Category Archives: Fly Fishing Equipment

Fly Fishing Queenstown thru February

The month of Feb has been a little better weather wise with at least one week that was stable and hot with heaps of terrestrial action and the rest of the time so far has be a bit variable with a disturbed SW system. Even so the trout have been fairly willing to hit a cicada or other big terrestrial dry fly so the fishing has been pretty exciting.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

One of my regular clients maximised the really nice week of weather and we got on to some great water and some super fish. One particular fish did not want a bar of coming to the surface and continued to feed very deep. I selected one of Simon Uglies (a great mate a excellent fly tier and angler) – a pink and green double tungsten bomb and even though it’s super heavy and pretty streamlined the trout still had to lift about half way up the water column to chomp it. It was a no indicator, me calling the strike with the angler fishing a tight line so as to be super quick and bingo we are into what we quickly realized was a double figure “HOG”. After about 10mins of a very doggard battle my client landed a 11.25 lb big bad brown trout. This blew his personal best of 7lbs from the previous day out the door and needless to say made him extremely happy.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

Being the absolute gentleman angler after this fantastic fish was brought to the net I was offered a chance to have a fish and managed to get a couple as well but not so big of course. Just being able to have a cast in such a great environment makes me happy.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

We have been eating pretty well while out on Safari as my last few clients have found out. It’s pretty wild to be able to do a roast in a back country hut accompanied my some vino of course – sorry about the timing of the shot HB.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

Getting the timing right with the dry fly set on these big back country beauts is super important and as you can see we managed to get it right on more than one occasion  – although a few trout are wondering what on earth was that thing they chomped that suddenly flew right out of the gaping open mouth. Having the patience to wait until the mouth has closed can be quite hard!

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

Xmas Fly Fishing New Zealand

T’was the week before Xmas and all the anglers are wondering what Santa might put in the sack for them. In my case Santa came early (for practical reasons) it delivered me a new line. The Airflo Ridge Clear 6wf. This as the name suggests,  is a clear line and has been designed to fool fish in gin clear lake edge water or situations where you will only get one cast at a fish in moving water.  I have had it out a couple of times and it has certainly proved its worth both on the lake edge and in gin clear streams with it helping to catch some very spooky trout.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

The lake edge fishing is the easy part as mending does not really come into the game but on moving water you really have to think a bit before throwing that cast as when the line is in moving water it is almost impossible to see and hence mending is rather difficult. Study the water flow and use the appropriate aerial mend such as the wiggle, reach or curve cast to make sure that you don’t actually have to mend the line on the water. Watch the fish carefully and hit him at the right time depending on what gear you are throwing at him.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions

Now for me this reel and line will live in my guiding pack and come out when or where required, it only takes a minute to swap over to it when you need it. A valuable tool in the arsenal to fool more fish. Ask Santa nicely and he might come through!

Over the last few days we have seen some bloody good rainfalls which have freshened some rivers and turned other into raging torrents. I just spoke to one of my helicopter pilots and his words were “perfect storm”. On the divide and catchments close to there have been 300+ mm of rainfall so pretty much anything west is out for now, they will drop and clean quickly when the rain stops.  A great example of this is the Dart River which went to a bit over 1200 cumecs but has dropped by half since it hit the high point yesterday The further east you go the rivers have seen less rain and have been nicely freshed up which is great news for  the Xams/New Year anglers.

As soon as the weather fines up again and we start to get the heat watch out for the cicadas, they will be around and things will hot up on that front over the next month.

The lowland rivers are seeing plenty of willow grub action so make sure you have some fine tippet and long supple leaders and your grub pattern ready to go.

Here’s a video shot on a remote back country stream doing things a little differently!

New Zealand back country fly fishing waters now open

October has been and gone with some awesome fishing. Yesterday was the opening  of the NZ back country rivers with the odd exception in the Central South Island region which don’t open until early December.  The weather was amazing with a blue bird day and light southerly winds (on your tail) and I am sure anybody who got into the back country waters had a great time.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - green and brown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - green and brown

I certainly did even though I arrived late and there were several other parties of anglers ahead of me on the water, not that I saw any of them. I fished slowly for about 4hrs using both blind and sight fishing techniques and managed 15 to net with a few long line releases, nothing big all ranged between about 2lbs and 7lbs with a nice mix of rainbows trout and brown trout.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - early season high country rainbow

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - early season high country rainbow

The weather continues to be fabulous although it looks like some rain on Thursday but should clear quite quickly and another large high is ridging in. The warm weather has been producing some snow melt and keeping the flows quite high and some rivers are seeing slight discoloration as the day goes on.

Tip – get deep fast – make sure your choice of fly is in the fishes feeding zone.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - early season high country brown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - early season high country brown

I have been putting my Scott S4 6wt rod thru its paces and it’s a bloody great rod. Makes light work of head winds, can carry really heavy gear yet remains delicate for presenting small dry’s and fights fish almost like bamboo with a deep flex thru the rod. If you are in the market for what I suggest is possibly the best rod for NZ conditions get yourself the Scott S4.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - spots on brown

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - spots on brown

Anybody wanting to get some fishing in during November be sure to get in touch as it will be awesome fishing and I have some space available.

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