Fishing Report

April 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

With the weather settling down nicely, Autumn fishing through April looks to be on track. 

Browns are starting to pair up, with territorial behaviour noticed over the last couple of weeks. They should start to move towards the mouths of the larger rivers over the next few weeks. This has already started happening, with very few browns being found cruising the lake edges where we usually go to target them.

We found large numbers of browns around a river mouth in a howling Nor’West earlier this week. They were patrolling the mud flats and weed beds, and small bully imitations “ambushing” fish accounted for over a dozen nice fish.

In the rivers there are still a few fish taking dries (blowflies and cicadas) but they will come to their senses soon. With the cooler weather there might be mayfly hatches starting up in the afternoons.

April is a great time of year to head down South and look at the Mataura fishery, along with the Waikaia, Oreti etc. Make sure your flybox contains plenty of Mayflys, both dry, nymph and emerger. Tom at the Mossburn pub offers good value food and accommodation.

Here’s a nicely conditioned brown from April last year.

April 2017 Fishing Report

Good luck and tight lines,

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
info@hatchfishing.co.nz
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz

March 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

The big news is that the weather seems to be settling down, with light winds and clear medium to low flows in most backcountry rivers.
This has allowed fish to move up from the lakes and take up residence in stable water that had previously been subjected to huge flow changes.
Trout are actively feeding on cicadas in the backcountry, and willow grubs and other terrestrials such as blowflies in the lowland rivers.
There is also some bully fishing on the mudflats around the lake edges, along with cicada fishing over drop offs in tree lined areas around the southern lakes.
The high country lakes are all fishing well with tussock cicada patterns.
Fish numbers being caught are reasonable, with some larger ones coming to the net most days.
Looking ahead towards the end of March, we should start to see some “smelting” fish around the river mouths, but I won't be surprised if  they run late this year as just about everything else has been a few weeks overdue with the wet cold start to the summer.
Here’s a nice brown from this week taken with a cicada pattern.

Good luck and tight lines,

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
info@hatchfishing.co.nz
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz
February 02, 2017

0 comments

Posted in 2017, February, fly fishing, summer


February 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

The weather has been the main talking point amongst anglers this season, with wild storms aplenty. High water in many of the backcountry rivers, and strong winds has made for limited choices at times. However, with the high rainfalls, the rivers have got good flows when fishable, unlike previous years when we have been in a drought situation by now.
The weather patterns have also resulted in many waters not receiving much fishing pressure, which is a good thing. If you strike the conditions right, there have been some great days. We have been catching lower fish numbers than normal, but this has been more than made up for with larger and better quality fish than usual.
The insect life is late this year, but finally the terrestrials are about, and good cicada hatches are being seen in the alpine areas. I’m excited about the remainder of the season, as I think (hope!) the weather will settle down, allowing us to access some more backcountry areas that have been practically unfished so far.
Flys to be using are predominantly dries, with both bush and tussock cicadas working well, along with blowflies. There have been some good mayfly hatches, and Dads Favourite, along with spent spinners are working well on these.
Willow grubs have also been a predominant food source in the lowland rivers, but try not to get driven insane by refusals! They will take with the right presentation eventually!
Nymphs tend to be still mayfly based, with a size 14 beadhead fishing with a size 16/18 underneath.
Below is a nice willow grubbing fish picked up recently.

Good luck and tight lines,

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
info@hatchfishing.co.nz
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz
December 01, 2016

0 comments

Posted in 2016, december, fishing, fishing report, Hawea, summer, Wanaka


December 2016 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

The opening of the season has been interesting with severe winds and high waters over much of the Southern Lakes area. This has meant many rivers have not been fished since opening, and may be out until mid December with too much water. This is not all bad, as we may avoid the drought conditions we experienced last year, with plenty of ground water about. Some rivers were nearly dry at Christmas, so let’s hope we have more angling choices this season.

So far this season, flies that have been working are tending to be larger bead head nymphs in brighter colours to cope with the faster dirtier water we have been fishing in. Mainly rainbow trout are being caught, with average numbers and condition for this time of year.

The strong winds have also made casting difficult, and finding waters that are sheltered from the Nor West has been a priority.  The river mouths have been less successful than usual, as I think the fish have not congregated at the normal times due to wildly fluctuating river levels. When we have found feeding fish in shallower water, we are having most success with smallish (size 14 - 16) dark mayfly nymphs. We have seen very little hatch activity so far, but I’m expecting the terrestrial green beetles to make their presence known soon. The Kanuka bushes are very late flowering this year, but they are starting now, and the beetles wont’ be far behind.

The lake edges of Hawea and Wanaka will be worth fishing near stands of Kanuka and the beetles will also be the dominant surface food on some of the high country reservoirs, although due to the altitude, they wont appear until late December.

Be polite to other anglers on the river, and if you arrive at the start of your “beat” and there is already someone else there, they have first right to the water. Don’t cut in front of them, as this will ruin everyone’s day.

Enjoy the festive season.

Good luck and tight lines,

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
info@hatchfishing.co.nz
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz
November 03, 2016

0 comments

Posted in


November 2016 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

At last, the Backcountry waters around Wanaka open on November 1, with the other waters further North in the Central South Island opening on November 5The weather forecast is for lovely calm settled weather right up to 7am on opening day and then it really turns to crap! Let's hope I'm wrong!


Expect plenty of anglers to be out and about so make sure you remain polite and positive with any “encounters”!

It is highly likely that you will be catching mainly rainbow trout over the opening weeks of the backcountry rivers. Please keep in mind these fish are still in “spawning” mode, and to release them carefully. They are not good to eat at this time of year - even the nice looking Hen fish have pale flesh that falls apart, so how about releasing them to finish spawning and recover to their natural state.
 
The brown trout we have been catching are in excellent condition, and should only get better as the season progresses.


There was a good turnout at the Upper Clutha Angling Clubs “learn to fish” classes held over the last few weeks and, wi
th all waters open, it’ll give you plenty of options to apply your new found fishing skills. To join this excellent local club, contact Rick on 443 6381.

Out in the field, I have been testing out the Simms Freestone waders, which Southern Wild stock, and been very impressed with their performance. For a so called “budget” wader, the fit and durability is excellent. I highly recommend them

 
Flies to use that have been working are generally gold or black bead head hare and coppers in sizes 12 and 14, with mayflies such as Adams being successful during some of the quite prolific hatches we have been seeing over the last few days with the changeable weather.
Good luck and tight lines,

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
info@hatchfishing.co.nz
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz

October 2016 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

The rivers are all generally in excellent condition for the start of the season and flows are at a manageable level. Opening day saw a large number of anglers about and generally people seemed to be doing O.K. with some good numbers landed. 

Nymphing was the most successful method, using a size 14 with a size 16 dropper. We saw the occasional fish taking dries, but not ours! 

There are quite a few rainbows around and of the fish we landed, they accounted for 50%. The browns landed were in good condition but a bit smaller than in previous years for the same stretch of river.

The weather looks to be packing in down in Southland and on the West Coast over the next few days so the eastern rivers may be the best bet.

Please remember when encountering other anglers, be polite and avoid cutting in front of others (we had this happen today and it’s not very pleasant). If someone is there first they have the first call on what they want to do. Often after a chat, I find out that the other party is wanting to head in a different direction from us. If not, we jump back in the car and head to another access point on the river.

Have a great season!


Tight lines,


Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
info@hatchfishing.co.nz

September Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

We have turned the corner and with warmer weather and longer days, the trout are starting to move around and become active. About time!! 
Browns are to be found chasing bullies on the mudflats on calmer days, and moving close to shore to try their luck with bullies in the rocky margins on windy days.
Rainbows are moving in around inflowing river mouths, and numbers should build up over the next month. I have seen the odd fish already moving up some of the smaller spawning streams around Wanaka.
In the Tekapo and Twizel canals, there is still a good chance to catch some freakishly large trout while the weather is cool enough for the fish to be active during the day.
Only a month to go before the opening of the new season, so make sure you stock up on all the necessary equipment at Southern Wild. They have new stock arriving of the latest gear from Simms, as well as fly trays filled with patterns to capture your imagination, and hopefully trout as well.

Tight lines,


Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
info@hatchfishing.co.nz
1 2 3 Next »