Fishing has been going well around the area, with boat anglers catching both trout and salmon in good numbers when the wind allows them to get the boat out.
The water is still relatively cool, so the fish aren’t too deep.
Trout have finished spawning, and now feeding and behaving naturally in the rivers. Many of the rainbows have dropped back into the lakes, but there are some that have taken up residence in the inflowing rivers.
The food sources are mostly sub surface, but for the fly angler the green beetles are of interest up until Christmas locally, and until mid January on some of the high country lakes.
Cicadas will start to appear in January, and will be a dominant food source until March, making it a good “go to” pattern on both lakes and rivers. Blowflies are also good at any time from Dec - March.
For nymphs, the damsel fly is really good around the lake edges and weed beds, fished just below the surface and stripped in slowly. Dragonfly nymphs are also keenly sought after by trout. Mayfly patterns are the obvious choice on most rivers, and size 14 black bead hare and coppers are a good standard pattern.
Another pattern to have handy around the lakes are bully imitations, such as a Mrs Simpson or Monsums Bully - cast well ahead of cruising fish and lift it off the lake bed when the trout is 1 - 2 metres away.
While there is likely to be less anglers on your favourite waters without the influx of Australian and USA tourists, please remember to be courteous to others - a quick chat to others can sort out who is planning to fish where, and avoid an unpleasant situation later in the day.
For salt water fishing, Southern Wild has plenty of cod flasher traces for both the East and West coasts. I recommend using at least 6oz sinkers to get your bait down quickly, and braid line to detect bites more easily.
There are predictions of warmer sea temperatures then usual this summer, so I’m mindful of encountering tuna and possibly kingfish, and have a rod strung and ready when out. Mind you, most of the focus is on the family catching enough to keep them interested, but it never hurts to be optimistic.