Tag Archives: Southland

New Zealand Fly Fishing season fast approaching

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.


Southland Fishing and the Roaring Forties

Southland Fishing is set right amongst the roaring forties and we were seriously reminded of this a few days ago. A powerful storm blew in recording gusts in Stewart Island of 180 kph and in Queenstown and Southland of 130kph.

A friend of mine had been on one of the iconic Southland fishing waters in excellent streamer fishing conditions and nailing a few until they got blown off the water around 1400. Now for  this bloke to be blown off the water is something pretty remarkable as he will fish in pretty much anything barring lightening but this mighty force of air rushing over the Southern Alps in advance of the storm front sure did and it was probably just as well.

The damage throughout Southland and Otago was quite extensive with many large trees smashed to pieces, trees hitting cars and power lines and causing quite wide spread power loss, roofs being lifted off houses and trampolines hurled across backyards. The onslaught of wind was followed by another big downpour which then lifted already full rivers and streams more and of course made almost all in the region very discoloured.

I had to head all the way through Southland to board a ferry the next day to Stewart Island the next day and was amazed at the widespread damage.  The Roaring Forties had certainly lived up to it’s fame. I was running late for my crossing so instead of pushing to make it I decided to relax and get a later ferry. This gave me an opportunity to do some Southland Fly Fishing. I drove up into the head of a catchment and found one of the small tribs to be cleanish to about mid shin deep…..dirty deeper than that. Well with 2 hours to kill I went for a wee wander with the 5wt and low and behold by using a fly specially designed for such conditions hey presto 2 nice fish to the bank. Both around 5.5lbs and really fat.

Southland fishing



It was time to get across to Rakiura (Stewart Island) to do what needed to be done and done it was with me returning to Southland with a couple of nice bags of fresh blue cod and a bit of whitetail deer. Ahh,  Southland fly fishing ….. what a place.

Southland Fishing



On a brighter note during my return drive through Southland Fishing  country back to Queentown some of the rivers were more of a dirty green color, a sure sign that they are getting close to fishable again. Go high, go small, go streamers but most certainly go the results with just a small amount of use from the top 6 inches may surprise!

Make sure to book your time  Southland Fly Fishing Explorer Now


Southland fly fishing and early season weather

Southland fly fishing has been a mixed bag since the opening of the season.  I spend a great deal of my time guiding and fly fishing Southland. Sometimes staying for periods of time in our Lumsden fishing crib (house) and sometimes traveling to and from Queenstown for just day fly fishing trips. The first 2 weeks of the  Southland fly fishing season had pretty bloody good weather and low river conditions with some nice mayfly hatches on many of the streams and rivers. Southland fly fishing can change pretty quickly.  Especially as you live and work in the middle of the roaring forties and it’s spring time. Suddenly we were bombarded with heinous weather. 72 hrs of solid rain at low levels and heavy spring snow in the high country. This was followed by a rapid warming trend for 2 days before the next warm ish storm came thru delivering a bunch more water to the already full and discolored water ways. These 2 storms came from different directions so most water ended up getting hit pretty good.  Especially with the extra snow melt most rivers and streams had very high flood levels rip thru them.

Southland Fly Fishing

aparima in flood

Southland fly fishing offers a huge amount of different water to fish but most had been blown out (it was pretty much the same up the whole of the eastern side of the South Island) and to get to something clean ish and fish-able meant driving a bit further than normal, finding those elusive spring creeks, using educated guesswork on what might be clearing and spending a great deal of time studying the  flow gauges and rainfall stations and employing some different fishing techniques. It’s times like this when I lose sleep worrying about getting my clients to good water and giving them chances on big NZ trout. Some good judgement and maybe a little luck allowed it all to pan out with some good fish to the bank and happy fishermen over the last week. The photo below was taken on a day where most rivers around the region were running full and chocolate.

Southland Fly Fishing

Southland Fly Fishing

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