Stalking still-water trout in New Zealand.

Mention still water fly fishing to most anglers and more often than not you get the big eye roll !
In the Wanaka region we are lucky enough to have 3 fantastic Lakes within 30mins of each other and all of which hold good numbers of wild brown and rainbow trout.

Our surrounding lakes are very clear making stalking trout lots of fun, a careful approach to the edge is needed for as clearly as you can see the trout you can bet they can also see you.

In still-waters trout don't occupy specific lies, they are forage feeders and are very mobile thus they cover bigger distances than river fish when in search of food. For the angler in search of trout there are hot spots that they should concentrate their efforts on, these include stream mouths, lake outlets, deeper channels,around weed beds, drop offs and my favorite spot across the lake shallows.One big difference between stalking river and lake trout is the amount of walking required to find fish. A full day in the back country can be 10km plus walk whereas a day stalking the lake edges can be around 2km. Another bonus is water that has been fished over earlier can be fished over again as many new fish move into the shallows and onto the weed beds to feed through out the course of the day.


When spotting trout along the edges it is usually much easier to see into the water from an elevated position, things such as large boulders-rocks, elevated banks or even a tree will help you survey the surrounding water. Most often trout move up and down the lake shore line in search of food, making these elevated positions a real advantage when trying to spot cruising fish.I like to move slowly along the lake edge scanning the water carefully for movement ,shadows and surface disturbance all the while keeping my movements to a minimum.Try and stay out of the water as much as possible as wading will disturb the surface and send ripples-waves ahead of you alerting trout.Once I have located a fish I then move myself carefully into position to cast, trying my best to keep a low profile and not be seen .Keep back as best you can from the waters edge and wear dull clothing similar to the surrounds.