Fishing Report

December 01, 2016

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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
[email protected]
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz
June 02, 2016

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Posted in 2016, fishing, june, wanaka, winter


June Fishing Report

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!

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
[email protected]
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz

May 2016 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

With the closing of the lowland waters at the end of April, our attentions are focused on the inflowing rivers into Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. 

River and lake levels become increasingly important as the best fishing is to be found at the river mouths, with lures such as Grey Ghosts or smelt imitations catch well, along with bully imitations working on the mudflats.Brown Trout

Up the rivers, the brown trout are staring to move up to spawn, but it seems to be late this year, and they are still interested in well presented nymphs if they are not paired up yet. There are some very nice rainbows to be found following the browns up (we landed a 6lb and 7.7lb fish within 5 minutes of each other last week).

Looking ahead, the rainbows will start to congregate around the river mouths from July onwards, and there will be some browns moving out of the rivers from spawning and can be targeted around the lake margins if levels are low.

The canals around Twizel and Tekapo are great places to target over winter, with big strong fish around, and I find they are more active to respond to flies / lures during the cold winter months.

Southern Wild on Helwick Street has plenty of good flies in stock, along with waders and boots to help manage the chilly conditions.

Craig Smith

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419
[email protected]
www.hatchfishing.co.nz
www.wanakaflyfishingacademy.co.nz