Tag Archives: nz fly fishing
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.