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
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.