Fishing Report

December 02, 2019

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December/January 2019 Fishing Report

Christmas / January Wanaka fishing report.
With summer finally upon us, the weather is settling down, flooded rivers are dropping slowly, and the trout are feeding well, haring had little fishing pressure over November and December due to bad weather.
We have been fishing some interesting locations, with a fair bit of driving involved, but have also fished some local waters during the floods with surprising results. The fish we have caught have been well above average size, with some days averaging 6lb plus over the several fish landed. They have also been in excellent condition, and were a real handful to get to the net. Some days also saw high numbers encountered, with over 20 good browns hooked. These numbers will drop as during the recent floods, the trick was to find where the fish were concentrated to get out of the high and dirty water.
The rainbows are regaining condition after spawning, and are feeding properly. We have been finding some excellent condition maiden (not spawned) fish in good numbers in some eastern rivers.
The morning have had good midge hatches, as well as some sedges, with damsel flies coming off in good numbers when the heat is on. There are also some mayfly about, with large coloburis hatching in good numbers. One interesting thing is the huge numbers of tadpoles that will soon turn into frogs being seen around the edges of lake Wanaka. If the trout key onto these, it could make for some interesting fishing!
Looking ahead to January, the green beetles will be around for longer than usual, as they were late to hatch, and the Kanuka and Manuka is later flowering than usual. The cicadas will probably be around from mid to late January, and both lakes Wanaka and Hawea should be at high levels for most of the summer, with the trees overhanging the lake in many places for the cicadas to drop off.
Southern Wild has a great selection of flies - ones to stock up on before heading out are:
Green beetle dry flies
Cicada dry flies - both tussock and bush cicadas
Blowfles
Mayfly nymphs in sizes 14 and 16 - hare and copper black bead heads work well.
Damsel fly nymphs in green and brown.
For tippet, generally 3X monofilament if a good go to for dries, and step down to 4X if you are fishing longer leaders. I generally fish fluorocarbon when using nymphs.
Regularly cleaning and dressing your flylines with Loon product or similar will help achieve smoother casting and shooting more line.
Enjoy the start to summer, and have a great Christmas break.
Below are a several of the nice browns landed over the last week, ranging from 7lb to 8.75lb on dries.
Craig
Hatch Fishing Wanaka
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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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