November 26, 2019
The most versatile fly for New Zealand is probably the pheasant tail nymph closely followed by the hare and copper nymph. A green beetle imitation during the time when they are prevalent is always a good option. Nymphing is the most widely used and most successful fly- fishing method in New Zealand.
Dry fly can be very successful but of course it is dependent on the hatch which is in turn dependent on the season and the weather. When there is a hatch the obvious choice is to match it but failing that; the Parachute Adams and Royal Wuff are good all-purpose dry flies. During the cicada season a cicada imitation can be deadly.
The king of wet flies in New Zealand is the Woolly bugger. The Hammel’s killer, Mrs. Simpson, Scotch poacher and Grey ghost are also popular in specific circumstances. Blood worms work well in streams where a worm could be expected to naturally end up in the water. During a mouse year a mouse imitation at dusk or after dark is very effective. Fishing stream mouths in lakes at night with a dark wet fly can produce a bucket list fishing experience.
Leading up to the spawning season, glo-bugs are widely used and highly effective. The new gel egg imitations also work well.
As any experienced fly fisherman will know, its about understanding what the fish are feeding on and trying to match that. Understanding what depth the feed is being taken at is also important. Using beaded nymphs when necessary and slow sinking lines or fast sinking tips depending on the depth of the water can make a significant difference in your success rate.
Recently, Czech nymphing is gaining popularity but I have not made a concerted effort to test where and when this is effective. Likewise, wee wets are used effectively by a select group of fishermen who seem to do very well in specific locations and conditions.
Author: David Turner