When The Spring Fly Fishing Going Gets Tough

Cate Hunting & Fishing Queesntown

Rivers and temperatures have been very up and down so far this season often resulting in some very moody trout. Some days they’re really on and the next, you can’t even buy a fish. Cate and I had one such day this week where after a long walk downstream and a few fish to the net the wind rose, cloud cover descended and the day became rather tough indeed. Fish simply weren’t out or weren’t there. You can either go hard, or go home in such situations, and we weren’t leaving.

Here’s a fast five of things you can do to turn your day around, as we did.

  1. Cover ground and pick the eyes. The more ground you cover, the more fish you’re likely to find out on days when very few are. The eye of the pool is one of the best producing lies. Fish are easily seen and are there to feed. Keep on moving from eye to eye and make the most of the activity.
  2. Hit different types of water. Try the deeper, softer water, the riffles, the rougher, bouldery runs. Try the wider flats or the shallower tail outs. Work out where the fish have gone and take the fight to them.
  3. Spend the most time in the best water. There will be good water, but then there’s great water and this is where you should spend your day. Fish the great water slowly and thoroughly as that is where the fish are most likely to be.
  4. Prospect cover with big streamers. Make fish react by stripping Mr Glisters or Sex Dungeons along deep, cut banks, across drop offs, around debris: anywhere trout will hunker down when they’re not on the chew.
  5. Switch rigs more often. Not only will you feel like you’re doing something to change the mood of the day but it will keep your knots fresh for when you do hit a stubborn fish. Change size, colour, features such as rubber legs, flash / no flash and the way you present them. Dead drift nymphs, pull them or swing them. Give them life to get noticed.

Most of all, stick at it and focus on the water before you. The fish are there. You just have to find them.