I have just got back from a multi day guided fly fishing trip south of Queenstown. We were based in my homestay and fished Southland for 5 days. My fishing clients went away happy after their first trip to the Southland area. We mainly fished brown trout waters and on one day managed to hook and land a 10lb brown trout in great nick.
Our successful fly choice was usually para adams or my emerger pattern with the odd brownie taking a blow fly off the surface or a heavy tungsten mayfly nymph down deep.
Most of the the other brown trout we landed ranged from 5 – 7 lbs and were also in great condition which continues to show how well the spring has been allowing the trout to put on condition not being knocked around by the typical flooding we usually get. It certainly looks as though there will be some amazing conditioned fish by mid summer!
We hit one day on a mostly rainbow fishery on the edge of Fiordland and had an exceptional day hooking over 20 rainbow trout and landing about 16 of them and also missed a few chances with missed strikes. These rainbows were all in fantastic nick and were not fussy – in fact you could throw anything at them and it was good – about 50% took terrestrial and 50% subsurface.
I also noticed several mice hopping around the bank in this area and judging by the condition of the rainbows and coloration it certainly looks as tho that has been part of the recent diet for these trout.
All the rivers are low but not too low as the snow continues to melt off the mountains but this week looks like we may start to see some good precip with some wetter looking storms building up.
May fly are still hatching in place mid afternoon. Caddis are too be found on the rocks and the terrestrial action will continue to build especially as the weather starts to warm up over the next 3 months.
The brown beetle are out in force in the evenings so if you get a chance to be on a river a dusk that will be a good choice to go to.