We are only a few days away from the new season and our guide buddies are running hectic, nose down in gear and praying hourly for clear weather and clean rivers. Never fear, we hit up some of our retail buddies with their ears to the ground for their top tips for early season in their regions.
“Hawkes Bay spring weather can drastically change our plans. One thing I have learnt here in the bay is be prepared. You never know what conditions you will get early so it’s always good to have a variety of tungsten and unweighted nymphs and even a few dries for the hot days we are known for. Don't just go in with a single plan of attack. Trout in the Bay are characteristically naive early season and being easier to fool be prepared to fish both nymphs and dries. Don’t be afraid to throw just naturals at them, mix it up and put some colour in their face, with often unfavourable conditions having a bright bead or hot spot on your nymph can make a world of difference on our feisty bows. Apparently, "variety is the spice of life" so let’s make your fishing the same and be open minded get ready to spice it up!”
“If there's a bit of human traffic around this opening and the river is of a decent size slow down and fish very thoroughly. Try to spot them first, then systematically cover the water. Focus on stable bouldery runs. Use extra weight to cover the eye of deep pools and take time to adjust your trace and fly weights to suit the depth and flow...and take your time. Results can be very surprising and rewarding.”
“The start of the season is upon us. You’ve been scouring maps and tying flies in anticipation thru the winter season. The Rod is safely tucked away along with your reel/s just sitting there waiting for the fury to begin. Eeeek! Back the truck up right there. Have you even had a look at that fly line? How is it holding up? You’ve probably been fishing it for years!!! Give it a good clean in warm soapy water and apply a loving coating of Airflo Whizz Lube, but if there are any scuffs, nicks or blemishes, do yourself and your favourite stick a favour and invest in a new line… The Airflo Forge for value and backcountry performance, Elite for tactical presentation or ask about the new Tracker to see how it suits your fishing style.”
“My early season fly selection differs from my summertime stock here in the South for a few good reasons including light, water conditions and often sullen fish behaviour. The Guides Chute Hares Ear is a great dry in low light conditions sometimes experienced in October. It sits well on the water for dry / tungsten dropper set ups and offers great buoyancy. BTB Nosebleeds with the soft hackles will get that trout turning a mile. The CDC hackle oozes movement and hotspots galore catch the eye. A fantastic riffle fly also. For the more educated trout the Smethurst Baetis Bomb with double tungston beads will get down super quick without that feeling of casting a brick. Use this solo beneath a dry or as a small, subtle bomb trailing a second pattern. To end the selection, Robs Redhead Bloodworm - never leave home without one in spring. With regular snowmelt, cast this beauty through the first couple of feet from the bank of the river or stream. Watch closely and keep your net close. Tight lines everyone!”
Outdoor World Queenstown
“As it has a habit of doing every year, opening day is upon us. This is a fantastic time of year to fish in the Auckland/Waikato region, and is one of the best times to target brown trout in smaller tributaries. Later in the season, the big browns tend to head back downstream to the main stems. But in the early season, these fish are often still in the headwaters and are busy putting on condition from their spawning efforts. It’s tempting to rush up a river quickly at this time of year, especially with loads of smaller rainbows to keep you entertained! To get the big boys though, I recommend you slow down and be mindful of where these fish might be hiding. Focus your attention on slower current – the inside soft current at the head of a pool is a perfect place to start! Also, don’t forget to throw some buggers on the way back downstream. The springtime weather in the Waikato is unpredictable, which is why it pays to have a few early season options up your sleeve that are less affected by rain. Don’t forget the South Waikato spring creeks, as they tend to need buckets of rain before they colour up. All the Rotorua lakes are open by this stage too, and there is some terrific shoreline smelting action to be had here. Remember to dress accordingly at this time of year, as it is can be damp but also quite warm and muggy – quality Simms breathable jackets should be a staple in the backpack at this time of year! If you’re based in the Hamilton area, don’t overlook the mighty Waikato itself! If you’re short on time or fancy a bit of a wander at night, October is a great time of year to target the browns that ambush baitfish off the edges of weedbeds. Big, dark flies just on or after dark can produce some unexpected results. Best of luck for the season ahead and I look forward to seeing you in store!”