste and draw the fly back across the water's surface. His second cast he got one. Can you believe it? All the luck! Well, in the excitement, he slipped on some rocks and almost ended up in the water with the trout much to the amusement of us sitting watching. But eventually, the two of them managed to save our visitor, the rod and his trout. So that evening we had a large Brown Trout, wrapped in tin foil and cooked on the barbeque. Lovely!
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 1800's 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.
40c - Rainbow Trout with Red Setter fly.
The rainbow trout thrive 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.
$1.00 - Sea-run Brown Trout with Grey Ghost fly.
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.
$1.50 - Brook Trout / Char with Twilight Beauty fly.
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.
$1.80 - Brown Trout with Hare and Cooper fly.
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 feed 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 - 18 June 1997.
Date of issue: 18 June 1997.
Stamp designer: Joanne Kreyl, Wellington, New Zealand.
Miniature sheet designer: Debra de la Haye, Stamps Business, New Zealand Post.
Printer: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand.
Stamp size: 39.56mm x 30mm.
Miniature sheet size: 112mm x 90mm.
Sheet size: 50 stamps per sheet.
Perforation gauge: 13.
Paper type: Harrison and Sons, red phosphor coated, unwatermarked.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 18 June 1998.