Autumn Fly Fishing In Southland

After a pretty ordinary summer we are having a belter of an Autumn thus far ! The past few weeks have been very settled with cooler starts to the day with things warming up nicely by midday. I have spent the past few weeks guiding clients in the Southland region, basing ourselves near Lumsden and fishing the nearby rivers. Fish that clients have been landing have been in superb condition and all the 3-6lb range with the occasional bigger one making it to the net.

Many of the rivers in the region are very low and clear so long fine leaders and tippet are essential along with smaller nymphs and dries if you are going to fool these wily brown trout. Nymph rigs have been consisting mainly of a dark bodied #14-16 Tungsten beaded nymph with smaller unweighted one such as Sawyers Pheasant Tail or Hares ear tied off the bend of the hook approximately 20-30cm. I set the wool indicator 3-5 feet above my top fly but adjust it depending on the depth of water we are fishing , watch it carefully and strike on any little pause or duck and dive as fish are very quick to "spit" flies, I find many clients simply miss fish through not striking on the smallest hesitation or movement of their indicator. The seams have produced fish time and time again over the last few weeks, that piece of water where the fast meets the slow is prime fish holding water. Carefully pick your way through these pieces of water and if you don't hook up the first time you cover it go back and fish through it again. Add some more weight to your flies too, adjust the distance between your indicator and flies so you can fish deeper, many fish simply don't see your fly the first time and there are always new fish moving up and down stream between riffles and pools that you havent covered yet.

Changing the weight and sizes of your flies sometimes can be the difference between catching fish and not catching fish , here we fished to a nice brown trout for about 20mins before changing to a heavier top fly and smaller dropper to get an eat. Many people just simply give up on fish and say they're not eating or to too tough, most times fish are just not seeing your fly as its not getting down deep enough and into "the zone" or the fly is too big and not a good representation of what they're feeding. Sometimes you have change flies and tippet diameters a half dozen times to get a fish to eat perserverance is the key.