Fishing Report

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
February 02, 2017

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Posted in 2017, February, fly fishing, summer


February 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing

The weather has been the main talking point amongst anglers this season, with wild storms aplenty. High water in many of the backcountry rivers, and strong winds has made for limited choices at times. However, with the high rainfalls, the rivers have got good flows when fishable, unlike previous years when we have been in a drought situation by now.
The weather patterns have also resulted in many waters not receiving much fishing pressure, which is a good thing. If you strike the conditions right, there have been some great days. We have been catching lower fish numbers than normal, but this has been more than made up for with larger and better quality fish than usual.
The insect life is late this year, but finally the terrestrials are about, and good cicada hatches are being seen in the alpine areas. I’m excited about the remainder of the season, as I think (hope!) the weather will settle down, allowing us to access some more backcountry areas that have been practically unfished so far.
Flys to be using are predominantly dries, with both bush and tussock cicadas working well, along with blowflies. There have been some good mayfly hatches, and Dads Favourite, along with spent spinners are working well on these.
Willow grubs have also been a predominant food source in the lowland rivers, but try not to get driven insane by refusals! They will take with the right presentation eventually!
Nymphs tend to be still mayfly based, with a size 14 beadhead fishing with a size 16/18 underneath.
Below is a nice willow grubbing fish picked up recently.

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