Tag Archives: new zealand fly fishing
Fly fishing guiding has many components to making a successful day for both the client and the guide. At the end of the day it is teamwork. A good guide will work hard for the client but they can only do so much, the client has to be able to deliver the goods on the stick to achieve their fly fishing goals.
Setting up the situation for a successful outcome is paramount. Whether you are the client or the guide here are some things to consider that will help to set you up for a successful guided fly fishing day in New Zealand (and probably anywhere).
- Who – who are they/you? Beginner, novice, intermediate or expert. Have they/you fly fished in New Zealand before and your/this area in specific?
- What – What do they/you want to achieve? Is it realistic goal? There may need to be a moving of the posts to make it an achievable and successful outcome. This is something that may be negotiated between client and guide.
- Why – Why do they/you want to achieve this? Clearly knowing why will help set the steps in place to bring the goal to fruition.
- Where – Where is the best water/weather to deliver this? When is the best time to do it?
- How – How are you/they going to meet the goal/s?
When these questions have been worked through a good plan can be put in place to deliver the goods and make both client and guide happy.
There are many variables that can alter the outcome in fly fishing (I am sure I don’t need to list them). Clear communication about what is happening or has happened will often necessitate a change to the plan and an altering of the goal to make for a successful outcome. Being flexible and honest are both desirable and necessary.
So as for the fly fishing since my last post and the big deluge it has been an interesting and mixed bag. The floods did a lot of damage and moved fish around, altered rivers and swept aquatic insect life clean. Luckily the fish have been keen to look at the surface eating all kinds of terrestrials, small nymphs down deep and big streamers in the right place.
We have seen no rain now for 6 weeks and many rivers are getting very low and warm so looking for cold water has become important. The aquatic bug life is coming back and the latter part of season should fish well, particularly if we get some welcome freshes thru the system soon.
My good old fishing pack finally gave up the ghost so I decided to splash out a little and get a new Sitka Overnight 30 pack ….. absolutely brilliant piece of kit. If you are after something to use as either a day pack or a overnighter this is the baby. Whether you fish, hunt or enjoy both.
Don’t forget that the end of season often produces the options for big fat fish and our late season mayfly action. Many anglers have done there dash and miss out on what I think is one of the two best times of the season to be on the water taking full advantage of the conditions and to have some stunning fly fishing days. Book your fly fishing expedition for the late season session now!
Queenstown fly fishing since Xmas ……. one word WEATHER! After a December of dry weather and low flows mother nature has balanced itself! Rain and more rain with several rivers beating historical high flows the lakes are on the verge of flooding and the severe gale force winds just adding insult to injury.
Luckily for me just prior to Xmas I decided purchase a Sitka Cloudburst jacket to make Queenstown fly fishing a more comfortable affair when the weather turns as even in the harshest of conditions I am still out there guiding. Thank goodness I did as I have almost lived in it since the 29th Dec bar a few days when the weather has pleasant. It’s a great bit of kit and one that I would now not ever be with out! I have stayed dry in even serious deluges and have enjoyed the wind resistant protection on cold days with snow to low winter levels and to top if off I seem to be able to get closer to my prey and certainly spook less (not that I spook that many anyway). It also rolls up into not much so is a great space saver compared to bigger, heavier jackets.
So needless to say the Queenstown fly fishing has not been the easiest but with a little thinking outside the box we have not resorted to lake edges (yet) but have been able to catch fish on moving water each day. From the hot days of xmas with 20ft leaders and fine presentations things certainly changed. Cicadas (there has still been some heat in the weather too) willow grubs, streamers, czech nymping, mayfly hatches, you name it we have done it.
Windy days have made us shift to shorter leaders and single fly set ups …… turn it over and get it on the water upstream of the trout.
Perseverance and patience along with guile and cunning and good skill level on the rod has paid off with having very limited amount of clean water to fish. A few times we have spent a whole day on only 100m of water but still had opportunities and hook ups. The old adage of don’t leave good water and trout to find some more (maybe) has paid off.
Dead drifted (under an indicator along bank edges) or swung streamers have also proved deadly on big fish in dirty water with some very exciting days watching hogs chase our often wounded looking bait.
To be fair tho its like throwing a dog on a chain trying to cast some of the things we are throwing …… stop soft!
As I mentioned dries have been on the menu from time to time with some nice fish eating off the surface on a variety of morsels including cicadas.
Rainbows love smashing cicadas at this time of year and we had a great day amongst the maelstrom of weather on a small stream enjoying just so!
You just had to watch closely and decide if they were eating it on the first smash or smashing it orca style before swing ing round to eat the stunned cicada.
Some days you just need to change your expectations and do the things you don’t normally do, probably because you are not very good at them …… turn it into an opportunity to get better. Willow grubbing can often be one to shy away from but for many anglers proves very exciting fishing and usually is close quarters combat on very fit, healthy fish.
Speaking of expectations some days you need to be happy with smaller fish too. A 3lb trout out of water you can jump across is often as challenging and satisfying as a 8lb+ from medium/large water. The perspective of the angler needs to change to suit conditions ….. some are more successful at this than others.
Prior to all this crap weather I had the pleasure to go fish with my father and my bro over the xmas period ….. this is something that hasn’t for a long time. One of the many things that stood out was a mid afternoon visit to a great bit of water …. walking 300m or so and putting bro onto a nice 7lb brown before being back to the truck and home with a Steam Brew beer in hand and home again in under 2 hrs to hang with our families.
Great fishing with you ……. lets do it again!
Now for my weird but true fish story those who follow my facebook page may be waiting for.
Fish! You see it? Yep right there. He’ll eat off the surface. Run this over him.
First cast is on the money and a bigger snout than expected comes up and eats it. Angler goes a bit early but has enough slack line and manages to hook up. Battle for about 1min and fly comes out.
Bugger! He was pretty big.
The bug fush slides in right next to where we are standing just off the edge of a deep drop off into a fast run.
Give me that rod (swap and give him the other I have already set up) and hurl this (big articulated streamer) upstream of him and dead drift it.
Watch the fish and hit him if he eats it!
Bullshit it’s never going to happen…lets roll on and find the next one. No give it a shot ….sometimes funny shit happens!
First cast (a lob really) the artic comes beautifully thru the seam edge and bug fush turns and eats it. Angler is so surprised he doesn’t even strike.
F*$k me … he ate it!
Go on give it to him again and if he eats this time strike! No way it can happen again ….surely? Only one way to find out right!
2 casts later and bug fush eats it again and this time my guy strips strikes him and bang we are on and got a great 7lber to the bank! You may think that this was a rainbow but no a bloody hungry brown. Several hours later my guy can still not get over. It was just one of those crazy things that sometimes happens.
Right that’s me for 2 weeks …. I’m off with the family camping somewhere for 2 weeks and then back into guiding at the start of Feb. I suspect that with the rivers getting so well turned over fish should be looking at the surface to eat as in many places the invertebrate life is back to square one!
Don’t forget to book your trip in Feb March or April and May …. I still have some space left and the weather will come right and the Queenstown fly fishing will be good
Queenstown fly fishing is good as Xmas is fast approaching. A wee fresh came thru and livened the rivers up again which was well needed as the water has been getting low. Nymphing has been the most productive still but the terrestrial action is starting with Manuka flowering and lots of blow flies appearing ….. the fish are starting to look at the surface again.
Make sure you check out my Facebook page Fly Fish New Zealand to keep up to date with the fishing as I am posting more regularly there than my blog.
Other news … a good friend of mine JDub has just gone into commercial beer making (ex-head wine maker for Chard Farm) with Queenstown Brewers “Steam Brew”. Very refreshing after a days Queenstown fly fishing. It available at the Queenstown New World supermarket and most of Queenstowns liquor stores.
Even in mid summer Queenstown fly fishing can throw some unpredictable weather at you so a Cloudburst Jacket from Sitka is a great option to keep the cold wind off you and keep you dry in the heaviest of downpours and keep you concealed from your elusive quarry with it’s amazing camo technology. Well worth getting some of this kit!
Check out Manic Tackle Projects new website and note they are now the Simms guys for New Zealand!
Tip – some situations a nymph or a dry fly just wont cut it. The shot below was one such fish in a tricky spot on the other side of a fallen tree with tons of over hanging branches. There was no easy way to get at it from below so we snuck around to the top of the fallen tree and delivered an accurate cast across the small channel and let it swing from the far bank towards the tree ….. the fish came skipping across the surface in hot pursuit and nailed it (it looked a lot like a skipjack tuna) …… the real fun started trying to negotiate the obstacles to land the fish!
Have a great Xmas and remember BOOK YOUR TRIP!
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.
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!
The Queenstown Fly fishing season is underway with great conditions both weather and water wise since the opening on the 1st of October.
I managed to get out for a couple of days fishing with a good friend and look around and have a bit of an explore. I always try to look at a new bit of water come the opening of the Queenstown Fly fishing season. It always amazes me that after many seasons of fishing and guiding you can still find some little gems to excite you. The one we hit on day two was one of those streams I have been saying I have to fish that and just not got around to it but this season after a nice tiki tour around Southland we did hit it and we had a very relaxing day with approximately 30 fish hooked, landed or lost.
The company was pleasant and the walking very easy which was just what the doc ordered after our first day which had involved a long walk to inspect a little fished piece of water that gave us some good results on big fish. In fact I lost a hog that may have gone near 10lbs and a landed a fantastic small 3.5lb silver fish (amongst a few others) in superb condition, possibly a fresh run fish into the system full of whitebait.
Speaking of which, the whitebait season has been one of the best in many years down this way and there are very good reports coming in form all over New Zealand and I expect to see this translate into some very well conditioned trout moving up the rivers after they have finished gorging themselves on this NZ delicacy.
The Queenstown Fly Fishing rivers are clear and full ish with some getting snow melt in the afternoon, the mayfly have been out on each of the different streams I fished or guided on over the last week and generally speaking the fishing has been productive on both nymphs and dries. The predominate method we have been using has been sight fishing but blinding in the right areas has also produced good results. Getting down deep in the right water and being in tight control of your line seems to help.
Early season tip: Relax, enjoy the environment, appreciate the company, slow down, the fish are bonus but will come if you get the basic stuff right.
Don’t forget that until November the back country waters remain closed but when they do open on the 1st Nov they provide some amazing options. Read the regulations and make sure you know what has changed since last season.
Book your Queenstown Fly Fishing Expedition now and remember that early season can be some of the best fishing during the whole year with hungry trout that haven’t seen a much pressure from anglers.
Fly Fishing Queenstown has one month to go before the 2011-2012 new season opens. Ye haa!
Like fishing anywhere to be successful fly fishing Queenstown it pays to get your gear ready prior to the start of the season.
I find it is a good idea to check through all your fly fishing equipment in the month or two before the fishing season starts.
There’s nothing worse than turning up for your first day’s fly fishing to find that something is missing, the floating line is sinking, the flies are mixed up or the wrong size, the reel has jammed up and x number of other things that make you look and feel like a complete muppet!
I am sure these and many more problems have happened to us all at some time or another so let’s see what we can do to make to our fly fishing Queenstown and other waters go smoothly throughout the coming year.
- Check guides and be sure there’s no damage.
- Check reel seat.
- Clean your rod.
- Get rod repairs done
- Clean the cage and remove any grit or dirt
- Check the mechanisms and oil only as advised by the manufacturer
- Check springs and pawls
- Wind the lines and backing off the reel onto a line winder.
- Once you have the line and the backing, you can re-wind, checking the backing for rot or damage as you go.
- Now check the connection to the line. If in doubt re-do the connection.
- Before you start to wind the line onto the reel clean the line; a soft cloth, soap and water is all you need. Use ordinary soap! Do not use detergents like washing up liquid as these tend to damage the line. Run the line through the soft, soapy cloth to the end and rinse through the cloth in clean water by winding it back again.
- Treat your floating line with silicone to improve its performance.
- Check the braided leader loop for wear (if you use one) and check that the line has not cracked where it joins it. If in doubt, replace the loop.
- Check your shooting head lines for wear where it joins the running line.
- Replace all the leaders with new ones. I like to use tapered leaders and add tippets to suit the length I want to fish.
- Check out your leader wallet and re- stock with new leaders.
- Tidy flies
- Remove used and rusty flies
- Tie up flies or buy in replacements
- Empty out and check tools, priest, temperature gauge, scales, de-barb pliers and any other bits and pieces you take with you.
- Empty all pockets and remove dross
- Check: zingers, nippers, scissors and knot tying tools if you have them
- Replace flies in fly boxes
- Check sunglasses for damage and clean
- Check for holes and repair or replace
- Check the net release if you use one
WADERS & BOOTS
- Check for waders for leaks and repair or replace as necessary
- Clean waders
- Check boot soles and heels are not loose – replace if necessary
- Clean boots
WET WEATHER GEAR
- Make sure it is waterproof and check for holes or tears – repair or replace if necessary.
- Check the lanyard attachment and the rubber shoe at the base.
- Fly Fishing Queenstown and any fresh water in New Zealand requires a fishing license. These can be purchased online. F&G NZ have made it easier than ever before (apparently) to do this see this excerpt from a recent email from them:
“We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to beat the rush and renew your Fishing licence online through the Fish & Game online ordering system. We are confident you will find this a simple and convenient way to purchase your 2011/2012 Fishing licence.
Step 1- Follow the link below
Step 2- Accept the terms and conditions when you arrive at the online ordering site.
Step 3- Enter your 2010/2011 licence number and your date of birth into ‘Previous Customer Details’. This will bring up your details for renewing your licence. Licences purchased online will be supplied as an attractive, durable plastic card. Plastic licences will be mailed within 5 working days of being ordered. Best of luck for the Fishing season ahead – you can order your licence now at: https://fishandgame.eyede.com/public/get_page.php”
This should give you something to do over the next month before the Queenstown fly fishing season opens and you are fly fishing Queenstown waters for trout that have not seen an angler for 5 months or so!
Check out the Fly Fishing Queenstown Expeditions I offer and get in touch if you want to customize anything to make your fishing vacation even more memorable