Fly Fish New Zealand : Spring Time Cruisers

Spring time fly fishing around the Lake Wanaka shoreline is something I really look forward to each season. By mid to late August there are plenty of post spawning Brown trout cruising the shallow stony margins of our Southern lakes in search of bullies and dragon fly nymphs. While most fish didn't hesitate to chase down and eat our bully imitations , the odd fish would rush over to inspect our flies then turn away quickly only to then have another inspection before deciding something wasn't quite right and speeding off for cover.


Common bullies are found right throughout New Zealand. Sea-going populations occur in river and streams near the coast, and land-locked populations have become established in many of our Southern lakes where they are an important prey species for trout and eels. In rivers, they mainly inhabit still or slow-flowing waters and thus are probably one of the most likely bullies you will see in the stony shallows around the edges of our lakes and rivers.

Smaller woolly buggers tied in sizes 8-12 I find work best at this time of year and in brownish and olive colours represent them best. I add a few wraps of lead to most of mine to get them to sink a little quicker.

A well conditioned Brown trout that didn't hesitate to chase down a bully imitation.