Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing
Our fly fishing season for most of the rivers around the Southern Lakes officially closes on May 31.
Reflecting back over what has been a good season, I thank not only our great wild trout fishery, but also the fantastic clients that I fished with. Many are return anglers, and make the pilgrimage to Wanaka an annual event, trusting in the weather gods to deliver the light winds, blue skies and clear water that dreams are made of.
However, this is New Zealand, and the gods move in mysterious ways. While we had our share of perfect conditions, we also made the best of the opportunities given to us. Luckily, the Southern Lakes has fishable water in 99% of conditions, with several river catchments to choose from. This season we did not have to cancel any days, and even on the “tough days” we had some good fun.
Early season (October and November) saw unusually testing conditions in the backcountry, but we still managed to fit in several good backcountry camp out trips, as well as rediscovering some lovely hatch driven lowland streams which delivered quality fly fishing days.
December for me is “green beetle month”, and this December was no exception. Foam beetle patterns were deadly across a variety of waters. Brown trout regained some condition after the winter, and most of the spawning rainbows had dropped out of the rivers, leaving the larger resident trout to settle in for the summer. December is a great month as the angler numbers in our area are low.
January and February were pretty good this summer, with stable weather returning, and terrestrial dry fly fishing the norm. The waters further east and north were drought stricken, and many anglers based there were eyeing our snow fed alpine rivers with envy!
March and April were unusually busy this season – April is a really underrated month, and I sometimes get to enjoy some quality fishing myself, but as luck would have it, as soon as I finished guiding clients, the weather has turned foul, so not a lot of opportunities left for the season.
Looking ahead, the months of June and July offer limited fishing, but if the lake levels are low, there can be some good drop off fishing at river mouths for congregating rainbows. Streamer patterns including Woolly Buggers etc are the way to go, and Southern Wild has a good selection.
Don’t forget to check out the great range of Simms wading gear to keep the winter cold at bay.
Best of luck over the next few months, and enjoy the quieter fishing time to catch up on the fly tying and casting practice!
Registered professional guide NZPFGAFFF certified casting instructorPh +6434438446M email@example.com
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