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Ronan's report

Sunday March 30th, 2008

There's about two months of the regular trout season left here on the South Island. And in some ways, it's the best of it. Sure, there are lots more 'easy' fish before Christmas, and the cicada hatch keeps us happy until mid-February, but the cream of the dry fly fishing is still ahead. The big hatches of Deleatidium and caddis are just about to start. This is the time to raise your game a little - maybe a lot - and work on your river presentation tactics.

But another great thing this time of year is the lakes. The rainbows are at their fittest, and most of the big lakes have big populations of super bows that run from two pounds on up to some real thumpers. These fish are real bullets and give you some fun on the lake shallows. The brownies are starting to think upstream thoughts and are beginning to concentrate around the lake heads, so it means that we have the best fish at the peak of condition. And very few anglers around. How good is that?

Stalking the shallow lake flats is just too much fun. It's not easy fishing, especially when the surface has glassed off as it does on some of these late summer days. It means you have to mooch around slowly, with no sudden movements. You keep casting to a minimum and seldom put out a line except to make your shot at a cruising fish. You get cracks at dozens of fish, but only a few are converted into hookups. Bumcast, Bhuddachu and I have seen some interesting feeding behaviour out there that needs some analysis. Mostly it's been buzzers and corixa. We've been working trough some fly patterns. Bumcast, believing they were looking for something specific (and backsliding a little from the strong version of Urinal Cake Theory) came up with the Crazy Legs Damsel, because I took three fish on a hare's ear damsel - although we all agreed there were no damsels being eaten, but, you know, it worked. The Bhudda reckoned my simple damsel looked a lot like a small galaxid, or bully. Ignoring that, he nailed a couple on the string fly. I've gone so far as to leave the wings off a DHE, which works, too. These flies, it was noted, are pretty much chironomid styles.

We all agreed that presentation is the big deal. Fly movement was generally a no-no, after the fish had noticed the fly. More here later. Stay tuned.


Pic Of Day

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