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Well the weather has been a bit unseasonable over the last week in the Queenstown region with some serious storms rolling in from the Southern ocean and bringing high winds, hail, snow and sunny breaks in between. Certainly made fly fishing a little harder but for those who persist with the right attitude comes success.

  8.5lbs of New Zealand brown trout

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions 8.5lbs of brown trout

The interesting thing of note over the last few weeks has been the number of trout we have raised using cicada patterns. Getting the right presentation has lifted the fish to open it’s mouth and chomp the cicada. Many times however after the success of getting the right cast and presentation has resulted in no hook up due to the rod holder being to quick on the strike. It’s a hard thing to get right when you are not used to slow takes of big New Zealand trout and the urge to set the hook too early is strong in many anglers. Remember an appropriate pause is required to allow the fish to close its mouth before you set the hook. There are a few factors that influence when to set the hook.

Size of fish

Speed of water

Speed of take

Upstream or downstream take

My general rule of thumb is to say “God save the Queen” or “God save Dick Chaney” (he really needs it)! This  gets altered slightly depending on the variables above to be either slightly faster or slower (slower usually being the case).

Now the above may not work for you – you need to find something that does work for you to create the appropriate pause before setting. It needs to be something that works for you and your personality.

I have had clients say various things such as “not now but now”, ”  don’t set the hook”, ” set the hook now”, “what a hog and set”, ” got you you bastard”, “look at the hooters on that”, and my all time favourite ” it’s as big as a thigh wader”!

Ok, you get the point now go catch some big New Zealand trout on the dry fly.

bent rod on a hog

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - bent rod on a hog