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Half day fly fishing trips can be great fun for clients to get a wee taste of what fly fishing is all about near Queenstown and offers a chance for fly fishing anglers to pick up a few tips they can take with them on their travels in the South Island of New Zealand.

My last days guiding was just like this – showing a client some great water and improving his general casting technique and also some of the fine arts of successful nymph fishing tactics as this was not something he had done much of.

Get down to where the fish are feeding – it’s no point having the nymphs above where the trout are feeding in the water column. Sometimes they will lift and take it but more often than not they won’t.

To add quick weight to get that nymph deeper I often use a tungsten bead head that is threaded onto the tippet and then slides along the tippet and down to the hook eye – free running. This is especially good when you do not want to use a double nymph rig for certain reasons.

Sometimes the area you are in has other attributes than just the fishing and this trip was one of those as we had a close encounter with a NZ Falcon. I spotted a nesting Falcon and warned my client that a dive bomb run was likely and if or when it occurred to keep the rods raised above our heads in a vertical manner. Sure enough the New Zealand Falcon buzzed us twice but stayed clear due to the rods. At this point I decided to see if I could do something to film an attack and promptly gave my rod to the client and asked him to stay put. I got the cam running and walked ahead about 10 meters and sure enough in came Mr Falcon – he swooped past and rolled up behind me lining me up and came straight at my head on his attack run with no fear of the rod in its way – whack he got me – bloody brilliant.  My instinct to trust the sturdiness of my fishing hat was right but don’t try this at home!

Here is the footage – enjoy.


All the rivers around the Southern Lakes, Queenstown, Southland and Otago are fishing well at present although the usual Spring weather is making life interesting with some big winds around. and some rivers getting snow melt in the afternoons.

I had some friends hit a Fiordland stream that I gave the direction on how best to approach and they had a very successful trip landing some nice rainbows and browns all in super fat nick – the boys thought there might have been some mouse action going on to create these super fat hogs although they never kept one to find out for sure – but if so bodes well for some big fish over the summer.