Tag Archives: cicadas

Queenstown Fly Fishing since Xmas ……. Weather!

Queenstown fly fishing since Xmas ……. one word WEATHER! After a December of dry weather and low flows mother nature has balanced itself! Rain and more rain with several rivers beating historical high flows the lakes are on the verge of flooding and the severe gale force winds just adding insult to injury.

 

Queenstown fly fishing

There’s One!

Luckily for me just prior to Xmas I decided purchase a Sitka Cloudburst jacket to make Queenstown fly fishing a more comfortable affair when the weather turns as even in the harshest of conditions I am still out there guiding. Thank goodness I did as I have almost lived in it since the 29th Dec bar a few days when the weather has pleasant. It’s a great bit of kit and one that I would now not ever be with out! I have stayed dry in even serious deluges and have enjoyed the wind resistant protection on cold days with snow to low winter levels and to top if off I seem to be able to get closer to my prey and certainly spook less (not that I spook that many anyway). It also rolls up into not much so is a great space saver compared to bigger, heavier jackets.

Queenstown Fly Fishing

Sitka Cloudburst Jacket

So needless to say the Queenstown fly fishing has not been the easiest but with a little thinking outside the box we have not resorted to lake edges (yet) but have been able to catch fish on moving water each day. From the hot days of xmas with 20ft leaders and fine presentations things certainly changed.  Cicadas (there has still been some heat in the weather too) willow grubs, streamers, czech nymping, mayfly hatches, you name it we have done it.

Queenstown Fly Fishing

Rainbows on Brown water

Windy days have made us shift to shorter leaders and single fly set ups …… turn it over and get it on the water upstream of the trout.

 

Queenstown Fly Fishing

Big wind = shorter leaders

 

Perseverance and patience along with guile and cunning and good skill level on the rod has paid off with having very limited amount of clean water to fish. A few times we have spent a whole day on only 100m of water but still had opportunities and hook ups. The old adage of don’t leave good water and trout to find some more (maybe) has paid off.

Queenstown Fly Fishing

Serious perseverance

Dead drifted (under an indicator along bank edges) or swung streamers have also proved deadly on big fish in dirty water with some very exciting days watching hogs chase our often wounded looking bait.

 

Queenstown Fly Fishing

Hooked up

To be fair tho its like throwing a dog on a chain trying to cast some of the things we are throwing …… stop soft!

Queenstown Fly Fishing

Streamers

As I mentioned dries have been on the menu from time to time with some nice fish eating off the surface on a variety of morsels including cicadas.

 

Queenstown Fly Fishing

Early season Cicada

Rainbows love smashing cicadas at this time of year and we had a great day amongst the maelstrom of weather on a small stream enjoying just so!

Hooked up!

Hooked up!

You just had to watch closely and decide if they were eating it on the first smash or smashing it orca style before swing ing round to eat the stunned cicada.

Smashing Rainbows

Smashing Rainbows

Some days you just need to change your expectations and do the things you don’t normally do,  probably because you are not very good at them …… turn it into an opportunity to get better. Willow grubbing can often be one to shy away from but for many anglers proves very exciting fishing and usually is close quarters combat on very fit, healthy fish.

Willow grubbers

Willow grubbers

Speaking of expectations some days you need to be happy with smaller fish too. A 3lb trout out of water you can jump across is often as challenging and satisfying as a 8lb+ from medium/large water. The perspective of the angler needs to change to suit conditions ….. some are more successful at this  than others.

Small water trout often punch way above the size!

Small water trout often punch way above the size!

Prior to all this crap weather I had the pleasure to go fish with my father and my bro over the xmas period ….. this is something that hasn’t for a long time. One of the many things that stood out was a mid afternoon visit to a great bit of water …. walking 300m or so and putting bro onto a nice 7lb brown before being back to the truck and home with a Steam Brew beer in hand and home again in under 2 hrs to hang with our families.

Queenstown Brewers Steam Brew

Queenstown Brewers Steam Brew

 

Great fishing with you ……. lets do it again!

Queenstown Fly Fishing

7lb release

 

Now for my weird but true fish story those who follow my facebook page may be waiting for.

Fish! You see it? Yep right there. He’ll eat off the surface. Run this over him.

First cast is on the money and a bigger snout than expected comes up and eats it. Angler goes a bit early but has enough slack line and manages to hook up. Battle for about 1min and fly comes out.

Bugger! He was pretty big.

The bug fush slides in right next to where we are standing just off the edge of a deep drop off into a fast run.

Give me that rod (swap and give him the other I have already set up) and hurl this (big articulated streamer) upstream of him and dead drift it.

Watch the fish and hit him if he eats it!

Bullshit it’s never going to happen…lets roll on and find the next one. No give it  a shot ….sometimes funny shit happens!

First cast (a lob really) the artic comes beautifully thru the seam edge and bug fush turns and eats it. Angler is so surprised he doesn’t even strike.

F*$k me … he ate it!

Go on give it to him again and if he eats this time strike! No way it can happen again ….surely? Only one way to find out right!

2 casts later and bug fush eats it again and this time my guy strips strikes him and bang we are on and got a great 7lber to the bank! You may think that this was a rainbow but no a bloody hungry brown. Several hours later my guy can still not get over. It was just one of those crazy things that sometimes happens.

Queenstown Fly Fishing

Crazy Fish!

 

Right that’s me for 2 weeks …. I’m off with the family camping somewhere for 2 weeks and then back into guiding at the start of Feb. I suspect that with the rivers getting so well turned  over fish should be looking at the surface to eat as in many places the invertebrate life is back to square one!

Don’t forget to book your trip in Feb March or April and May …. I still have some space left and the weather will come right and the Queenstown fly fishing will be good

Mixed fly fishing south of Queenstown NZ

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.

Fly Fishing Queenstown

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!

Fly Fishing Queenstown

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 [email protected]%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 [email protected]%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:

Fly Fishing Queenstown

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!

 

Queenstown Fly Fishing as the weather changes

The long hot dry spell seems to have dried up for now in the lower South Island but the Queenstown fly fishing has remained good and in fact has actually improved as there is more water in the rivers and the water temps have lowered a touch to much more favourable conditions for trout to feed. Over the hot summer months a good tip is to check out the river temps online before your trip …… 14deg C is optimium conditions for trout……if you are seeing 21deg C on that favourite river find somewhere else to fish as you will have a pretty hard day of it.

Fly Fishing Queenstown

The Cicada’s are all go in some areas with areas recent fly fishing foray into backcountry river producing over 40 fish between 4 rods for the day. The rainbows were willing to move many meters to slam cicada imitaions. Other areas areas are just starting to see cicada action but the next 6 weeks should be pretty good for terrestrial fishing.

Fly Fishing Queenstown

I just went online to Fish and Game’s web site and see that the have finally updated it …. well worth checking out.

Fly Fishing Queenstown

I just love it when you get a shot in a remote fly fishing location of the airborne trout …. it’s alwasy hard to catch the moment just right!

 

Fly Fishing Queenstown

The photo above is from my fishing buddy and good bastard Si Chu from a great days outing together……thanks Chuey.

Maximising your fly fishing oportunities is whats it’s all about and instead of re-inventing the wheel my good freind and guiding colleague Chris has some great tips here.

Remember there is great fly fishing from now all the way thru to the end of the season with March seeing (generally) the end of the terresrtrial fly fishing action but with April and the mayfly kicking in and the backcountry rivers staying open until the end of May as the big browns migrate up the systems there is plenty for anybody’s fly fishing taste. Book now to secure your mid to end of season fly fishing expedition.

 

 

INQUIRE NOWSend Inquiry about your Fly Fishing Expedition