I’ve got a few requests from the same person regarding the flies I use I NZ. Making a little post about it is surely relevant so here we go! Dedicated to Reine.
This is entirely based on my experiences and is probably denied by some anglers out there.
I don’t think that I’m the only fishermen out there who’s got a box with hundreds* of varieties which of I only use around five or something.
Fishing in the north island and fishing in the south island is different and people generally use different techniques. Since the rainbow trout seems to be predominant in the north most people use three-way tackles.
I’ll try to explain why and how this is done.
Most of the rainbow trout are found in deep swirls or pools where a simple weighted nymph is most likely to be flushed in and/or out of the pool without really getting down to the sighted fish. Even if it does get down to where the fish is lurking, catching the fish’s attention may be a problem due to Nz rivers abundant resource of food. Anyhow, back to the tackle.
First I tie on a stimulator, something that generally is called indicator down south. This should be a big dry fly that possesses strong floatant power. The stimulators work is to catch the fish’s attention and to indicate when a nymph gets inhaled, or in the best of situations, the stimulator itself gets swallowed.
A stimulator may be whatever desired big floating fly with preferably a bit of foam in its pattern.
My favorite stimulator, I have no idea what it’s supposed to look like but it got rubber legs, a shimmering torso, some colors and white straws coming out of its back. A good thing about rubber legs is that it looks alive when retrieved which have attracted a lot of fish in the way that a streamer does.
A smaller variety which can be really good when there’s brown trout around or when fishing for generally more fuzzy or wary fish.
And yeah, the collection of stuff that seemingly is serving a life sentence in the box, but a day will come when I feel like breaking old habits, or a day when the favorite falls.
The next fly should be applied 1-1,5 meters underneath the stimulator/indicator. This fly should be a heavy weighted and in most situations highly visible nymph in size 8-12.
This nymph’s work is to drag the bottom nymph down to the fish’s level and to catch the fish attention. Generally, putting out a big nymph in the water catches most fish’s attention but usually gets rejected due to its size. Here are some examples of weighted flies for the task.
This is my fav, the picture doesn’t really show its size difference compared to the other nymphs but the size is around 10.
– A beadhead with some glimmering colors and with a little touch of red on its back, legend.
Another good fella. A heavily weighted, oversized pheasant tail. This fly is good when the fish is fuzzy or wary due to its discreet colors.
When the stimulator and the weighted nymph has done their job which is catching the fish’s attention, the most important fly has to do the job so I catch some actual fish rather than just getting attention.
Here, any tiny popular New Zealand fly will do the job, depending on situation. Even a small wet fly can do the job sometimes!
The bottommost fly is tied on around 20-40 cm behind the weighted nymph.
Depending on the fuzziness of the fish, either a shiny or discreetly colored nymph should be applied.
I’ll get to those flies soon.
That’s the three-way tackle of the north that does its job in many situations and that allows for a high level of creativity when it comes to selecting flies.
I’ve never tried the three-way tackle down south for catching fuzzy browns feeding in deep pools, something that will be very interesting to try later on when go back south.
Usually I use only two flies in the south. And that’s one dry fly and a nymph.
The dry fly gets inhaled every once in a while which is really fun. But its only purpose isn’t to get inhaled all the time; it also works as a strike-indicator.
I usually use smaller “stimulators” down south.
This one generally imitates a hatching mayfly, or so I think. The biggest trout I ever caught in NZ was on this fly.
The same kind of dude dressed in grey, why the fish would care about that detail I’m not sure but sometimes variation feels good inside.
An epic dry fly for dusk and dawn that does it job as an indicator at any time.
Sometimes a smaller indicator does the getting-inhaled-job better than the big ones.
Finally, at the end of every line, there should be something that the fish wants to eat even if it doesn’t feel like rising.
Copper John. My first choice in all situations and the only fly I’ve seen a big brown move over 3-4 meters just to get a get a taste on.
Pheasant tail, perfect for wary fish. My all-time secondary choice.
And this is a caddis-something of which I don’t know the name but fish usually go nuts when they get to see this.
The stonefly. Sometimes the trout selectively feeds on this.
And for the rainbows, something small with a hint of red in its pattern may sometimes make the fish put down its defenses.
And when none of these work I just tie on any of these to see if I can discover a new favorite.
And oh, there’s a certain “Horned Caddis” which is great for selectively feeding Rainbow trouts.
That’s the one!