Fishing Report

November 12, 2019

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November 2019 Fishing Report

November fishing report
In addition to lowland waters, the high country rivers are now open (apart from the upper Ahuriri, which opens in December).
Fishing has been rather testing so far in November, as heavy rain and plenty of strong winds are limiting opportunities.
We have managed to find, fish, including some nice browns in the waters that have been fishable.
There have been large numbers of spawning rainbows in several backcountry rivers, and in some others there is a remarkable lack of numbers compared to usual.
While we have managed to get takes on dry flies such as blowflies and parachute adams, the majority of sighted fish have been caught using tungsten bead mayfly nymphs. There have also been a few on damsel fly nymphs and when things get a bit desperate, bully imitations in still waters. 
Looking ahead, it will take some time for many rivers to become fishable again, with more unsettled weather on the way. 
It is good use of time to look at the available river flow gauges on line, as well as wind and rainfall predictions, before heading out. 
Below is a nice brown taken on a gloomy day!
Tight lines,
Craig
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October 09, 2019

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October 2019 Fishing Report

October fishing report
The new season starts on Oct 1, and while many waters of the Upper Clutha are closed until November 1, there are still plenty of waters opening up to get excited about.
Southern rivers such as the Mataura are showing fishable flows, as are some eastern rivers, although the Taieri looks to be out for a while with high flows. 
With the cool southerly winds we have been having, there may be some mayfly hatches, but most fish should be feeding on nymphs if no surface activity is seen. Small general patters such as black beadhead hare and copper variants are usually a safe bet to start.
Locally, the lower stretches of the Makarora and Matukituki rivers that are open have been seeing good numbers of rainbows moving through. There have also been some unusually large browns caught around the lake edge, which is nice to see.
Brown are feeding on bullies. We were out the other day fishing some mudflats, and I reckon a saw over 50 fish in a couple of hours - not all would take the fly, but enough did to keep us happy! Imitations should be cast well ahead of cruising fish, and lifted off the mud or stones when the trout is about 1m away. If the fish strikes, it happens very quickly, so stay alert!
Southern Wild has good stocks of fresh tapered leaders and tippet. Make sure you discard the old leader and tippet from last season and tie on a fresh one, as they break down and dry out with time. I prefer to tie leaders onto the fly line with a nail knot, as it’s a far superior connection to turn the fly over than the usual loop to loop connection. Southern Wild has nippers with a nail knot tool attached. Invaluable as it gets the knot quickly and correctly tied every time (a quick visit to YouTube helps!).
Purchase your license for the coming season at Southern Wild, and pick up a few essentials while you are there, or online at www.fishandgame.org.nz 
Below is a nice  brown from opening day last year on a small West Coast river.
Tight lines,
Craig Smith
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September 02, 2019

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September 2019 Fishing Report

Southern Wild September fishing report.
Spring has started off in brilliant fashion, with great weather and clear waters. 
Lake edges and the limited waters that are open are all in top condition. Fish are starting to move around, and there have been reports of good numbers spotted around the shallows. 

We went out for a look this morning, and while we didn’t see as many fish as expected, the ones we did see were in great condition. The weather was very calm with no wind, which probably didn’t’ help - a bit of wind acton stirs up the food supply and brings the fish in close. Bullies were the go to fly, and effective when lifted off the bottom with the trout a couple of metres away.
There was also the odd rainbow cruising off the drop off that was hooked blind. I’m confident these rainbow numbers will build up steadily over the next month.
The browns will increase in feeding activity over the next month, and damsel and dragonfly nymphs will become a dominant part of the trout's diet, and good imitations to start using over the weed beds.
Southern Wild has plenty of good patterns in stock - for September I would be carrying bullies in a couple of sizes, Damsel fly nymphs in green and brown, midge pupae patterns, and some brighter bead head nymphs to target rainbows that are entering the lower parts of  river systems that are open.
Below is a nice fish from this morning - 7 3/4 lb brown in excellent condition, and one of the best still water fish taken on a fly I have seen come out of our local lakes. Not bad fishing right on our doorstep in Wanaka!
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August 08, 2019

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August 2019 Fishing Report

Fishing report August 2019
I hope everyone has been staying warm  - there have not been many chances to get out and about fishing, but the days are getting longer, and the weather warmer (in theory at least!)
Locally, good rainbows are grouping up around the inflowing rivers of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea.
There are some browns cruising the shoreline, and while they were not particularly active at the beginning of August, as the month progresses they will start to be more receptive to both bullies twitched off the bottom, and nymphs suspended midwater. A wind chop on the shoreline will bring them in very close.
The canals have been fishing OK, although most of the escaped salmon have been caught now, but it is still an excellent time to chase large rainbows and browns while the water is cool.
On the west coast there may be some sea run fish chasing whitebait at the end of the month, but be aware, it’s a bit of a gamble trying to get the right conditions - I hope you go better than I have for the last couple of attempts to find them!
Also of interest is a new video from the NZ professional fishing guides association on handling and releasing trout. Well worth a look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Poz-lSq1Ig&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0lgHcuWwwTAKWcyDZNUg541P7Hmwpqju827AKaUJ1sW68j_DoI0OiS-uk
Not long now until spring, when the fishing really starts to take off.
Tight lines,
Craig Smith
Hatch Fly Fishing
May 02, 2019

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May 2019 Fishing Report

With April going, so does many options for river fishing in Southland, Eastern Otago, and Canterbury. Locally, many high country waters around Wanaka are still open until the end of this month. Shorter daylight hours and lower sun angle makes for harder fish spotting conditions.

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April 08, 2019

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APRIL 2019 FISHING REPORT

The cooler weather is most welcome, making many more lowland river temperatures more suitable for fishing. The high waters we have had at the end of March should drop soon (hopefully!) and the back country rivers become fish-able again.

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March 05, 2019

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March 2019 Fishing Report

With the weather turning cooler, fish are starting to move into river systems and become more active. 

Whitebait are present and moving up the rivers, and I have seen some good fish gorging themselves in backwaters and spring creeks chasing shoals of bait. 

These fish are very active and will take most things if they stay still long enough to see your fly! 

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