Tag Archives: fly
Fly Fishing Queenstown and local area over the last month has not been the easiest in regard to the weather. The typical spring weather has been bringing thru plenty of fronts delivering wind and rain making the rivers rivers go up and down like yo yos. The good news is on the 1st Nov the back country water opened and now we have our full array of fly fishing Queenstown water to hit.
Even tho the weather has not been easy the fishing has been good…..getting geared up to beat the cold stormy days and choosing the right water to fish and then hitting the good stuff in the breaks in between has certainly got us in to some good fish.
The small waters have been fishing well too on those shitty days.
Almost with out exception the fish have been in great nick
Most of the time we have been getting down deep with big heavy stuff and running a small dropper rig which has been doing the real damage…….but only when we have been at depth. Making sure you can deliver the casting goods is crucial to success … here are the basic 5 essentials.
Last week I was out guiding and 3 out of the 5 days the weather was exceptional and my client had a ball with learning some new techniques and getting some cracking fish. Not only some big boys but plenty, a conservative count would have been around 50 for the week. Amongst these was a brown trout that went 2 ounces under the magic 10lbs ….. oh so close and a big bow that went 11lbs to finish an outstanding week of fly fishing.
I made a mistake one day …… should have been in the waders…….freezing southerly wind and snow showers coming thru the bush line. Spent most of the day running on the spot and doing burpees to stay warm!
Love the back country when you stumble across a good size brown …. this fish had a brief look at a nymph and then wouldn’t eat anything until ……… well the pic says it all.
During this day I managed to break some ribs…..big boulder rolled and I was keen to get my legs out of crush zone and threw my body sideways in the air but being no gymnast I came down heavily side on into a small but friggin hard boulder straight into the the side of my chest……..3 hours walk out in some tough terrain to get to my supply of pain killers! This did not stop me guiding the next 2 days although we changed plans and fished some easier water with great results.
The week finished with this bad boy ……… well done MG …….. see you again soon!
So all up a great week of fly fishing Queenstown …… if you want some of this be sure to book your trip now!
The New Zealand Fly Fishing 2012 season is well underway amidst the usual spring time weather patterns that the Roaring 40′s throws our way. Its nothing that some good gear, layering up and keeping warm and dry won’t stop you getting onto some good fishing.
The temps have been up and down. Both air and water temps, big rains and snow melt have discolored rivers and streams on and off, but when the water temps have risen above about 9 deg C there has been some pretty good fishing, even some good dry fly action. Just yesterday after a big rain storm I hit my local piece of water choose a spot and sat and waited. It didn’t take long to spot a nice brown cruise out of the willows circle around and disappear again. By the time he came back I was rigged up and tossed and nice big terrestrial into his path and wam, bam thank you mam!
It just goes to show how good the fishing can be at your doorstep!
To be honest though the dry fly has been mostly mayfly occurring sometime after lunch with the odd exception.
Here’s an interesting series of pics showing a nice brown trout coming up to take an imitation mayfly:
When the mayflies have not been on, getting heavy and going deep generally produces results….I like to tow a wee emerging style light nymph in behind. The big stuff gets you down and Mr Fluff emulates the emerging mayfly nymph which takes the fish 90% of the time.
When the going gets tough wiping out a big streamer pattern and dead drifting down banks can be a good way to pull out some great fish …. this one actually took just as the swing started.
Having really good line control and using slack line presentation was the undoing of this fish …. close quarters combat in difficult pocket water.
Make sure to book your Fly Fishing Expedition NOW
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.
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.
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.
Since the big Xmas floods the weather has been quite indifferent with a new front every other day bring wind then rain hard on it’s heels. When we have had fine weather its been great but the fine weather holes have been quite small before the next front has slid in. This has meant picking where to be on any given day to be a very important part of providing a successful days outing. Some of the rivers in areas that got hit hard by those big xmas floods are still recovering with trout numbers a little low – but rest assured they are be moving back up the systems slowly but surely.
Cicadas are about all over the shop at the moment and on the hot windy days plenty are ending up in the water for hungry trout to engulf.
Speaking of engulfing food my new camp cooker has proved to be worth every cent. Enjoying Greek spiced roast leg of lamb, pork roast, amazing beef fillet (even some wild Hare loin), fabulous breads and perfectly cooked vege’s from our garden has been a great add to the Multi day Safari expeditions. Of course when we move away overnight from the vehicle we are back to a bit more basic food. Overall I think I have been putting weight on - need to walk faster – yeah right!
The weather looks looks like it will remain very changeable over the next week although we might see a good high for Friday, Sat and Sun ridge in – great for the weekend warriors. The patterns look like it will stay this way for the next couple of weeks so plan well and have a couple of backstops up your sleeve and make those first cast count!