Tag Archives: brown trout
Here’s a little tease for the upcoming New Zealand fly fishing season. I hope you enjoy!
Here is a great new App for watching the weather for that big New Zealand fly fishing trip. Check out my Netvibes Page for some other good NZ Fly Fishing weather/river info along with plenty of other goodies!
If you want to enjoy some New Zealand fly fishing like this over the upcoming season make sure you book your NZ fly fishing expedition 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!
It’s mid April and there are only 2 weeks to go until the low country rivers close for the season but the high country water stays open until the end of May down this way so there is still plenty of fly fishing left near Queenstown.
It’s a great time to be out on the water right now with some good late season mayfly hatches occurring with the brown trout really wanting to fatten up prior to spawning. I find the best time to be out on the waters to get the hatch is anytime between 11oo and 1600 when the trout are feeding on hatching mayfly. Working the riffle water with a medium weighted nymph trailed by a emerging nymph is also producing good results prior to the hatch actually beginning.
We have still been catching trout in some of the back country water on terrestrial patterns but again there is certainly mayfly around there too. In some of these systems runs of browns have been moving thru on spawning runs and the fish are starting to pair up. Just recently we fished a small stream where normally you are finding individual fish but this time there were many cases of 2 or more fish dancing around a pool in a most definite pairing up mode. Sometimes offering these fish a standard nymph or dry just won’t cut it – giving them a steamer to chase and chomp often does the trick.
I have some more guided trips over the next 2 weeks and then in early May I am off for a boys fishing trip deep into some rugged jungle country in Fiordland with a good mate and excellent angler so that should be a lot of fun.
The days are certainly cooling as winter is approaching but it really is a great time to be on New Zealands stunning waters hooking into big fat trout and enjoying the peace and tranquility that the sound of running water flowing past spectacular scenery can and does offer.
If you cant make it now for some great fly fishing make sure to start the process of organizing your trip for next season……don’t be disappointed………book in now to secure your time for next summer!
Just back from a weeks guiding south of Queenstown with a couple of fly fisherman from the USA. The weather did not make things too easy for us with 2 really nice days out of 7 and the rest were a combo of hurricane like winds, heavy rain, chubby rain (sleet) and generally below average weather for March. We did get on to plenty of fish and even managed to fool a fair few of them. One of my clients got to realize a 50 year dream of hooking and landing a true New Zealand Trophy brown trout.
Hooking this fish took quite a lot of perseverance as it was spending about half of its time chasing two other pretty large fish out of its feeding area before making the big boiling rise of a fish zoned into a certain food source. Each time the other fish were chased off it would chomp of the surface hard out for a couple of minutes and then the other fish would reappear and compete for the food source before again being chased off.
Finally this awesome 12lb fish was in just the right place, the fly was drifting thru the feeding zone and with absolutely no hesitation it charged up like a ballistic submarine engulfing our cicada pattern before a doggard fight eventually saw it to the bank. The area it was caught in favored the angler during battle as there was nowhere for the hog to run for cover (and it knew it), it just used it size and weight component until the angler finally got it to the net.
The fish was carefully weighed at 12lbs with a length of 27 inches and a girth of 16.5 inches. These measurements along with some photos will be given to a good taxidermist and the mounted replica will take its place of pride on the mantle piece along with the fly that caught it while the fish gets to live on to provide sport for another lucky angler down the line.
Some other bloody good fish were also landed including two of 8lbs which certainly went along way to make up for a rough week of weather and some fairly tough fishing.
So cicadas are still on the menu but things are changing and there are mayfly nymphs developing nicely in many streams and as we near the beginning of April these will come to the forefront of the trouts dietary patterns. The trout below was caught using an emerging mayfly pattern.
Another flood occurred a couple of days ago with most of Southland seeing muddy water and rising rivers but they are dropping and clearing again fast now. As we move further into autumn we should start to see more stable weather patterns although the temps are dropping quite a bit overnight but on the fine days the daytime temps are warming up nicely. Although 2 days ago I was forced to wear waders, damn glad I did because guiding in chubby rain and very cold southerly winds would have been unpleasant…….just goes to show you need to be prepared for all sorts of weather down here.
Fishing Queenstown and the surrounding areas sometimes you just have to do something different to get a fish to hit. It’s the time of year when trout are really zoned into chomping cicada’s but sometimes you have to thrown something bigger and uglier. On my last Safari trip guiding a father/son combo we stayed on a high country station (ranch) for 3 nights to access some of the back country rivers nearby. We did get to present cicadas to plenty fish with some good results but on one particular occasion I put the young fella on to a trout feeding happily on the surface to cicadas. Due to the nature of the position we could not get a decent drag free drift and the fish went deep but continued to feed. I shortened the leader up and put on a big black double bunny and got the angler to lob it upstream like a nymph, letting it sink on the way back downstream before stripping to swing it past the trouts nose. On the 3rd swing the double bunny was in the right place and the fish could not resist – man trout fight hard with a big arse streamer hanging out their mouths.
This technique really comes into its own at certain times and recognizing these can give opportunities that many anglers would probably give up on. In this case it was a nice 3.5lb rainbow but the big brown trout love to chomp on a big juicy morsel too. A few days later the wind was blowing into our faces making life fairly tough to turn a dry over. I had found a big brown feeding right on the seam edge and again chose to offer a streamer this time fished as a dead drift – bingo first cast and the result was a great 8lb brown trout to the bank about 10mins later.
Needless to say Dad is very proud but did mention that I had now ruined his son for life —- better than crack tho!
We did get quite a few fish on the cicada and here is Dad with a great rainbow, again on the first cast. Make those first casts count and your hook up rate will be higher.
We ate very well on Safari each night— roast pork, beef, lamb with vege’s from our garden, what a great option to refuel the body after some serious back country fishing and hiking.
I think a teenage boy really appreciated the big kai, they seem to have appetites of horses.
I have a busy few weeks guiding ahead thru until the end of March so keep reading the blog for updates as I get the chance.
Anyone still looking for some great fly fishing should seriously think about booking in for April and May – it is one of the best times to go fishing Queenstown and the surrounding regions, the browns are putting on plenty of weight in preparation for spawning runs, there is some great mayfly match the hatch fishing, the rainbows are beefing up too and the back country rivers really fire up over the last 2 months of the season.
Well the big water we got over the Xmas/New Year period certainly has made the fishing much tougher over the last week or so. I have been thru many places in Otago, South Westland and Southland on a Fly Fishing Safari with a couple of anglers over the last 7 days and have seen debris in some places 7m above normal. A friend found a dead trout over 50m in land from normal water height in one river. Needless to say this should give an idea of the size of the floods.
We have been able to find trout in all the places we visited but numbers have been lower than normal so making sure when an opportunity presents itself has been of vital importance. The good news is we did get plenty of dry fly action in particular with cicada style imitations that saw hungry fish chomping on them.
In the rivers that have been hit hard finding more stable sections of the river is where we have found the trout. Many of the normal stable sections have been either silted up or the stones so thoroughly turned over they are extremely clean – no slipping and sliding around around while wading!
The rivers are all coming back and with some good weather ahead of us the fishing will come back to its more normal state. One thing is the fish will be hungry. We were fishing a small lowland tributary stream the other day and were onto a big fish that was not keen to look at anything much until we threw a big cicada – it moved 2m left and 2m down to suck it in with no hesitation at all. Funny thing is on this small stream we had not seen or heard a cicada all day but there you go, a big food source the fish could not refuse!
The last week or so has seen some unbelievable weather. Some of the biggest and wettest storms for a fair while. Many rivers have been up and dirty and the lakes are rather full in fact close to flood levels with Lake Wakatipu on its first flood alert. More heavy rain is expected over the next 24hrs so it will bring things very close to the tipping point for the Lakes.
I have been out guiding a regular client over the last 7 days who fishes with me for a week each year. This year was his tenth visit and was highlighted by catching his 6th New Zealand trophy trout with me. We had to put in some yards for this fish and they certainly paid off. We only got two chances for the day, both on large browns. Unfortunately on the fist chance the hog lifted off the bottom and sucked in the dry fly of choice but my client underestimated the size of the fish and slowness of the take and went a bit early pulling the fly right out of the trouts still wide open mouth. This fish was big, bigger than the one we did hook and land, again on the dry fly.
During the week my client Aki got to fish a great deal of new water because many of his favorite spots were blown out with either wind or rain or both. He managed to catch some great fish in all these amazing places and lost a few too but nothing could get close to trumping the fish above.
After this next storm it looks like we are in for a good period of hot stable weather as a couple of large highs are lining up. This should see some hot weather and I am expecting to hear the cicada about as soon as it happens. It will be nice to see summer conditions back again.
Happy New Year and may the fishing be good to you.
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.
The last week near Queenstown New Zealand has seen some great fly fishing even though the weather has not been easy with fronts coming thru every day or so carrying cold rain and snow to quite low levels.
Using some local knowledge of how to work the weather and what the fish are doing has paid dividends with some very happy clients catching some bloody awesome trout. Both brown and rainbow trout have been par for the course. Getting down fast and deep has been the winner for us with the odd exception coming to the dry fly.
Here’s a couple of shots of some of the pearlers over the last week.
And to cap it all of a great 13lb New Zealand trophy trout
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.