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We had a good day out on the opening of the New Zealand back country rivers although I chose to guide  my clients lowland and not to get messed up in the frenetic rush.

We chose to hit the Oreti in the morning and had some good hook ups but all resulted in lost fish for one reason or another – have to remember to let them run when they really want to! It was a grey day and the wind came up so we decided to find some shelter for a couple of hours and ended up on the upper Mataura and out of the wind.

Good condition Brown trout caught with emerger

Good condition Brown trout caught with emerger

Once again a few hook ups but this time we managed to hang on to one and get it to the bank – a lovely 4lbs brown trout and a happy happy client!

Oreti has been in excellent nick with fish mostly feeding freely on mayfly nymphs and taking well presented flies.

Upper Mataura is slightly high and has a bit of snow melt but still has great sight fishing – plenty of mayfly and caddis on the rocks – we used emerger patterns to trout feeding high up in the water column and ran heavy nymphs thru deeper runs and over drop offs, both to great effect.

We had the Airflo Airlite Rod 6wt out and I have to say it is a great rod and handled the conditions well and when I had a crack demonstrating how to cast into the teeth of the Oreti Nor’ wester using a double haul with a short stroke and making sure my backcast was high it just ripped the Airflo Ridge Tactical out and laid down perfect presentations with ease!

Reports in from the high country rivers were good with most anglers doing well and catching some fine rainbows and browns – definitely some rainbows are still spawning so if you can get into the ones that haven’t yet – they are in great nick. The rivers are holding good water flows and some are seeing some melt arrive in the afternoon but spotting is still good.

I’m off guiding again from Queenstown over the next couple of days and might hit some of the high country rivers for a wee look.

Expedition space is filling up well over Feb and March so make sure to book now so you can reserve your guided fly fishing expedition with me – its looking like its going to be an excellent season for fly fishing here in the South Island of New Zealand.