May is still a great month to fly fish here in New Zealand. Many people hang up their gear for the winter at the end of April but some of the best conditioned brown trout you will catch all season are on the move and making their way upstream out of our larger Southern lakes into the smaller tributaries. To many anglers this is the beginning of the prime fishing time as large fish are targeted as they enter the rivers from the lakes. I personally never target a fish that is actually in the process of spawning, show a little respect as these fish are already under a lot of stress, they don’t need you hooking them while they are hard at work !
I have had a lot of success fishing large streamers on sink tip lines at this time of year. Fish become more aggressive and territorial and these larger flies become an annoyance to them and can be chased down and hammered by these fish. Brighter coloured streamers with orange , red or pink incorporated into them some where always get the fishes attention.
Egg patterns also work well and both rainbow and late spawning brown trout will often sit slightly downstream behind spawning fish and pick up the eggs that don’t manage to stick into the cracks of the gravel redd, a well weighted bomb with a #12 orange/pink unweighted egg pattern can work well in this situation. But don't give up if fish aren't interested in either of the above styles of fly go back to your more traditional flies such as Hare and Coppers , PT nymphs etc many of these fish will still eat these flies. Quite often I will fish a well weighted egg pattern and tie of a PT nymph or H&C nymph and fish will take the natural , experiment as what will work on one fish may not work on the next...that's fishing !
I still have plenty of good dates for next season available so if your planning to Fly Fish New Zealand this 2017/18 season feel free to contact me and discuss some possible dates and itineraries.