New Zealand Fly Fishing Guides - Ben Kemp

New Zealand Fly Fishing Guides - Ben Kemp

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Angling Report: September 2004 Lake Brunner Fly Fishing Report

The West coast has been fortunate to have escaped the worst of winters excesses this year, and we've frequently seemed to be enjoying lots of sunny (albeit frosty) days while the rest of the country has been deluged, blown about or buried in snow.... All of that translates into significantly less alteration to our waterways than might be the norm, as we've had fewer heavy rainfall and consequent flood events this winter. A lot of pools should have remained almost unchanged since last summer, meaning fish should be in good condition at the start of the season.
Classic West Coast Winter's Day - Grey River - July 2004
 
Winter fishing has been very good, with lots of 1-2lb fish scattered through the middle (braided) sections of the Grey River. A disappointment so far has been the lack of sea-run brown trout encountered at the Grey and Taramakau river mouths so far - perhaps the water and weather conditions have been kinder upstream this year, delaying the annual downstream migration to tidal areas.
 
As spring begins to spread a little warmth and cheer, the excitement of another new fishing season begins to bubble away, with a mood of enthusiastic optimism prevailing. We're certainly planning our annual "Opening Weekend" pilgrimage into the wilderness - pronouncements have been made to family regarding the
impending absence... how many more sleeps is it to go?
 
October can provide some of the best fishing opportunities in many regions, and the West Coast is no exception, Trout are often "refreshingly naive" after a 6 month absence of angler disturbance, and the first few weeks of the season represents perhaps the year's best opportunity to catch that double-digit "fish of a lifetime!" Big fish are more likely to be encountered in exposed, accessible positions than at any other time of the season. Pre-season preparation should include stripping, cleaning and oiling your reel, and scrutinising the backing-to-flyline and line-to-leader connections. Clean your line, and consider replacing that tatty old leader that you used all through last season... That way, you will be fishing with confidence, and when that 10 lb brownie takes hold of your gear and gives it the torture test, you'll stand a much better chance of getting him in the net!
 
Flies for Spring: A size 10 bead or cone-head olive Woolly Bugger with a couple of strands of pearl flashabou will work equally well in West Coast lakes and rivers early in the season.
 
cone-head olive Woolly Bugger
 
Snail patterns are a good early-season nymph choice in our West Coast lakes, fished in the channels between weed beds, and suspended under a big caddis-pattern dry fly strike indicator.
 
For visiting anglers, a word of caution - spring weather can be extremely volatile. We often get overnight what is the equivalent of a month's rain in other regions! West Coast rivers rise dramatically, without warning, especially in mountain gorges. Please don't take risks... 
 

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Angling Report: September 2004 Lake Brunner Fly Fishing Report


 

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