What am I missing?

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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:41 pm

What am I missing?

Post by Flygirl » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:52 pm

Hi, I’m relatively new to fly fishing, I have been trying to catch a fish for the past couple of seasons with no success. I’m not loosing them or scaring them off I just can’t seem to find ANY fish to even have a go at, I’m getting pretty disheartened.
My questions are...
What time of day should I be fishing?
And what am I missing?
Tips, tricks, ideas all welcome.

Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:30 pm

Re: What am I missing?

Post by Maniototoflyfisher » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:26 am

Hi Karen - Whereabouts in Canterbury are you looking for a trout to cast to? Many of the smaller rivers have minimal flows especially in summer and can't support a resident population of trout. I have a friend in Canterbury that is learning to flyfish and usually has to drive a couple of hours towards the hills to find trout. Even then he often resorts to the soft bait rod because the trout are deep and not visible. Your best option is to team up with an experienced flyfisher to get you started. I presume you have polarised glasses to give you a better view into the water.
Hopefully someone around Canterbury will PM you and offer to take you out. Otherwise you might have to take a road trip and come down this way!

Posts: 147
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 10:31 am
Location: Invercargill

Re: What am I missing?

Post by Dave » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:46 am

Hi Karen
As David says join one of the local clubs and go out with some of their members. I am sure Andy W will be along shortly to promote the Canterbury Anglers Club and their is also a Canterbury Fly Fishing Club. Either will be able to help you out and get you that first fish on a fly.

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fraser hocks
Posts: 844
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 3:25 pm
Location: Queenstown

Re: What am I missing?

Post by fraser hocks » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:34 am

Yea as the others are saying, join a club. The way to get your foot in the door as it were with fly fishing is to learn from others. Tying to do it on your own will no doubt lead to you becoming disheartened. Joining a club you will get to go spend a day fishing with others that know what they are doing and your learning curve will spike upwards.

If your ever down Queenstown way, drop us a line and im sure myself or one of the other club members can get you out and show you the ropes.

Bucking trends in fly fishing since 1970!

Andy W
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 2:01 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: What am I missing?

Post by Andy W » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:55 am


The reality is that any fish in a river close by Christchurch is getting a hammering thanks to YouTube. In addition, you have the environmental factors coming into play, so the fish numbers are well down. Where you used to get a 10 fish day on one of our spring creeks - now any fish landed is a great day.

I prefer to fish during the day, as that suits my preferred method of sight fishing. Prospecting a pool (blind nymphing a run or pool) is no longer worthwhile, so you have to put on the best polaroids you can afford and go slowly looking for a fish. Mayfly and Caddis hatches have been non-existent so far this spring, so fish are not out on the feed. Thankfully we can look forward to some willow-grub action soon, which will shift the advantage to the angler.

It feels a bit early for an evening hatch of mayfly or caddis, but they will happen and once they do any flat stretch on the Waimak in the evening is worth a look. Same on the larger rivers around the region. I was out last night trying to recover a jersey I lost out fishing Sunday. Didn't see a rise or a fish. Sunday they were leaping to Damsels flying or lifting for mayfly and caddis emerger’s, but bugger all about.

Late spring you can get some good action in all the local rivers in the evening when brown beetles start to hatch – the starlings have wrecked a patch in my lawn, so they are not far off flying. Same for cicada’s too – our local fish key onto these once they start to move.

Now that the high country lakes are open just wander the edge and offer something that looks like food – a soft hackle looks like a caddis and does it for me most days.

Knowing what it is that you are seeing hatching – and fish feeding on, then matching the hatch is part of the allure of fly fishing. There are plenty of very good books on the subject in the library if you haven't already accessed that resource. BTW: Tying that bug is just the start of a very slippery downhill slope :lol:

Sounds like you need to get to know a few other fisher people, and just generally ask questions, and then get out and observe. You could start with the team at Fisherman’s Loft as they are not shy of good advice - they have a young lady part timer. Joining a club is not for everyone, so no shameless plug for the https://canterburyanglersclub.org.nz/ - it depends on what you want to get out of one. We have a few ladies that fish (both fly and spin), but you would find any of the blokes at a club night helpful too. We do have an under-utilised library full of NZ fishing books BTW... And there is also the Canterbury Fly Fishing Club - they have some very capable Lady anglers too.

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