Exploration to a remote back country lake, Southern New Zealand

Well it’s the time of the year that I start looking around and seeing what’s happening around the usual waters ways I fish and guide on. I also earmark some new water to investigate and do some preliminary walks without the rod just to see whats there. It’s amazing that each year I always find some very new and exciting water to play with – some of which only fishes well for certain parts of our Southern season here in New Zealand.

A recent example of this was a expedition to a remote back country lake fed by a river I know quite well from summer time fishing but had not explored the winter potential . A serious 4wd trip to get there on a stunning day had me quite excited that I would hook into stacks of rainbows lying off the river delta ready to run for spawning.

I watched the the water surface at the mouth for a bit and didn’t see any activity so decided to rig up a fast sinking rocket head line and attached a yellow rabbit – after about 1 hour with only 2 hits I decided not much was going on and went for a wander down the lake edge. I had noticed while fishing that there was some very occasional surface movement from fish and vowed that I would have a crack on the surface on my way back past.

A change of gear to a floating line saw me targeting some cruising browns but lady luck was not working for me so well. The day was clear and extremely still and my presentation in the conditions using an 9 wt rod was not so hot. What I found though was a series of little bays where springs enter the lake that all had cruising trout – certainly a days fishing to be had here later in the year (with some different gear) and hopefully when the fish are looking more to the surface and dry flies.

On the way back I stopped at mouth again and threw the floating line over the lip for a quick 20 mins and had one hit and one hook up on a nice 3 lbs rainbow trout.

So what did I learn:

1. Where some nice still waters to attack cruising brown trout later in the year.

2. If the trout are not deep try the surface – I thought its a bit like the great white shark hunting seals, the trout seemed to be cruising at about 5 feet or so below the surface and seeing there prey (small fish) silhouette from below and the charging up to attack it.

3. The vast majority of the rainbows had already run up the river for spawning -  need to be there early in the winter. However it means when the river opens for the season there should be some very good fishing for rainbows in the river and also brown trout that are always present.

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