Tag Archives: fish

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!

 

Good Fishing continues around the Southern Lakes and Queenstown

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.

Queenstown Fishing

 

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.

Queenstown Fishing

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!

Queenstown Fishing

Go hard early, know where the limit is of your gear and knots and get that fish sorted out!

Queenstown Fishing

Sighted fish on the nymph …. get rid of the indicator ….. watch the fish.

Queenstown Fishing

 

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!

Queenstown Fishing

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Spotting NZ Trout

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

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.

Spotting NZ Trout

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.

Spotting NZ Trout

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.

Spotting NZ Trout

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.

Spotting NZ Trout

5. Shadow…… A fish will cast a shadow from it to the bottom, using sunlight (if you have any) correctly helps.

Spotting NZ Trout

6. Go slow, slower than you think ….. no slower still! Many anglers miss spotting opportunities just by walking too quickly.

Spotting NZ Trout

7. Look into the water not at it …… good Polaroid glasses are key. I use Maui Jim

Spotting NZ Trout

8. When necessary choose to have back drop. Great on cloudy grey days. Spot where you can and blind where you need too.

Spotting NZ Trout

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.

Spotting NZ Trout

10. Shitty places to get to because of foliage or river structure ….. as the season goes on this can really be important.

Spotting NZ Trout

 

These tips will get you seeing more trout and if you can see them you can catch more of them!

Spotting NZ Trout

Summer is on the way so make sure to book your fly fishing expedition with me now!

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