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Fly Fishing Queenstown be ready for the 2011/12 season!

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

Fly Fishing Queenstown has one month to go before the 2011-2012 new season opens. Ye haa!

Fly Fishing Queenstown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

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


  • 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


  • 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

Fly Fishing Queenstown

Fly Fishing Queenstown

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

Make sure to book your2011-12  fly fishing Queenstown expedition with me now.

New Zealand back country fly fishing waters now open

October has been and gone with some awesome fishing. Yesterday was the opening  of the NZ back country rivers with the odd exception in the Central South Island region which don’t open until early December.  The weather was amazing with a blue bird day and light southerly winds (on your tail) and I am sure anybody who got into the back country waters had a great time.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - green and brown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - green and brown

I certainly did even though I arrived late and there were several other parties of anglers ahead of me on the water, not that I saw any of them. I fished slowly for about 4hrs using both blind and sight fishing techniques and managed 15 to net with a few long line releases, nothing big all ranged between about 2lbs and 7lbs with a nice mix of rainbows trout and brown trout.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - early season high country rainbow

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - early season high country rainbow

The weather continues to be fabulous although it looks like some rain on Thursday but should clear quite quickly and another large high is ridging in. The warm weather has been producing some snow melt and keeping the flows quite high and some rivers are seeing slight discoloration as the day goes on.

Tip – get deep fast – make sure your choice of fly is in the fishes feeding zone.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - early season high country brown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - early season high country brown

I have been putting my Scott S4 6wt rod thru its paces and it’s a bloody great rod. Makes light work of head winds, can carry really heavy gear yet remains delicate for presenting small dry’s and fights fish almost like bamboo with a deep flex thru the rod. If you are in the market for what I suggest is possibly the best rod for NZ conditions get yourself the Scott S4.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - spots on brown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - spots on brown

Anybody wanting to get some fishing in during November be sure to get in touch as it will be awesome fishing and I have some space available.

Skues and Halford to the Present New Zealand Day

Skues was a nymph man, then Halford went dry.

When we see the way the press and media go on about events in our lifetime, you have to shake your head. And think fly fishing is the best. Wet or dry. A kind of escapism with the best possible conclusion. A fish. Be it a brown coloured one or a rainbow coloured one or a funny coloured one. They all count be they small or big.

So, it’s refreshing to know that for some of us the only argument going on in life is the nymph and the dry argument. Things could be much worse.

The history of angling has come far. I think that’s why it’s called History.

Skues, whose full name was George Edward MacKenzie Skues, had a mouthful of a name and so stuck with just Skues. But despite the name he managed to write “Treatyse of Fysshynge Wyth an Angle” in 1885. Whether our language has progressed since then is debatable. He also wrote “Minor tactics of the Chalk Stream” in 1910. More major tactics are required these days. Booking flights to NZ notwithstanding.
Both books make excellent bedtime reading though.

In those days they used the term “angle”. Which was all well-and-good when you had a mobile sundial and a good angle on things. Especially an angle that hooked you a fish for dinner in the days prior to Catch-and-Release.

He wasn’t a bad tier of the fly either.

Interim: A good song to have running through your head when the fish are Spooky or Spooked though is this. And if the music doesn’t tickle your fancy the images are a pretty good representation of the best films ever.



Rod technology has come a long way, too. From silly underwear with spears, to greenheart rods, to hexagonal bamboo, then impregnated hexagonal bamboo, to high-tech graphite, all in the space of a few decades or two on our human timescale. I’m just hoping that it will never come to wearing Kevlar vests and using bazookas.

Yet we find ourselves in not a dissimilar situation to our casting brothers from times gone by. And we still catch fish like they did. The bloke with the fish-stick is entirely responsible though, and what he can hook he can land under the right circumstances. Even with a horrible Nor’ Wester.
And if all else fails, there’s always the trout-tickling option, although I’ve never seen it done myself. My last experiment with the TT maneuver was most amusing, but sadly just had me lying in a prone horizontal position tickling algae-covered rocks all afternoon.

Now, obviously, I’m not fortunate enough to have lived through the generations of those that have been amongst us fisher-people who love to simply be by a river with a rod and await a hatch.

So, I’ll continue with the not-so-latter-day-take on recent fishing events.

To the Land of the New Zealand Land. The Land of the Beautiful Scenery, with the fish that care not a dot about Skues’ or Halford’s issues about dry vs wet.

At the end of the day, trout, whatever their colour, are much like ourselves:
They need to eat.

As humanoids we have decided to put this into a 3-part daily thing. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Trout however are far cleverer than us and just eat all day. They don’t pay for delivery and don’t worry if the food hasn’t arrived in 30 minutes as one of their brothers or sisters downstream will happily pick up what’s missed, clung to a small rolling stone or just floating by on the surface.

I’m not a statistician, but I reckon the chances of one of those bugs whizzing past with a hook attached to some furry or feathery size 20 and up hook is pretty remote. Yet we land the odd one sometimes.

Fishing Poem

The Nymph v The Dry

Nymphs run deep
I’t’s their very nature
Dry flies float high
It’s there nature, too
But both get gobbled from under or above
By fishes that want a meal
And hence the Human invention of the hook

Funniest River Names

Nile. Should have been called Miles and Miles and Miles River. ‘Cos it is.

Wangapeka. Beautiful river to fish on even if you catch no fish. You can always have a giggle about Woodpeckers and Rivers.

Ribble (Lancashire, UK). Never ripples. Always in flood.

Upukerora. When I first heard the name I was baffled by the sound. Later on though I realised it meant, “If you pack her, you gotta wear her”.

And I’m lucky enough to have a wife who doesn’t mind a day out fishing.

Tight Lines to anyone who reads this. And slack lines to those that don’t.









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