Fishing Report

November 03, 2017

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November 2017 Fishing Report

Finally November is here, with the opening of our backcountry rivers and some high country lakes.

For opening day, the river levels were low, and the weather calm - well at least for the morning anyway! There are good numbers of rainbows about, with some very “fresh” fish caught that have recently moved into the rivers to spawn. 

 

 

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October 03, 2017

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October 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing
 
Finally, the lowland rivers are open, which gives us plenty of options for the month of October. While the high country rivers remain closed until November, the rivers that don’t flow into the lakes are mostly open, meaning lowland rivers further East and South of Wanaka offer some great sight fishing when conditions allow.

Currently the flows are high, and the best river fishing is restricted to smaller streams that will clear quickly. Some of rivers such as the Manuherikia have had huge floods over the past winter, and the riverbed is has been stripped out and altered in many places. This will be the case with quite a few Eastern rivers, and hopefully we haven’t lost a generation of juvenile trout. Time will tell.

Down in Southland there will be more options, especially with the side creeks to larger rivers. Many of the fish will drop out during the summer with flows and fishing pressure, so October is an ideal time to explore these.

There is a large number of still waters (dams and ponds) that open this month, and are a good back up when fishing conditions are not ideas for our rivers and streams.

Remember to be polite and courteous when encountering other anglers - stopping and having a chat will diffuse any problems, and you might just learn something from the other party.

One thing to seriously consider this season is upgrading your landing net to a rubber mesh model. It will increase the survival rate of fish you release considerably. The older nets with large mesh holes and coarse nylon string are really punishing on fish, and many of the split fins and cuts that are seen on fish are a result of these old “cheese grater” nets.

Southern Wild has a good selection of rubber mesh nets to suit your budget. They also have replacement netting to retrofit your old net.

Below is a nice October brown.

Enjoy the month ahead!

Tight lines,

Craig Smith 

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
[email protected]
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz
September 01, 2017

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September 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing
 
Spring is here, with longer days and warmer temps, which is encouraging the fish to be more active with the increasing food supply.

There a reasonable numbers of browns chasing bullies, with the odd rainbow active as well cruising the lake margins. There are a few fish taking midges as well, but are proving to be a lot trickier to entice.

The lake levels have increased over the last couple of weeks, which has made the easy fishing at river mouths harder to access. I’m sure there are good numbers of rainbows congregating, however they are pretty safe at the moment.

I have heard reports of some good rainbows being landed in the Clutha river - they are moving up to spawn in gravel beds, and if you can locate them, you will have some relatively easy fishing.
Now is a good time to brush up on your fly casting - the best place to practice is out on a grassed area - there are plenty of good parks around Wanaka for this. Use a small piece of bright wool on the end of your leader instead of your fly, and practice good technique rather than long casts. There is quite a bit of info on line, especially material that uses the “5 essentials” method. There are also several FFI certified fly casting instructors in Wanaka that offer lessons. A 2 hour lesson makes a huge difference in your casting skill level.

Below is one of several nice browns landed on Tuesday by an enthusiastic French client - blue skies, clear water and active trout makes a good day.

Make time to enjoy the opportunities spring offers. 

Craig Smith 

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
[email protected]
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz

August 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing
 
August sees a welcome lift in feeding activity as the water warms up and sunlight hours increase. There are more cruising browns on the margins of both lakes Wanaka and Hawea. These fish will respond well to small bully imitations lifted off the bottom when the fish are within 2 or 3 metres.
Brown Trout
Rainbows are now in the river mouths in good numbers, but with the recent rain the lake levels are a wee bit too high to set up perfect rip conditions.
 
There have been some huge flows in rivers further east, which may result in a generation of trout being lost as the riverbed has been completely scoured out. It will be interesting to see how things fish in October.
 
The Twizel and Tekapo canals continue to fish well with the cold weather. Softbaits, glo bugs and shrimps are all producing good fish. Try to be a bit adventurous and get away from the nets if you want to find some big rainbows - they are moving around a lot at present.
 
Enjoy the longer days and warmer conditions - not long until spring.
 

Craig Smith 

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
[email protected]
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz

July 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

We are over the shortest day, and the fish seem to know it, with a bit more activity evident.

I have seen quite a few post spawning browns moving on the lake margins, which is encouraging. With the low lake levels a long cast is not required, but the ones we were targeting were rather wary, so make sure you don’t make your presentation too heavy handed.

There are still some nice rainbows to be found around the incoming rivers, and there should be a few more move in as the spring approaches.

The canals around Tekapo and Twizel are popular this time of year, and a good destination to target some of the large trout that lurk around the salmon farms. During the winter, the rainbows move away from the salmon nets as they try and find water to spawn in over the months ahead. Below is a nice rainbow from last weekend caught in the Pukaki canal. Southern Wild has an extensive amount of gear to target these big fish.

 

Keep warm and enjoy the fishing.

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
[email protected]
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz

June 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

With the end of the season on May 31, our in-flowing rivers are now closed until November first. There are couple of exceptions in that the Makarora and Matukituki rivers have the first couple of kilometers remaining open for the winter. While there is not much of a food supply for fish in these lower reaches, there can be some good fishing when fish congregate around the mouth and move up the river to spawn. The rainbows should be starting to do this in the next couple of months.

If the lakes are low, the fishing at the mouths of incoming rivers is a good bet. If you are into the targeting of cruising fish around the lake edges, this will not really start to happen until August when the water warms up slightly and the food supply increases.

Flies for the winter months are mainly bully or small fish imitations, so woolly buggers and the like will be the go to patterns.

Winter is a great time to check gear. There are all those things to do such as repair waders, clean out your vest, make that storage box/rod rack for the back of the SUV, clean and condition fly lines, organise fly boxes, and of course, tie flies!

Here’s a nice fish from last week - Stan had just enough time to fit in a fishing trip after his hunting went so well. He landed some nice rainbows, as did his wife Mary. What’s not to like on a calm blue winter day?

 

Enjoy the fishing and stay warm,

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
[email protected]
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz

May 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

With the end of April, rivers around most of NZ have closed. However, in the Southern Lakes, we are lucky enough to have our season extend to the end of May, as well as a couple of lower river sections and lakes open throughout the winter.

During May, the river fishing in our backcountry rivers tends to focus on targeting rainbows, with the mouths offering some exciting fishing if the levels are low. There will still be some browns congregating around the mouths and moving up the rivers during early May as well, and these fish are very catchable.

As the browns pair up they become a bit challenging to catch. If you find solitary fish, they are the ones to target.

There can be some nice mayfly hatches in the afternoons if the river you are fishing has enough food to support a decent hatch.

Flies to use around the mouths tend to be bully imitations, although on the warmer afternoons blowflies have been working. On very calm glassy mornings there are still some midge around, and a 16 black gnat can get results if you are careful.

If you are fishing smaller rivers, make sure you avoid wading through the spawning beds (‘redds’) of the browns - you can see these as clear patches of gravel that have been turned over, and are typically devoid of and week or algae growth like the surrounding gravel.

Looking back over the last season, while it has not been easy fishing, overall we have had good fishing, with one notable feature being the unusually large number of “big” fish landed (7lb plus).

Below is a lovely Otago brown caught at the end of April this season. It rose to a beautifully presented Dads Favourite by my client David. Fish like this don’t get fooled easily, and we had spent some time practicing the cast further down the river away from the fish before making the presentation. A 16’ 4.5x leader was used with a reach cast, and to his credit, David didn’t crumble under pressure, and straightened the leader perfectly. He also managed to wait and time the strike with the obvious good result. I’m not sure I could have done as well myself!

Enjoy the Autumn fishing.


Good luck and tight lines,

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
[email protected]
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz
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