Every river or stream is different, yet they all share similiar characteristics. Spotting trout is one of the most, if not the most important skill an angler can posess if he or she is going to consistently catch trout, so knowing where to look for trout is very important. Trout are the masters of disguise and can at times be found in any part of a river or stream, but some sections of water are far more productive than others and anglers should focus more time searching out these areas of river.
To survive trout need a steady supply of food, well oxygenated cool water and shelter such as an undercut bank or deep pool they can dash to if necessary. Being able to recognise these 3 key things in a stretch of water will greatly increase you chances of finding and catching them !!
Trout in New Zealand rivers vary alot in colour - this usually is dependent on their environment and spotting them at times can be tough! Fish will generally always be facing in an upstream direction into the current, so shapes not lining up and on unusual angles can be usually quickly dismissed. Once a likely shape sitting in the right position has been detected take your time to look for any lateral movement, a set of fins, a swish of a tail, or a flash of white underside, as a trout rolls to intercept a passing nymph.
Another thing to look for is surface disturbance, whether it be a subtle bulge, a sip off the top or a splashy leap clean out the water keep alert and and look for these tell tale signs of a trout being nearby.
Bow waves are also a give away, this can be a trout chasing bullies in the shallows but more often than not it's a fish that we have inadvertently disturbed and caused to dash for cover. Again move slowly up stream, take your time to scan the water in close to the bank first, you'll be surprised how many fish will hold in tight against the edges.
If you are unsure, always treat that "smudge" or dark shape on the bottom as a potential trout, dont make the mistake of moving in too close to confirm your suspicions.... nine 9 out of 10 times it will be a trout and you will spook it !
10 Tips for stalking trout in New Zealand
1.It's not a race so take your time, move slowly upstream scanning the edges first then slowly moving out towards the deeper water.
2.Before you try a very difficult cast to a fish make sure that there is no way to get yourself into a better position.Its far better to take the time and reposition yourself to make an easier cast when possible, it can be a long time between fish in some New Zeland rivers !
3.Stay back a little from the edge,keep low this reduces your profile,and keep your rod tip down too !
4.Dont wear bright coloured clothing, wear gear that blends in with your surroundings.
5.Use the back drop,high banks and overhanging bush on the oposite side of the stream will reduce the glare and help with spotting.
6.Look through the water not at,look for flat spots in the surface to see through to the bottom for shapes and movement.
7.Pay attention to where the sun is,your shadow on the water is something always to be aware of as it will quickly alert fish !
8.Invest in a good pair of polarised glasses these are an invaluable piece of kit! I find amber or rose coloured lenses are a good all round choice.
9.Elevated areas makes it easier to see fish so take advantage of higher ground whenever you can. Stay low to avoid standing out against the sky line.
10.Wear a good fishing hat one with a wide brim or long bill.This will reduce glare off your sunglasses which then results in much better vision helping you to see more fish,aswell as keeping those harmful UV rays off you !
Contact me now to plan your New Zealand trout fishing adventure !