Category Archives: Fly Fishing Equipment
The month of Feb has been a little better weather wise with at least one week that was stable and hot with heaps of terrestrial action and the rest of the time so far has be a bit variable with a disturbed SW system. Even so the trout have been fairly willing to hit a cicada or other big terrestrial dry fly so the fishing has been pretty exciting.
One of my regular clients maximised the really nice week of weather and we got on to some great water and some super fish. One particular fish did not want a bar of coming to the surface and continued to feed very deep. I selected one of Simon Uglies (a great mate a excellent fly tier and angler) – a pink and green double tungsten bomb and even though it’s super heavy and pretty streamlined the trout still had to lift about half way up the water column to chomp it. It was a no indicator, me calling the strike with the angler fishing a tight line so as to be super quick and bingo we are into what we quickly realized was a double figure “HOG”. After about 10mins of a very doggard battle my client landed a 11.25 lb big bad brown trout. This blew his personal best of 7lbs from the previous day out the door and needless to say made him extremely happy.
Being the absolute gentleman angler after this fantastic fish was brought to the net I was offered a chance to have a fish and managed to get a couple as well but not so big of course. Just being able to have a cast in such a great environment makes me happy.
We have been eating pretty well while out on Safari as my last few clients have found out. It’s pretty wild to be able to do a roast in a back country hut accompanied my some vino of course – sorry about the timing of the shot HB.
Getting the timing right with the dry fly set on these big back country beauts is super important and as you can see we managed to get it right on more than one occasion – although a few trout are wondering what on earth was that thing they chomped that suddenly flew right out of the gaping open mouth. Having the patience to wait until the mouth has closed can be quite hard!
T’was the week before Xmas and all the anglers are wondering what Santa might put in the sack for them. In my case Santa came early (for practical reasons) it delivered me a new line. The Airflo Ridge Clear 6wf. This as the name suggests, is a clear line and has been designed to fool fish in gin clear lake edge water or situations where you will only get one cast at a fish in moving water. I have had it out a couple of times and it has certainly proved its worth both on the lake edge and in gin clear streams with it helping to catch some very spooky trout.
The lake edge fishing is the easy part as mending does not really come into the game but on moving water you really have to think a bit before throwing that cast as when the line is in moving water it is almost impossible to see and hence mending is rather difficult. Study the water flow and use the appropriate aerial mend such as the wiggle, reach or curve cast to make sure that you don’t actually have to mend the line on the water. Watch the fish carefully and hit him at the right time depending on what gear you are throwing at him.
Now for me this reel and line will live in my guiding pack and come out when or where required, it only takes a minute to swap over to it when you need it. A valuable tool in the arsenal to fool more fish. Ask Santa nicely and he might come through!
Over the last few days we have seen some bloody good rainfalls which have freshened some rivers and turned other into raging torrents. I just spoke to one of my helicopter pilots and his words were “perfect storm”. On the divide and catchments close to there have been 300+ mm of rainfall so pretty much anything west is out for now, they will drop and clean quickly when the rain stops. A great example of this is the Dart River which went to a bit over 1200 cumecs but has dropped by half since it hit the high point yesterday The further east you go the rivers have seen less rain and have been nicely freshed up which is great news for the Xams/New Year anglers.
As soon as the weather fines up again and we start to get the heat watch out for the cicadas, they will be around and things will hot up on that front over the next month.
The lowland rivers are seeing plenty of willow grub action so make sure you have some fine tippet and long supple leaders and your grub pattern ready to go.
Here’s a video shot on a remote back country stream doing things a little differently!
October has been and gone with some awesome fishing. Yesterday was the opening of the NZ back country rivers with the odd exception in the Central South Island region which don’t open until early December. The weather was amazing with a blue bird day and light southerly winds (on your tail) and I am sure anybody who got into the back country waters had a great time.
I certainly did even though I arrived late and there were several other parties of anglers ahead of me on the water, not that I saw any of them. I fished slowly for about 4hrs using both blind and sight fishing techniques and managed 15 to net with a few long line releases, nothing big all ranged between about 2lbs and 7lbs with a nice mix of rainbows trout and brown trout.
The weather continues to be fabulous although it looks like some rain on Thursday but should clear quite quickly and another large high is ridging in. The warm weather has been producing some snow melt and keeping the flows quite high and some rivers are seeing slight discoloration as the day goes on.
Tip – get deep fast – make sure your choice of fly is in the fishes feeding zone.
I have been putting my Scott S4 6wt rod thru its paces and it’s a bloody great rod. Makes light work of head winds, can carry really heavy gear yet remains delicate for presenting small dry’s and fights fish almost like bamboo with a deep flex thru the rod. If you are in the market for what I suggest is possibly the best rod for NZ conditions get yourself the Scott S4.
Anybody wanting to get some fishing in during November be sure to get in touch as it will be awesome fishing and I have some space available.
As Louis Pasteur said, luck favors the prepared, so it’s important to make sure that you have the supplies and knowledge necessary to respond to any emergency you might encounter while fly fishing. Taking extra precautions may seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but when you find yourself in an unexpected situation, you’ll be glad you made the effort. The following are some helpful tips and techniques to help get you started on a fly fishing safety routine.
Supplies to Stock
• Whenever you’re out in sunny weather for extended periods of time, it’s important to keep a reasonable supply of water. You might take a small cooler with a few bottles that you can attach to your belt with a carabiner, a large canteen, depending on personal preference, a hydration pack is an excellent option.
• Even if you apply sunscreen before you embark on your fly fishing trip, you should keep a bottle of it handy for re-application to the areas of your skin that receive the most sun exposure. Although many fly fishers are out in the sun consistently, it’s important to stay protected against UV rays and potential skin cancer.
• Keep some insect repellent within reach and use it before you start fly fishing. This will help keep your experience more enjoyable while reducing the risk of disease carried by mosquitoes or other biting bugs. Some repellents can cause plastics to break down, so be sure to check the label for a “fishing-friendly” designation.
• Grab some power bars to stash in your waders so you can stay energized and alert all day.
• Bring along a first-aid kit. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of space, but gauze, bandages, and some type of antiseptic should be included.
• Make sure you have a cell phone on hand. You can turn it off, but in case of emergency, it might be necessary to contact paramedics.
• Have you dressed in UPF-rated clothing? An ultraviolet protection factor woven into your shirt can provide a helpful shield against harsh solar rays.
• Are you wearing a wading belt? Remember that if your waders are waist-high or more, a belt can keep them from filling with water and weighing you down if you fall below the surface.
• Did you remember to wear eye protection? Sunglasses can improve your vision and response time while helping to prevent stray hooks or sinkers from blinding you. A hat can also prevent excessive brightness from distorting your vision.
• If fishing with others, have you pinched the barbs on your hooks? When you do this, you make it easier to remove these hooks in case they become accidentally embedded in anyone’s skin.
• If fishing alone, have you informed someone about where you’ll be and when you plan to return?
• If you’re about to go fly fishing in unfamiliar waters, do you have a wading staff? This can help you navigate new underwater territory by providing extra stability to keep you from falling and sliding beneath the surface.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She spends much of her days blogging about Education and CollegeScholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
If you haven’t read Preparing for a New Zealand Fly Fishing Expedition Part 1 – do it now. If you have keep reading.
The gear to bring with you should be right at the top of the list now.
If you are into a bit of comfort with a roof overhead, hot running water, a real bed etc during your fly fishing trip follow this link for some good ideas of what to bring, make sure to scroll to the gear lists.
If you are looking at the more adventurous options of camp out style fly fishing or multi day hiking fly fishing try this on for size for some good ideas.
One thing about gear however is that especially when it comes down using the rod I see many an angler that can have a very frustrating time fishing in New Zealand and this usually stems from poor presentation in adverse conditions. We fish into a lot of wind particularly in the South Island. If you want to maximize your chances make sure you get some serious practice in before you come. Learn how to cast accurately into the wind, make sure you have a good variety of different casts up your sleeve. Roll casts, reach casts, the wiggle cast, curve casts, double hauling can all be very handy. These will allow you to maximize your chances and get more NZ trout to the bank. When you are out on the water fishing and particularly in an environment such as New Zealand it is not really the time to be practicing these things. Get out on the grass and do the hard yards before you come fishing in New Zealand (or anywhere for that matter).
Choosing a guide can also be a very important aspect for many when coming fly fishing in New Zealand. A top notch guide will be able to help you with many aspects of your trip to NZ prior to your arrival into the country. Guides often specialize in different things so be sure that you ask them the right questions to solicit whether or not they will be the most suitable guide for you.
For example I specialize more with multi day fly fishing trips with either homestay or camp out options into the remote back country of New Zealand. I have a sports teaching background as a internationally recognized ski instructor which offers a good transfer of skills when it comes to fly fishing casting tips and instruction but there are other guides who have actual fly fishing teaching certification and really specialize in the teaching arena and there are many other types of guide who offer a variety of different skills in different locations.
Make sure to ask if your prospective guide is a member of the New Zealand Professional Guides Association,the first place to go when choosing a guide in New Zealand.
Check out the guides testimonials page and ask to get in contact with one of the people who have written the testimonials – it shouldn’t be a problem.
You and the guide will be working as a team on the water and good communication right from the outset should be expected and enjoyed.
Check out this post for some handy gear to get for your trip or when you get to NZ, comfort is key.
Make sure to SUBSCRIBE and get the latest posts from www.flyfishingexpeditions.co.nz coming to you.
5 Great iPhone Apps for Fishermen
5. Angler Knots
Angler Knots and Fishing Knots are similar iPhone apps that prove very useful for new or less experienced anglers who want give it a go on their own. Both apps provide in-depth, step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions for tying all of the most useful and popular fishing knots. The graphics are detailed, clear, and precise to the point of being just as good as having dad or granddad there instructing you. An angler will eventually outgrow this app, but the investment is only several dollars.
4. Flick Fishing HD
Flick Fishing will not exactly help your fishing game, but it will give you something to do while stuck on the train or waiting in the doctor’s office. Flick Fishing is inexpensive, looks great, and packs in a lot of realism. It is certainly not a full-fledged simulation, but it will leverage your knowledge enough to entertain you during downtime.
3. Google Earth
While not an angler’s iPhone app per se, the mobile version of Google Earth is an invaluable tool for fishermen and any other outdoorsmen. It is particularly useful when tackling an unfamiliar area, where the sportsman can use Google Earth to get a bird’s eye view area. For anglers, this is a great way to get that mental image of a delta, lake, or river. Hunters can use it to get their bearings as well.
2. Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing is an all-in-one journal for anglers. It allows the fisherman to keep notes about their catches and experiences, and it even makes it easy to record data such as temperature, wind, and time of day. Best of all, using Gone Fishing’s built-in GPS capabilities, the fisherman can pin the data to its real world location, which is priceless information the next time you return to an area after a year or more away.
1. Fishing Calendar
Fishing Calendar is an iPhone app from SIS software based on a solar-lunar calendar. For only several dollars, this gives you a snapshot view of how plentiful the fish will be in a given area at a specified period. This information is great when planning those fishing tips ahead of time. As an added bonus, it packs in some of the journal functionality found in Gone Fishing, but if you like those features, you might want both.
We had to make some difficult choices in order to whittle this list down to just five entries. There are plenty of great options out there, so make sure to poke around a little. Honorable mention includes Angler Social and TideGraph.
Back at home base in Queenstown today after a weeks great fly fishing in Southland. In fact we really didn’t get out of Northern Southland. We hit a few different small and medium size streams and rivers, encountered chubby rain (hail), sun, snow, and drizzel but not much wind if you used the topography well and worked with it. Clear and low cold water mostly everywhere and good numbers of brown trout in good condition for early season.
It will interesting to see how it pans out over the next month with quite a bit of recent snow fallen and warmer temps due we will no doubt see some changes in the water conditions as spring rolls on.
The Airflo Sightfree G3 fluorocarbon worked a charm once I got my fingers around and I didn’t lose a single fish through a failure so that made me happy. I was using a 9ft 1x (7lb) tapered leader and adding a length of Sightfree G3 (5lb) tippet to take me out to the desired length.
Fish were caught mostly on nymphs with occasional use of emergers and backwater specials.
The fishing is great right now with awesome water conditions, the first mad week is over and already angler numbers have dropped off and will be weekend warriors mostly until mid December so stop thinking about it, get your A into G and book a fly fishing expedition.
Today saw snow and lots of it any many places around Southland, and I am sure many other parts of New Zealand and cold Southerly winds continuing to bring snow, hail and sleet showers through much of the day.
Were were up early and had first tracks through the layer of light powder snow on the road to our start spot. The choice was get as far inland as possible and in the headwaters, out of the worst of the weather. The blasts of snow fronts stayed mainly down valley from us and the water had remained clear but bloody cold.
Small but weighted nymph dropper rig were required as most fish were down deep but feeding. All the trout took 14′s and 16′s and were mostly in good condition bar one big head long fish about 2-3 lbs under weight.
A few people around and about but manners were great today and a we had a couple of good chats along the way.
A good high ridging in for the next 2-3 days so we should have some good light southerly conditions and the small waters and headwaters fisheries are maybe worth a nosy. I haven’t found any of the rivers too slippery, I haven’t had to use the walking stick yet or with much if any sign of easily visible Didymo except for in the Mararoa but even that was pretty reasonable – shit I hate saying that. I am sure it will build a a bit in some areas as summer rolls on. Given the amount of snow in the hills we might be lucky and get a few floods that turn the stones a bit.
Check Clean and Dry!
Tip – It’s cold – wear waders when necessary, layer well and fish with a small pack and a good amount of snacks. I love my William Joseph backpack vest system from Manic Tackle Project – its versatility is great and it its actually a really functional unit for an fly angler – they certainly work for well for me.
Chris Carlin of Far North Rod Smiths emailed me yesterday to say that he had finished making my rod and is starting the big journey to NZ. I will be hooking up with Chris when he gets down my way and will be looking after him on the water for a day’a real New Zealand fly fishing and get him into some big South Island brown trout. Maybe I wil get a chance to cast the rod? Probably another day!
He sent me some photos of the bamboo rod, a 8’6″ 5wt 3 piece of handcrafted beauty. I greatly admire the skill and effort that goes into making rods like this. Even many of the tools required to make these stunning rods can’t be bought but have to be made by the rod maker themselves.
Check out the accompanying photos and remember to give Chris a buzz (when he finishes his NZ vacation) and order yourself one of his stunning rods – it will be a rod for life!