Tag Archives: mayfly
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!
Cicadas are still on the trout menu in the high country on a hot afternoon and can be quite a joyful experience for the fly fisherman but as Autumn is now sliding in and the days are getting shorter and temps are cooling down a bit the ciacada’s will not be on the menu for much longer but the fish are becoming more active and feeding on mayfly nymphs. We have been targeting rocky riffles in some of the rivers and getting some great success with the nymph (no indicator when possible) and also in the afternoons using a Cicada and sometimes a dropper off it.
My special pattern X has also continued to solicit responses from difficult fish where all else has failed.
It’s certainly getting closer now to when the mad mayfly hatches start that we all look forward to near the end of the season down here in the lower South Island streams and rivers. Remember all the lowland waters close the last day of April so make the most of it between now and then and the back country waters close on the last day of May.
The wind has still been the main issue to beat but all the rivers have been fishing very well in the Southland and Otago region with low to normal flows for this time of year. Brown beetle are out and about as well as the green beetles. Good mayfly hatches in the mid afternoon. Its all good and its all go. We have been spotting and catching good trout feeding on emergers in riffle waters and my clients have been having a ball regardless of the wind – see some tips in my previous posts.
I am back to Queenstown 2 moro for 2 days before my next clients arrive and will have a chance to catch up with my family before my next multi day trip based from Lunsden, Southland. The weather is looking terrific next week with a big high ridging in over the lower South Island, the first in quite a while. We will get to target some big New Zealand trout and will look to get into a Fiordland fishery for a day or maybe even an overnight mission. May a chance to have a crack at fishing a mouse pattern after dark for the big brown and rainbow trout cruising the shoreline whacking mice as they swim.
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It’s not often I actually kill a trout but yesterday we had an opportunity to show a nice 4.5 lb jack fish the priest. After filleting (amazing color red, orange flesh) the trout I had a poke around in the stomach and found a good amount of the usual caddis and mayfly nymphs, a number of blow flies and best of all green beetles. These will be around now thru until Xmas and the trout love them. There are some reasonable mayfly hatches occurring in the afternoons.
The rivers are all running at low levels for this time of year in most of Southland and are very clean. It’s certainly quite unusual for this time of year for them to be so low. The snow is holding well in the mountains still so when we do end up getting some warmer, wet weather we will get some good flushes – its just a matter of when.
The fishing has been excellent with very good condition brown trout being caught and in the rainbow waters still finding trout that have yet to spawn.
I am based down in Lumsden, Southland at present and ducking and diving around the wind to get some excellent fishing and have a couple of trips coming up that might see us nudging into Fiordland.
Stay tuned in for more info coming and remember to book your fly fishing expedition so you can make sure you have your time and guide secured.
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!
Thursday as promised the storm had passed and snow was lying low in the mountains we shot down to the Upper M for the afternoon. The river was still up and slightly discoloured but clean enough to spot to about waist deep. We found some nice trout and managed to hook 2 – one to the bank which was about a 5.5 lb jack fish in excellent condition. Very light mayfly hatch around 3 o’clock but no real surface activity.
Easter Friday saw us in Central for the day on the M with excellent conditions, blue bird and no wind. My beginners managed 4 to the bank nothing big, nice 2-3 lbs fish. In the back ground the sound of distant gun fire was echoing thru the valley due to the great Easter bunny hunt – teams of 10 head out on to different farms to help clear the rabbits – each team expects over the 48 hour shoot to nail about 1000 bunnies. With 20 teams out there blasting away you can imagine the sound!
The big O has been producing some good mayfly hatches between 1 and 4 pm and resulting in some nice fresh run trout – still quite full.
Reports from friends driving past the rivers has been plenty of fisherman out enjoying the long Easter weekend with anglers vehicles parked up all over the shop.