New Zealand Fly Fishing Guides - Ben Kemp

New Zealand Fly Fishing Guides - Ben Kemp

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Lake Brunner

"Where the Brown Trout Die of Old Age!"

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Angling Report: Feb 2002 Lake Brunner Fly Fishing Report

February 2002 was simply great, and our busiest month for the season. This summer was the best for several years in many ways, most notably for the cicada (locust) hatch. Some of our outings were just magic, with big fish happily rising 10-12 feet up off the bottom of the pools to take a huge #8 cicada imitation. 

Popular choices were; 

  • Carty's General Terrestrial, which is like a strike indicator with a hook embedded...  :-) 
  • Simmon's Attractor, the effectiveness of which astonished our Australian guests!

February 1/3 2002 

Don't you just love it when everything works out? Robert & Linda Kahn arrived on Friday evening, with the weather man promising fine weather for Saturday. A walk on the Crooked River, low and clear, seemed like a good plan, as the slight easterly was enough to ruffle the surface and make visibility difficult for the fish. The brilliant sunshine still raised a sharp shadow on the trout, so we were in a great position. The first trout went to Robert - clearly visible in the shallows, two lay line astern, the larger in front by about 4 metres. 

 

Robert's cast was good one, precisely between them, and aimed to take the first fish - and of course the plan was to then take the second, larger one! However, the big guy heard the splash of the cicada and turned downstream, no doubt to the dismay of the smaller fish! Leisurely overtaking the big dry fly, he rose and slurped it in, and was punished for his greed as the hook bit home on the rising rod! Beautiful! This fish was exactly 5lbs in the weigh-net Linda had brought with us, and was released after obligatory photos. We proceeded methodically upstream, Linda being in hot form, landing a number of fish which we had spotted and directed traffic to from the high-bank side of the river. This  included one of  4.5lbs, which was perfectly taken on the first superbly placed cast in the stiff afternoon breeze. 

 

Highlight was probably the huge mouth that emerged from below a mid-stream log to engulf a cicada - we'd seen the fish from the high bank, Linda had cast and up he came - a mouth big enough to stuff in a beer can opened up, but unfortunately the hook slid free! That was a GOOD fish!!! . .   

28th February

The fish have been in spectacular condition, as the photos below depict. We caught numerous hen fish throughout the summer that were short and fat and feisty. Tom Joseph's fish, lower right, was 21.5 inches long, and weighed 5lbs, like a brick with fins! Whilst it may have been summer, it was wet and windy at times, and the left photo was taken in torrential rain - possibly the heaviest rain I've ever taken a photo in!!!  

Angling report Feb 2002 Kingfisher Lodge fly fishing reports Lake Brunner

The weather was erratic early in the month, with a series of south-westerly frontal systems rolling through, with 24 hourly thunderstorms for several days. When it was fine, it was great!   

As the month progressed, the weather improved, and the fishing got better and better.  

The cicada action dominated the month of February, and continued right through until an early autumn snowfall at the end of March. The trout had a great summer - this year was also striking in the quantity of smelt spawning in the shallows along the lakeshore. Over the past 2-3 seasons, these small fish have made a spectacular comeback. Released way back in the 1960's, their numbers have always been a modest supplement to the  trout's diet. Fishing a streamer imitation to brown trout cruising in the shallows can be deadly, and the ferocity of their attack can be astonishing!

Angling report Feb 2002 Kingfisher Lodge fly fishing reports Lake Brunner

Parson's Glory streamer, effective when smelt are spawning in the shallows.

Angling Report: Feb 2002 Lake Brunner Fly Fishing Report 

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