Fishing Report

August 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing
 
August sees a welcome lift in feeding activity as the water warms up and sunlight hours increase. There are more cruising browns on the margins of both lakes Wanaka and Hawea. These fish will respond well to small bully imitations lifted off the bottom when the fish are within 2 or 3 metres.
Brown Trout
Rainbows are now in the river mouths in good numbers, but with the recent rain the lake levels are a wee bit too high to set up perfect rip conditions.
 
There have been some huge flows in rivers further east, which may result in a generation of trout being lost as the riverbed has been completely scoured out. It will be interesting to see how things fish in October.
 
The Twizel and Tekapo canals continue to fish well with the cold weather. Softbaits, glo bugs and shrimps are all producing good fish. Try to be a bit adventurous and get away from the nets if you want to find some big rainbows - they are moving around a lot at present.
 
Enjoy the longer days and warmer conditions - not long until spring.
 

Craig Smith 

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

July 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

We are over the shortest day, and the fish seem to know it, with a bit more activity evident.

I have seen quite a few post spawning browns moving on the lake margins, which is encouraging. With the low lake levels a long cast is not required, but the ones we were targeting were rather wary, so make sure you don’t make your presentation too heavy handed.

There are still some nice rainbows to be found around the incoming rivers, and there should be a few more move in as the spring approaches.

The canals around Tekapo and Twizel are popular this time of year, and a good destination to target some of the large trout that lurk around the salmon farms. During the winter, the rainbows move away from the salmon nets as they try and find water to spawn in over the months ahead. Below is a nice rainbow from last weekend caught in the Pukaki canal. Southern Wild has an extensive amount of gear to target these big fish.

 

Keep warm and enjoy the fishing.

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 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

With the end of the season on May 31, our in-flowing rivers are now closed until November first. There are couple of exceptions in that the Makarora and Matukituki rivers have the first couple of kilometers remaining open for the winter. While there is not much of a food supply for fish in these lower reaches, there can be some good fishing when fish congregate around the mouth and move up the river to spawn. The rainbows should be starting to do this in the next couple of months.

If the lakes are low, the fishing at the mouths of incoming rivers is a good bet. If you are into the targeting of cruising fish around the lake edges, this will not really start to happen until August when the water warms up slightly and the food supply increases.

Flies for the winter months are mainly bully or small fish imitations, so woolly buggers and the like will be the go to patterns.

Winter is a great time to check gear. There are all those things to do such as repair waders, clean out your vest, make that storage box/rod rack for the back of the SUV, clean and condition fly lines, organise fly boxes, and of course, tie flies!

Here’s a nice fish from last week - Stan had just enough time to fit in a fishing trip after his hunting went so well. He landed some nice rainbows, as did his wife Mary. What’s not to like on a calm blue winter day?

 

Enjoy the fishing and stay warm,

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 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

With the end of April, rivers around most of NZ have closed. However, in the Southern Lakes, we are lucky enough to have our season extend to the end of May, as well as a couple of lower river sections and lakes open throughout the winter.

During May, the river fishing in our backcountry rivers tends to focus on targeting rainbows, with the mouths offering some exciting fishing if the levels are low. There will still be some browns congregating around the mouths and moving up the rivers during early May as well, and these fish are very catchable.

As the browns pair up they become a bit challenging to catch. If you find solitary fish, they are the ones to target.

There can be some nice mayfly hatches in the afternoons if the river you are fishing has enough food to support a decent hatch.

Flies to use around the mouths tend to be bully imitations, although on the warmer afternoons blowflies have been working. On very calm glassy mornings there are still some midge around, and a 16 black gnat can get results if you are careful.

If you are fishing smaller rivers, make sure you avoid wading through the spawning beds (‘redds’) of the browns - you can see these as clear patches of gravel that have been turned over, and are typically devoid of and week or algae growth like the surrounding gravel.

Looking back over the last season, while it has not been easy fishing, overall we have had good fishing, with one notable feature being the unusually large number of “big” fish landed (7lb plus).

Below is a lovely Otago brown caught at the end of April this season. It rose to a beautifully presented Dads Favourite by my client David. Fish like this don’t get fooled easily, and we had spent some time practicing the cast further down the river away from the fish before making the presentation. A 16’ 4.5x leader was used with a reach cast, and to his credit, David didn’t crumble under pressure, and straightened the leader perfectly. He also managed to wait and time the strike with the obvious good result. I’m not sure I could have done as well myself!

Enjoy the Autumn fishing.


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

April 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

With the weather settling down nicely, Autumn fishing through April looks to be on track. 

Browns are starting to pair up, with territorial behaviour noticed over the last couple of weeks. They should start to move towards the mouths of the larger rivers over the next few weeks. This has already started happening, with very few browns being found cruising the lake edges where we usually go to target them.

We found large numbers of browns around a river mouth in a howling Nor’West earlier this week. They were patrolling the mud flats and weed beds, and small bully imitations “ambushing” fish accounted for over a dozen nice fish.

In the rivers there are still a few fish taking dries (blowflies and cicadas) but they will come to their senses soon. With the cooler weather there might be mayfly hatches starting up in the afternoons.

April is a great time of year to head down South and look at the Mataura fishery, along with the Waikaia, Oreti etc. Make sure your flybox contains plenty of Mayflys, both dry, nymph and emerger. Tom at the Mossburn pub offers good value food and accommodation.

Here’s a nicely conditioned brown from April last year.

April 2017 Fishing Report

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

March 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

The big news is that the weather seems to be settling down, with light winds and clear medium to low flows in most backcountry rivers.
This has allowed fish to move up from the lakes and take up residence in stable water that had previously been subjected to huge flow changes.
Trout are actively feeding on cicadas in the backcountry, and willow grubs and other terrestrials such as blowflies in the lowland rivers.
There is also some bully fishing on the mudflats around the lake edges, along with cicada fishing over drop offs in tree lined areas around the southern lakes.
The high country lakes are all fishing well with tussock cicada patterns.
Fish numbers being caught are reasonable, with some larger ones coming to the net most days.
Looking ahead towards the end of March, we should start to see some “smelting” fish around the river mouths, but I won't be surprised if  they run late this year as just about everything else has been a few weeks overdue with the wet cold start to the summer.
Here’s a nice brown from this week taken with a cicada pattern.

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
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