Tag Archives: anglers
As the days are long and hot fly fishing Queenstown back country can be quite arduous on the body with many kilometers covered to get some of the best fly fishing in New Zealand (unless you take a helicopter). I had a day like this yesterday fly fishing Queenstown back country water with a young and fit client.
It’s always interesting to see how anglers approach a big day out fly fishing and also what happens to them during the course of the day as heat and fatique take its toll both mentally and physically. The angler who does not prepare well will get tired and miss easy opportunities that an equal ability angler who is well prepared takes all the opportunities and converts them with a high degree of success.
A lot about fly fishing Queenstown (or anywhere) successfully is about using the top 6 inches well. Here are some things that will help you maximise your fly fishing chances during the day and be at the top of your game.
1. Eat well the night before (not big necessarily but healthy and nourishing food) and don’t drink to much booze!
2. Get a good nights sleep, it’s hard to operate well on a big day if you only have had 4 hrs sleep. Go to bed a bit earlier ….. yes I know you are excited about your fly fishing Queenstown expedition but still …….. go to f#*king sleep!
3. Wake early enough to have a decent breakfast. Enjoy that coffee but maybe only have the one …. it does dehydrate you!
4. After the coffee drink some water ….. now drink some more …… yes you will piss a squillion times!
5. Make sure your hydrapak or drink bottle is full. I like using a hrdyapak as I can drink easily all day long as I fish and walk. Its easy to forget to take the water bottle out of your pack/vest to drink as often as you should. You should drink 2 litres minimum ….. yes you will piss more!
6. Take food that is easy and fast to eat or nibble on and is packed full of energy. Eat often through out the day.
7. Pop a pill once or twice during the day ….. sounds dodgy but I use Go Magnesium 800 which helps the body to rehydrate by replacing lost mineral salts. It also will stop/reduce the chance of muscle cramps and can also help with sleep if taken before going to bed. I usally take one the night before (see #2) and one during the day.
8. Take a bottle of a sports drink such as Powerade which is full of electroltes and drink it before you start your walk back to the car …. yes more pissing! Another good option is Nuun which is a tablet that dissolves in water and is full of the good stuff you need to stay hydrated.
9. Use a product like Gu (you can get these at any good sports store such as RR Sports) …. take 2 or 3 with you for the day and whack them back as neccessary …. big energy kick (oh they wont make you piss more).
10. When you get back to the car after that long hike out from your favourite back country fly fishing spotX, drink some more water before you have that well deserved cold beer/s. Yes guess what …. you will piss more!
11. When you get back from the end of your fly fishing Queenstown back counrty expedition eat well again and try not to hit the booze to hard as you tell the days stories to your wife/girlfriend who is of course listening attentatively to every word (as she tries to stiffle the yawns).
At first you might consider some of these things a bit of a hassle but over time they will just become part of what you do on those big days out fly fishing NZ. They will help you keep in tip top shape both physically and mentally through out your day and will play an integral part in helping you catch more big New Zealand fish.
The last week has seen some mixed results fly fishing near Queenstown New Zealand. I think the weather has had a lot to do with it as there has been humid, muggy conditions and afternoon heat showers and the fish have not been overly active. When the heat has come out lowland streams have been seeing some willow grub action and patience has paid off. Getting in under tight willows time after time can prove challening yet hugely rewarding when you get one to take.
Conversly a recent day out in the back country heli fishing from Queenstown proved to be very sucessful with many nice rainbows and browns brought to the net. We managed to get into an area where the sound of the cicada was strong and the browns were not hesitating to chomp off the surface at our cicada imitations. As always though a few were missed by too early a strike. Remember the fish actually has to close its mouth before you hit it!
Sitting around last week in the evening swapping fishing tales and different ideas we had a few laughs with some good buddies who also happen to be excellent anglers. One of the intriguing things was the use of no indicator and when to strike while nymphing. In the old days as nymphing was first being trialed the angler used to lift the rod about every 3 seconds and hope a fish was on. Things have changed a fair bit now as nymphing technique has changed dramtically and revolutionized fly fishing. Most of you who know me know when we fish no indicator and I see the fish move and as soon as that sideways move has stopped I yell “STRIKE” very loudly (some people jump out of there skins but at least they do something …. at least that’s the theory). Well after this conversation the other night I am considering changing my call to “Eaten It”. You know if I say He’s Eaten It, He’s Eaten It, He’s F@%king Eaten It, it’s probably all over chance missed! Watch the Fish!
I was also wondering yesterday about changing the old ” God save the Queen” to slow down the dry fly strike for simplicities sake to making the call of “He’s Eaten It” or for the downstream take “He’s F@%king Eaten It”. Maybe this is a sign of the changing times where New Zealand may need to look more seriously at become a republic but that’s a whole other discussion to be had one evening over some nice Queenstown vino.
Anyway I dropped my daughter off at her Queenstown school this morning and went down to the lake edge for a look and here’s what I saw:
Lots of little fish chomping ….. it was quite pleasurable just to sit and watch.
Remember Book your Queenstown Fly Fishing Trip Now, the season has plenty to go and the fish are just getting fatter and fatter!
Spotting NZ trout is a bit of an art form in a funny way and some anglers become very adept at it, others do not. I often get asked how on earth did you spot that fish? You know sometimes I don’t even know! Many years of walking rivers and looking at water is a big chunk of it. If you don’t do it on a regular basis it is probably a wee bit more tricky.
Here are some of my tell tale signs for spotting NZ trout:
1. It’s an add on to the river….. I am looking first and foremost for something that is not quite right, a touch out of place. A bit like Sesame Street … this one’s not like the other one! I am never looking for a fish.
2. Movement ….. does it move? Yes, well then it’s a fish (unless it’s a bit of weed – this had me going a few weeks back thinking I had been spotting NZ trout). No, watch a minute or two and see if it does move. Still unsure, make a cast.
3. Shape ….. does it lie the right way? If it’s lying across the current flow it’s is not likely to be a fish although on the odd occasion I have seen large trout lying deep and appear to be sideways to the flow although where they were actually lying they are directly into the current at that depth i.e. an eddie pool.
4. Colour and flash ….. Not much really but rainbows especially can give themselves away with the red stripe but it pays not to use this as you will miss many that are not coloured up but it may help it some cases. Often fish can appear as a grey smudge in the water and you might see a flash as it turns to one side to feed.
5. Shadow…… A fish will cast a shadow from it to the bottom, using sunlight (if you have any) correctly helps.
6. Go slow, slower than you think ….. no slower still! Many anglers miss spotting opportunities just by walking too quickly.
7. Look into the water not at it …… good Polaroid glasses are key. I use Maui Jim
8. When necessary choose to have back drop. Great on cloudy grey days. Spot where you can and blind where you need too.
9. Know where to look …… Pool eyes are where most people see fish easily. Other likely spots include: lips and drop offs. Seams and bubble lines = food = fish. Structure …… rocks just behind or just in front, logs too. The outside of mild bends just on the seam and especially if the bank has little bays. The tail of pools just before the next rapid starts. Generally where the water is knee deep and has one or more of the above.
10. Shitty places to get to because of foliage or river structure ….. as the season goes on this can really be important.
These tips will get you seeing more trout and if you can see them you can catch more of them!
Summer is on the way so make sure to book your fly fishing expedition with me now!
Queenstown fly fishing can be particularly good when all the water opens at the beginning of November and you have the full array of water to choose from. A lot of the water which opens up for Queenstown fly fishing in November is rainbow trout dominated waters and sometimes they can produce some spectacular trout.
This fish was caught using a interesting set up. My father had passed me a message from an old family friend saying hi which reminded me that I had not yet this season got out the classic Pezon et Michel bamboo rod he had given me. So the old bamboo rod with a spanking new reel, the Lamson Konic. Yes it does sound a strange set up but hey if it can catch fish like this…….? The Konic was great during battle with this hog as it has a fantastic smooth powerful drag system and even with my bamboo being bent like it has never been bent before this fish succumbed after about 10 mins to my strange set up for the day. Needless to say the old friend wants his rod back now with the fish of course.
The other thing is that many anglers rush to these newly open fisheries and leave the water that has been open since the beginning of October alone for a bit and this offers some great opportunities for some exciting brown trout fishing.
The last few days has reminded me about how important it is to watch the fish (if it’s possible) and ignore what may be going on with your indicator. In fact if you can see the fish take the indicator off. Unless your cast is so perfectly accurate the fish will need to move to take your offering. Maybe this is only a few inches or maybe a few feet. As soon as the fish stops the sideways move …… hit it. Chances are he has chomped and if you don’t do anything the fish will spit it out. Many times I have seen fish chomp and indicators not move at all, I have been calling strike but the angler has been convinced that as the indicator hasn’t moved there is no possible way the fish has taken……wrong! Removing the indicator also has the advantage of reducing the chance of spooking the fish. If the wind is blowing it can also help reduce windage on the line. Recently I saw a fish come up to an indicator and engulf it, I was patient and did not strike, the fish spat it out turned and promptly took my nymph …. dumb rainbow (not the one above)! Yet another reason not to use an indicator if you can get away with it.
Queenstown fly fishing book now but remember one day is good but it’s really just a tease, book a multi day trip to really get amongst it!
Fly Fishing Queenstown has one month to go before the 2011-2012 new season opens. Ye haa!
Like fishing anywhere to be successful fly fishing Queenstown it pays to get your gear ready prior to the start of the season.
I find it is a good idea to check through all your fly fishing equipment in the month or two before the fishing season starts.
There’s nothing worse than turning up for your first day’s fly fishing to find that something is missing, the floating line is sinking, the flies are mixed up or the wrong size, the reel has jammed up and x number of other things that make you look and feel like a complete muppet!
I am sure these and many more problems have happened to us all at some time or another so let’s see what we can do to make to our fly fishing Queenstown and other waters go smoothly throughout the coming year.
- Check guides and be sure there’s no damage.
- Check reel seat.
- Clean your rod.
- Get rod repairs done
- Clean the cage and remove any grit or dirt
- Check the mechanisms and oil only as advised by the manufacturer
- Check springs and pawls
- Wind the lines and backing off the reel onto a line winder.
- Once you have the line and the backing, you can re-wind, checking the backing for rot or damage as you go.
- Now check the connection to the line. If in doubt re-do the connection.
- Before you start to wind the line onto the reel clean the line; a soft cloth, soap and water is all you need. Use ordinary soap! Do not use detergents like washing up liquid as these tend to damage the line. Run the line through the soft, soapy cloth to the end and rinse through the cloth in clean water by winding it back again.
- Treat your floating line with silicone to improve its performance.
- Check the braided leader loop for wear (if you use one) and check that the line has not cracked where it joins it. If in doubt, replace the loop.
- Check your shooting head lines for wear where it joins the running line.
- Replace all the leaders with new ones. I like to use tapered leaders and add tippets to suit the length I want to fish.
- Check out your leader wallet and re- stock with new leaders.
- Tidy flies
- Remove used and rusty flies
- Tie up flies or buy in replacements
- Empty out and check tools, priest, temperature gauge, scales, de-barb pliers and any other bits and pieces you take with you.
- Empty all pockets and remove dross
- Check: zingers, nippers, scissors and knot tying tools if you have them
- Replace flies in fly boxes
- Check sunglasses for damage and clean
- Check for holes and repair or replace
- Check the net release if you use one
WADERS & BOOTS
- Check for waders for leaks and repair or replace as necessary
- Clean waders
- Check boot soles and heels are not loose – replace if necessary
- Clean boots
WET WEATHER GEAR
- Make sure it is waterproof and check for holes or tears – repair or replace if necessary.
- Check the lanyard attachment and the rubber shoe at the base.
- Fly Fishing Queenstown and any fresh water in New Zealand requires a fishing license. These can be purchased online. F&G NZ have made it easier than ever before (apparently) to do this see this excerpt from a recent email from them:
“We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to beat the rush and renew your Fishing licence online through the Fish & Game online ordering system. We are confident you will find this a simple and convenient way to purchase your 2011/2012 Fishing licence.
Step 1- Follow the link below
Step 2- Accept the terms and conditions when you arrive at the online ordering site.
Step 3- Enter your 2010/2011 licence number and your date of birth into ‘Previous Customer Details’. This will bring up your details for renewing your licence. Licences purchased online will be supplied as an attractive, durable plastic card. Plastic licences will be mailed within 5 working days of being ordered. Best of luck for the Fishing season ahead – you can order your licence now at: https://fishandgame.eyede.com/public/get_page.php”
This should give you something to do over the next month before the Queenstown fly fishing season opens and you are fly fishing Queenstown waters for trout that have not seen an angler for 5 months or so!
Check out the Fly Fishing Queenstown Expeditions I offer and get in touch if you want to customize anything to make your fishing vacation even more memorable
I meet fly fisherman from all over the world and I have found over the years that almost without exception they are wonderful people. Maybe it’s just one of those pastimes or passions that people with certain attitudes gravitate towards. After all they are out for a good time on the water for one reason or another.
There seems to be a progression of development in a fly fishermans life, it’s a bit like Maslows hierarchy of needs in a fishy way. Certain requirements need to be fulfilled before the angler can gain the next level. Here’s my theory:
Level 1: I just want to catch a fish, anything will do.
Level 2: I want to catch a lot of fish.
Level 3: I want to catch a big fish.
Level 4: I just want to be out on the water, catching a fish is a nice bonus.
Level 5: I am a dumb arse guide!
Now the interesting thing about this theory is that many anglers make it to level 4 bypassing level 3 but I don’t think many make it to level 4 without first obtaining levels 1 and 2. Most that make it to level 5 at some point want to be back at level 4 and almost always level 3 comes into play no matter where you are at in the progression.
Did I miss any levels? Where do you fit into this progression? Use the comments and let me know.
My father (who is a great fly angler) has a saying: ” Man with hands in pocket feels cocky all day and man with fly in water catches fish”. As a guide I have my hands in my pocket all day (usually to stop being bitten by sandflies) so I don’t often have my fly in the water. Maybe he’s just telling me in his wise old way that I am a cocky prick and it’s time to go fishing with him soon!
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.
Fly Fishing Queenstown, New Zealand and the surrounding regions is a fly fishers paradise. There’s always some good water to fish no matter what the weather is doing. You can travel to all 4 points of the compass to go fly fishing from Queenstown maximizing the weather on any given day. Serious anglers should be prepared for early starts and to drive for a good couple of hours to get the best opportunities at catching truly fine New Zealand trout often in quite surreal surrounds. Full day or multi day expeditions are the best ways to really see decent fishing opportunities. To see how stunning fly fishing Queenstown really can be, a helicopter fly fishing trip can open up fisheries that would normally take days to get into by foot and some that going by foot is not an option!
It’s rare to have big tallies of fish to the bank but the size of the trout makes up for this along with the gorgeous scenery. It’s rarely easy fishing and having a high skill level before you arrive will certainly help, the learning curve once you hit the water here is steep enough as it is. Many of the people I guide are here for the challenging nature and the big trout that fly fishing Queenstown South Island of New Zealand offers, something to really test skills against or to learn some new skills to make the fishing even more enjoyable.
I am always reminded at the beginning of each season how bloody great that fly fishing Queenstown is by some of my early season regulars and my own visits to the the fantastic fishing opportunities that abound around Queenstown.
Again the early season fly fishing in Southland proves fantastic with a great run of weather over the last 3 or 4 days. The rivers have remained fairly full and contain some snow melt making for a green clean look. Yesterday saw my very skilled fly fishing client hook into some great fish. The largest fish was a great condition brown trout with a pre-fight weight of 10.25 lbs with beefed up shoulders and the muscle to give any angler a run for their money and this certainly proved the case. The Airflo flurocarbon tippet held as expected and this fine fish finally succumbed for a quick photo session before being released to make another angler happy sometime later in the fishing season.
One wonders what this fish will weigh in at in a couple of months. The other fish caught were also in excellent condition and put up bloody great battles too.
These fish were all caught using sight fish tactics and were feeding in the rocky runs and riffles. Fly choice was a size 16 emerging nymph pattern run as a dropper below a pretty decent “bomb” to get down to the feeding zone fast.
The weather looks like it’s about to change again with some pretty spicy looking NW winds coming in over the weekend followed by showery out breaks and temps lowering with possible snow predicted to low levels on Tuesday – gotta love that spring weather!
If you want the chance to catch some bloody good South Island trout make sure to book with me to secure your fly fishing trip.
Well it’s a little over month out from the 1st of Oct opening of the rivers (anything that flows directly from mountains or lakes to the sea) and is then followed a month later on the 1st of Nov by the rivers and streams that flow from the mountains to the lakes. Make sure to check the regulations out. The 2010/2011 licenses will be available online on Tuesday 31st August 2010.
Fly Fishing in the early season can be one of the best times of the season to hit the water. Trout haven’t seen an angler for 5 months and their general spookiness has diminished somewhat. They are hungry and other than the opening couple of days angler numbers are very low through Oct. The weather can be a bit unsettled but we can always find some great opportunities even in the worst conditions spring can throw at us.
Here’s a clip from last season opening.
My place in Lumsden is a great location to base from over a few days to maximize the early season trout fishing opportunities and this year I am offering 15% discount on my 3 night, four day, guided Southland homestay for the month of October.
If you are keen to make the most of this awesome opportunity to have a great early season fly fishing trip hit my bookings page and and fill out the form. Make sure you select the Southland Homestay option and make a comment in the comments box that you would like the 15% discount during Oct for this trip.
Here’s another clip from last season opening.
You may find cheaper options to fly into Invercargill airport rather than Queenstown airport but either is good for me to pick you up from. Within 45 mins (or less) from each airport we can be fishing. Make sure to fly in on the earliest flight possible and leave on the latest flight to maximize your time fishing or better still if your time and budget allows, fly in the day before and leave the day after your trip. I can pick you up at your accommodation.
I will look forward to chatting with you to make your early season fly fishing trip to NZ a fantastic experience!