Sunday Share - Canterbury Winter Fishing 2016

By Jeremy Poulter 06/19/2016

I managed to duck down to South Canterbury (McKenzie Country) for my first winter trip of the season. The forecast was terrible, strong southerlies, rain, and possibility of snow. I was by myself so the photos are a bit average of the fish, I was worried I’d drop the phone into the depths!

Typically I don’t mind poor forecasts, that normally means people stay at home, and I get the water all to myself – just how I like it! Well this weekend was no exception – I wrapped up warm, donned the waders and the waterproof jacket and ended up having the lake all to myself both days, and funilly enough the weather was pretty good (as you can see!)

The lake was fishing really well. In really close I found some good Browns still cruising right up into the grasses and feeding well. They were fussy, even though they probably haven’t been fished to for weeks. Damsel Flies and Snail imitations did the goods. At the moment all the McKenzie Lakes are much fuller than normal, even spilling water throughout the weekend.

Further out in the lake, my wee inflatable pontoon boat took me out to about 3-5 metres of water, and the fish were found in the old river channels / guts. Some solid, fit and healthy Rainbows bent the rod multiple times.

While there are many many winter fly options out there, I still rock the old Red Setter this time of the year. It just performs, and when you have faith in a particular fly, you do seem to catch more fish! I tie mine up on size 4 hooks, and for the deeper water I’ll tie a Marabou tail with some flash in it just to get noticed more. If I know the fish are there, but not biting, I tie up a few smaller options in size 10 hooks with a small tungsten bead on the front to help get it down to where the fish are.