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

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