Tag Archives: fish
Fly fishing New Zealand Southern Lakes with a week to go is a good warm up session for the New Zealand season opening in a weeks time. We drove up to where one of New Zealand premier fly fishing rivers joins Lake Wakatipu and hit the mouth of the Greenstone river.
A morning spent getting casting up to speed was well worth it as the afternoon presented a few fish with the best being a 7.5 lbs brown caught on a Airflo Di 5 Sixth Sense line with a small bugger. Depth was required on the side of the rip as the upper water columns was not providing much sport and a count of 45 seconds was dropping the line to around 20 feet before using a slow retrieve……due to the depth and the size of the fish a good typical brown trout battle ensued and after about 8 mins we were able to beach this beautiful New Zealand brown trout.
It was released and swam away happily back into the depths to give another angler and opportunity to catch a fine trout while fly fishing New Zealand.
If you want to really give your self the best chance to catch fish like fly fishing New Zealand be sure to get some practice in…..get that casting sorted, practice, practice, practice …. it does pay off when it comes time for your big trip or even just your one or two weekends away, your rod will be bent more often and you will become one of the 10% who catch 90% of the fish.
Book your Fly Fishing New Zealand Expedition now and get in on some of this great action.
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.
New Zealand Fly Fishing season starts soon……..are you ready? Read my post from the previous season on some things to prepare yourself for the New Zealand fly fishing season.
I have had a busy winter teaching skiing in Queenstown and have a few more weeks to go until I really turn my full attention to the pursuit of catching trout but have started going thru all the gear prep to make my New Zealand fly fishing season awesome, it takes a bit of time but is well worth working thru now so when it’s time to hit those rivers the rods gets well bent.
I finally got the chance to sit down and whip up a quick vid from last season late summer’s fly fishing and I am working on another, just a little tease to get you all fired up for the new fly fishing season. I hope you enjoy this little bit of New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions footage!
Tips to remember when filming New Zealand fly fishing action:
Stand still …….don’t walk and film!
Don’t worry about zooming in/out stay on wide.
Rinse aid on camera lens if filming underwater footage of trout!
Remember to get more out takes for editing.
My good friend and guiding buddy Chris has written a good piece on the opportunities that are around between now and the season opening. Like him, I will be getting amongst it over the next few weeks as time allows to chase those fish on the whitebait frenzy and trying to hit some of those rainbows before they run for spawning.
Make sure you book your New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions trip for the season early to ensure you can get the time period you want.
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!
The good fishing is still on around the Southern Lakes and Queenstown with the fine weather continuing. The weather has been hot and the rivers around Queenstown and the Southern lakes are low and the fish are fairly spooky due to this and the increased angler pressure so being a master of the fly fishing game up your chances along with thinking outside the box a bit.
Time of day…. mix it up …. fish get used to seeing anglers at certain times. Recently I fished a section of water behind another group who had set off at about 0800, we started on it at 1500 and found fish out and feeding happily and we hooked and landed fish easily.
A client yesterday saw benefit from fishing a large Queenstown still water with 6 fish in 1hr ….. sometime rivers are not the be all end all ….. all the fish hit bully imitations.
Don’t piss (more on this later) around, get your fly on the water with limited or no false casts. Flies only catch fish when they are on/in the water and have good presentation ….. the so called “trick” casts work …. learn how to use the right one at the right time.
Find areas where cool streams of water enter the main (warmer river) here you will find fish eager to feed.
Make the most out of your opportunities ….. even if you semi spook a fish be patient and change gear (try a streamer swung in front of it’s nose once you have let things settle for 5 mins).
If you are hooked up on a big fish watch what is happening to the fish and where it’s heading. It will tend to take care of the slack line with out the need for you to get onto the reel immediately. A big fish went begging the other day after we had fooled it, the angler took their eye off the fish to get all the slack line sorted and the fish almost new and proceeded to go down the wrong side of a big rock and into no mans land never to emerge again …. ahh bugger!
Go hard early, know where the limit is of your gear and knots and get that fish sorted out!
Sighted fish on the nymph …. get rid of the indicator ….. watch the fish.
Refusal on the dry? Drag maybe but whatever change that bloody fly and put a similar possibly smaller pattern on and cast again and with no drag occurring.
Be nice to your fellow anglers …. a good way to satrt with this is to leave a note on your vehicle as to wether you went upstream or downstream (or how far you intend on fishing) and the time you started.
My friend and guiding colleague Chris Dore has written a blog recently with some good info that ties into this check it out here.
So here is a quick story from New Years day. After a few drinks the evening before with my client to see the new year in we were on a scenic big fish river river and I was wandering along being ever so stealthy looking for trout to put my guy onto. The mix of the evening before drinks and several morning cups of java and possibly a bit of age creaping in I decided to have my 3hundreth piss of the day. My client was on the other side of the river and a bit downstream so I just did what I needed to right there and then. The wind was the blessed southerly so I sent my stream with the wind and into the grass a touch upsteam of where I was standing. Great, job done time to get back to spotting trout. Two more steps, shit there’s a bug fush and I promptly throw myself to the ground and right into my own piss. The only good news is we caught him! It’s amazing what a guide will do to get you into fish. Happy New Year!
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!
The Queenstown fly fishing season has ended. Gear cleaned, tidied and packed away ready for next season ….. well almost but more about that in a while. Maybe a quick round up first.
Looking back to when the Queenstown fly fishing season opened back in Oct 2010 the weather was brilliant all the way thru to pretty much Xmas. Lots of blue bird days, little wind, lots of mayfly and then brown beetle and the fishing was hot. All the fish were in great condition and we manged to get some early season crackers to the bank, including the one pictured below which was the fish of the season ….13lbs of New Zealand trophy brown trout.
In fact the weather was so good that many rivers were starting to get to levels you would usually see in late March/Arpil. This was as good a spring as I can remember. The farmers were not happy with what appeared to be a bad drought about to slap them round the chops. I was worried too and actually ended up getting some Airflo Ridge Clear floaters to have more stealth on presenting to fish as the rivers continued to get lower and lower.
Then the heavens opened and the Queenstown fly fishing changed abruptly. Right around Xmas mother nature decided to make up for the lack of rain over the last 3 months and we got slapped by a series of big floods. A big chunk of the South Island got hammered and all of a sudden the fly fishing became a bit more tricky. Summer, what summer! Spring was our summer. We got some ok weather but most of the time it was a battle against the weather to get good fishing in and we had to be prepared to change tactics and fish a variety of techniques you would not regularly deploy over our mid summer terrestrial months. It worked, we continued to bank some seriously great fish.
One of the great things aside from the really big trout we caught this season was the food on expeditions. A new cooking device this year added to my arsenal allowing for roasts in the back country.
It’s pretty awesome to be able to catch fish like this and then sit down to a meal of roast pork (lamb, beef or chicken), wicked crackling with home grown corn, potatoes, carrots and beans in a back country hut or in a few cases right beside the river!
Autumn, is a time a lot of local anglers really look forward to. Big mayfly hatches and fat brown trout. It certainly seemed this years late season hatches were very hit and miss with not many days of really decent action on the dry fly. Maybe it was the floods over Xmas New Year that destroyed a great deal of the habitat where the mayfly lay the eggs. There was still some bloody good end of season fishing but again you needed to think a little outside the box to be successful.
I was lucky enough to get a late season trip in with a good buddy and very fine angler which was a great deal of fun. Actually getting to do some real fishing for myself … a rare thing these days it seems.
The fishing right up to the end of the season remained great particularly in some of the back country resident rainbow water.
The weather has continued to be most pleasant with temps about 3 deg above norm in May around New Zealand. I have tidied up most of my gear and have things ready for next season start (Oct 1st 2011), but not all of it has been put way by any means. There are some great winter options around the Southern Lakes. Queenstown fly fishing does not stop over the winter. Yes a great deal of our normal water is closed for spawning and the focus on most peoples minds is fun in the snow. For those like myself who seem to have a deep passion to fish, fish and fish ….. keep those rods handy and get amongst some of the many Queenstown fly fishing opportunities we have over the winter.
If winter fishing isn’t your thing, fair enough but make sure to book your expedition for next season early.
Fly fishing Queenstown New Zealand in May the temps have dropped. All the lowland streams are closed for spawning but we still have our high country water open until the end of the month. The fly fishing is pretty bloody good! Make sure you come and get some before the season closes!
Here’s a wee video from a recent trip:
It look s much better in HD which you can see by going to my You Tube Channel and then selecting 720p HD
A quick tip. Wise choices can get you away from fishing at those tricky browns that are in spawning mode at this late stage of the season. A recent foray saw us go past a tributary that sees quite high numbers of browns. Getting high up on the main stem where the resident rainbows were all go, chomping on anything we threw at them.
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!