Tag Archives: lakes
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.
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.
Well my last post showed what a ripping week my client had fly fishing to some big South Island New Zealand trout and those that looked closely at some of the photos may have been able to tell there wasn’t a whole lot of sunshine and warm weather – generally it was bloody windy, cool and wet.
That trend has continued since with front after front hammering the lower South Island and would you believe yesterday we woke to snow to quite low levels. It looked like it was the start of the heli skiing season again. Rivers have been up and down in level and some have had some quick bursts of brown water flow thru them but they clear quickly – especially as it cold up high still. The lakes are all very high – just below first flood warning level and things might get interesting if we do get some warm, wet storms now.
Terrestrial action has remained fairly quiet as it’s not yet got really warm and only the odd fish have succumbed to surface presentations. 99% of the fish we have caught have been sighted and caught on nymphs.
I have noticed there has been a switch away from the mayfly nymps being so predominant as they were early in the season and there is a lot more caddis for trout tucker on the rocks now.
So the lesson in this is keep your layers available, find your fish and be prepared to go deep to catch them.
Oh and lets all hope summer decides to arrive sometime soon!
Well it’s the time of the year that I start looking around and seeing what’s happening around the usual waters ways I fish and guide on. I also earmark some new water to investigate and do some preliminary walks without the rod just to see whats there. It’s amazing that each year I always find some very new and exciting water to play with – some of which only fishes well for certain parts of our Southern season here in New Zealand.
A recent example of this was a expedition to a remote back country lake fed by a river I know quite well from summer time fishing but had not explored the winter potential . A serious 4wd trip to get there on a stunning day had me quite excited that I would hook into stacks of rainbows lying off the river delta ready to run for spawning.
I watched the the water surface at the mouth for a bit and didn’t see any activity so decided to rig up a fast sinking rocket head line and attached a yellow rabbit – after about 1 hour with only 2 hits I decided not much was going on and went for a wander down the lake edge. I had noticed while fishing that there was some very occasional surface movement from fish and vowed that I would have a crack on the surface on my way back past.
A change of gear to a floating line saw me targeting some cruising browns but lady luck was not working for me so well. The day was clear and extremely still and my presentation in the conditions using an 9 wt rod was not so hot. What I found though was a series of little bays where springs enter the lake that all had cruising trout – certainly a days fishing to be had here later in the year (with some different gear) and hopefully when the fish are looking more to the surface and dry flies.
On the way back I stopped at mouth again and threw the floating line over the lip for a quick 20 mins and had one hit and one hook up on a nice 3 lbs rainbow trout.
So what did I learn:
1. Where some nice still waters to attack cruising brown trout later in the year.
2. If the trout are not deep try the surface – I thought its a bit like the great white shark hunting seals, the trout seemed to be cruising at about 5 feet or so below the surface and seeing there prey (small fish) silhouette from below and the charging up to attack it.
3. The vast majority of the rainbows had already run up the river for spawning - need to be there early in the winter. However it means when the river opens for the season there should be some very good fishing for rainbows in the river and also brown trout that are always present.
It’s done and dusted for another year and all us southern fish heads are down to tying flies for the winter, looking at maps so we can be ready to explore some new waters next season or if we get desperate we can head down and fish the stream mouths or the very few rivers that remain open year round (which can produce some very good fishing at times). Or we get on a plane and head north the hit the steel head runs heading out of the North Island lakes and up the rivers for spawning.
I got a fish in on the last week end of the season so was a happy man and also managed to shoot a bunny on the way home which is dinner tonight, BBQ rabbit yum! The fishing was pretty good with plentiful browns (nothing huge) up the system I choose for the last fling and had a enjoyable day. The brown trout are in spawning mode of course and occasionally proved tricky on standard style nymphs but a small very light green glow bug worked a charm on these sexed up fish. Gentle handling was the name of the game so they colud get back to what was really important – producing another generation of NZ brown trout for us to enjoy catching.
Over the next little while I wil pop in the odd report, tip and trick and maybe even some fly tying.
I am just about to start my winter ski instruction and guiding as well so no rest for the wicked.
The last week since Easter has seen some odd warm (ish) weather with quite large quanties of precip falling west of the divide with some signifacnt spill over. The eastern side has not recieved too much rain but with the temps being warmer (until now) on top of the large floods we recieved about 3 weeks ago in many areas have certainly taken a toll on the the big mayfly hatchs we normally get. Although there has been some good steady action on the lower Mataura and yesterday on the upper “X” saw a good mid afternnon hatch of mayfly with fish feeding on the sub surface on the emerger but no actual surface action.
With the cold and clear weather on us now and steady thru to Friday there should be stronger hatches and we should see trout coming to the surface to sip the mayfly a great deal more on most of the Southern rivers.
With only 9 days left to go before the lowland rivers close it’s nice to see some stable weather for a change. This season has certainly been hard due to the very chanageable weather patterns but with good local knowledge has produces some great fishing at times.
The back country rivers stay open until the end of May and if the weather patterns give us some decent weather there will be some more good fishing available for the keen angler.
I am starting to get ready for some duck shooting and have been bringing bags of feed back from Southland to feed our ponds – (evening shoots preferred) but I will get in a bit more trout fishing before I head up to Golden Bay in mid May for a wee break. I am taking some saltwater fly fishing gear in the vain hope there might be some snapper around still (they usually move on around the end of April to follow the warm water) – we will see.
My last few days of guiding have been interesting from the tuition front. An interesting point is how detrimental to good fly casting is the habit of wanting to overmuscle the rod to load it up as opposed to allowing good technique to work the rod and allow for clean excution of the presentation. It’s something we are all gulity of now and again and is probably excerbated by “hog fever” and trying too hard rather than feeling the smooth rhythm of good fly casting. To be sure powering the rod up takes musclar activity and especially so when it comes distance casting but the majority of trout we catch is in a 30 -45 ft distance using long (and sometimes very long) leaders. Having the skills to deliver an acurate cast the right length, first time can make a huge difference to the results at the end of the day…….practice your casting. Make the time to practice particularly before going on a trip. Practice casting is best done on the grass in the park and not while seeing a 8+ lbs New Zealand feeding parked in a tricky pool eye. Yes life is busy but do yourself a favour – PRACTICE – it will pay off!
Daylight saving time has changed back (thank goodness), the leaves are changing colour and there is one month left for the lowland rivers (the ones that run to the sea)these close on the last day of April and the high country rivers close at the end of May.
There is some great fishing from now until the end of the season with some good Mayfly action.
The Pommy had a very big and quite localised rain event about 2 weeks ago that created a very large flood event (it also hit the Waikaia but not as bad) which has seen debris left to very high levels up the banks and has certainly pushed fish back downstream and knocked them about. They will be moving up again.
The Oreti and Aparima have seen fresh fish moving up in last week and spawning runs are getting underway. It is no longer possible to target salmon in these systems due to the seasonal license restrictions in place from F&G. Even on poor light days blinding thru runs and riffles should produce a result or two – forget the aquarium pools unless you want to hit them after dark.
The Greenstone is now free slather (no booking system) again for all (if you have the correct licensing) until next season and is fishing well. The Caples is also fishing well and both are holding good numbers of Rainbow trout and more Brown trout are showing up in the systems. Even getting trout coming for cicadas still!
If you want to catch lots of fish, hitting the Mataura and working the riffles and waiting for the afternoon mayfly hatch is the way forward.
Quinnet salmon have been gathering at the heads of the lakes for their runs and the deltas have been productive.
Certainly now the days are shorter more gentlemanly fishing hours are available and there is some very productive fishing during the shorter light hours – particularly mid afternoon when the hatch is on!