Tag Archives: rainbow trout

Spotting NZ Trout

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

Spotting NZ trout is a bit of an art form in a funny way and some anglers become very adept at it, others do not. I often get asked how on earth did you spot that fish? You know sometimes I don’t even know! Many years of walking rivers and looking at water is a big chunk of it. If you don’t do it on a regular basis it is probably a wee bit more tricky.

Here are some of my tell tale signs for spotting NZ trout:

1. It’s an add on to the river….. I am looking first and foremost for something that is not quite right, a touch out of place. A bit like Sesame Street … this one’s not like the other one! I am never looking for a fish.

Spotting NZ Trout

2. Movement ….. does it move? Yes, well then it’s a fish (unless it’s a bit of weed – this had me going a few weeks back thinking I had been spotting NZ trout). No, watch a minute or two and see if it does move. Still unsure, make a cast.

Spotting NZ Trout

3. Shape ….. does it lie the right way? If it’s lying across the current flow it’s is not likely to be a fish although on the odd occasion I have seen large trout lying deep and appear to be sideways to the flow although where they were actually lying they are directly into the current at that depth  i.e. an eddie pool.

Spotting NZ Trout

4. Colour and flash ….. Not much really but rainbows especially can give themselves away with the red stripe but it pays not to use this as you will miss many that are not coloured up but it may help it some cases.  Often fish can appear as a grey smudge in the water and you might see a flash as it turns to one side to feed.

Spotting NZ Trout

5. Shadow…… A fish will cast a shadow from it to the bottom, using sunlight (if you have any) correctly helps.

Spotting NZ Trout

6. Go slow, slower than you think ….. no slower still! Many anglers miss spotting opportunities just by walking too quickly.

Spotting NZ Trout

7. Look into the water not at it …… good Polaroid glasses are key. I use Maui Jim

Spotting NZ Trout

8. When necessary choose to have back drop. Great on cloudy grey days. Spot where you can and blind where you need too.

Spotting NZ Trout

9. Know where to look ……  Pool eyes are where most people see fish easily. Other likely spots include: lips and drop offs. Seams and bubble lines = food = fish. Structure …… rocks just behind or just in front, logs too. The outside of mild bends just on the seam and especially if the bank has little bays. The tail of pools just before the next rapid starts. Generally where the water is knee deep and has one or more of the above.

Spotting NZ Trout

10. Shitty places to get to because of foliage or river structure ….. as the season goes on this can really be important.

Spotting NZ Trout

 

These tips will get you seeing more trout and if you can see them you can catch more of them!

Spotting NZ Trout

Summer is on the way so make sure to book your fly fishing expedition with me now!

Fly Fishing Queenstown – Cicada’s not the always the answer

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.

Fishing Queenstown

Fishing Queenstown

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.

Fishing Queenstown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

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.

Fishing Queenstown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

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.

Fishing Queenstown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

I think a teenage boy really appreciated the big kai, they seem to have appetites of horses.

Fishing Queenstown

Fishing Queenstown

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.

Get in touch with me to make your late season booking with NZ Fly Fishing Expeditions.

 

Hot weather continues for fly fishing near Queenstown New Zealand

The weather has continued to be unseasonably warm and the rivers have all been quite low but in excellent condition and producing some very good fishing.  Fishing a dry fly has certainly been great on a number of days, especially on the rainbow rivers where they have been lifting to take all manner of terrestrial patterns. The usual go to dries have all been working.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - nice rainbow trout

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - nice rainbow trout

Brown beetle are out and about. It won’t be long until the green arrive. Cicadas are arriving early too. Driving back from yesterdays outing where we fished a remote Otago back country stream using the odd combo of one rod fishing dry upstream and the other rod spey style, skagit on a switch rod hitting the water the dry could not cover (both produced about the same amount of fish) the cabbage trees were in full bloom. In fact I can’t remember seeing them blooming so much. A big bloom of flowers on the cabbage tree  suggests a long hot and dry summer ahead. Given it was 31 dec C in the shade where we were yesterday and of course much hotter out on the river stones I would agree. In a month we will probably be praying for rain!

Here’s a quick clip from some fishing last week:

It looks like we are going to get a quick skiff of rain tonite and tomorrow morning and then it’s back to hot sunny weather right thru until the weekend, maybe longer!

It’s time to start considering longer leaders and finer tippets as the rivers get lower and clearer. Smaller flies may also be a good option. Yesterday we got a refusal from a fish (it swung and looked 3 times on the same drift) so we promptly put a smaller, very similar pattern on and nailed him on the next cast.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - awesome water and a hot day

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - awesome water and a hot day

INQUIRE NOWSend Inquiry about your Fly Fishing Expedition