Fishing Report

February 15, 2018

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February 2018 Otago Lakes Fishing Report

The big dry and overheat has finally broken and cooler temperatures combined with increased rainfall has produced conditions more favorable for fishing.

A major rain event saw rivers at full flood levels earlier in the month, and many fish have been pushed back into the lakes from the backcountry rivers. 

 

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January 04, 2018

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January 2018 Fishing Report

The fishing for January is looking for the mountains, with steady river flows in the backcountry. 

Eastern rivers are really suffering with the drought, and many are un fishable due to high temperatures and low flows. We stopped fishing the other day at 3pm when the temp got to 19C as the chances of fish mortality are much greater.

Lake edges are fishing very well, and some windy days have certainly helped stir the water and food up near the margins which brings the trout in.

 

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December 14, 2017

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Wanaka Summer Fishing Update

Wow what a hot, dry summer it has been so far! River levels are uber low so if youre looking at hitting the main stem rivers these holidays, get in early before the heat of the day makes these fish move closer to cover.

The hotspots accordingly are not necessarily our river systems, but the ever cold waters of our Southern Lakes. By now trout are patrolling the edges for bullies, the weedbeds for snails and chironomids, and are happily looking up to beetles, damselflies and cicada. Accordingly, anglers should look to the appropriate patterns to imitate each of the above.

 

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December 07, 2017

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December 2017 Fishing Report

The amazing run of weather we have had through November has seen some unusual things happening for early season fishing.
While it may have been fantastic to have day after day of perfect blue skies and high temperatures, the fishing has been unusually difficult in some areas due to high snowmelt in the backcountry and high temperatures in still waters and lowland rivers. If the temps do not cool down and the drought continues, we will be in for a very tough summer of fishing. Saying that, we have had some bloody good angling!

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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
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