Chris Dore Fishing Report for Reel Life March 2018

  • 27/03/2018

Chris Dore March 2018So the temps are cooling and trout are back on the chew. Hopefully much of the severe weather is now behind us leaving us with cooler, autumnal mornings and more pleasant afternoons as mayfly populations replenish and mature. 

Mayfly now mature at a smaller size than  those of Spring / early summer, and so 16’s and 18’s should adorn your fly patch over the larger ties of October.

I tie my nymphs small, sparse and dark, unweighted, leaded or with small tungsten beads. Some are tied with hotspots or coloured beads to stand out in low light or when the invertebrate drift is heavy. Pattern isnt a major for me, as long as it fits the above parameters. 

My emergers are sparse, a quill or hare fur abdoman, and Aero wing or cdc wing. For a few local specials check out Mataura Stalwart David Murry-Orrs ties at

In a spent spinner I look for a strong but fine sillouhette with softer wings. Grizzle hackle tied spent, or sparsely wrapped and clipped flat across the top of the hook, or light cdc tied spent all work a treat for me. A mahogany dubbed, or spanflex abdoman and split fibres for a tail.

Having trouble seeing your small, subtle film fly? Tie it off a short trace 12 inches from a hi viz parachute. 

I dont really carry many dun-specific ties. While fish sipping duns will readily accept an emerger pattern, trout feeding on emergers will usually require an emerger. Due to the numbers available, and easy accessibility the emerging dun / floating nymph is a phase that trout will often lock into. This is one of the two key phases, along with the spent spinner IMO for the angler to cover come April in the South. 

I prefer a fine, supple tippet to move freely within the film and snake river mud, or similar to sink and dull down the shine give you the upper hand on brighter, calmer days and the ability to read rise forms is essential to hit these now often specific feeders

A boil, or an upwelling off water can suggest fish feeding within, or beneath the film on emergers.

A full nose rise usually indicates trout munching duns, and usually you will see the upright wings of the prey and many others surrounding. 

A more relaxed head-tail rise often indicates fish sipping spent spinners, the casual rise form indicating a prey who cannot escape.

Always keep an eye on, and be aware of what you see in or on the surface at any time. You may see a number of duns, but those few spinners at your feet may be higher in number out where that fish is, and be what you need on your leader. You may have fished unsuccessfully with a fully hackled dry without success, yet the abundance of shucks along the edges may have been able to tell you something. This is true ‘match the hatch’ dry fly fishing, and some of New Zealand's finest.

When covering rises you need to keep on your toes. 

Are the fish coming up from the bottom or holding high in the water? If the latter, drop your fly a little above the rise, minimising drift time and those pesky micro currents. If the former, the fish may be drifting some way back from its holding position as it lifts and feeds. In these situations you will need to land your fly some way above the rise to ensure youre covering the fish. A longer tippet will assist in more slack by your fly  and a longer, more natural drift. 

Accurate, quick casts with the ability to impart immediate slack down by the fly, pile casting, serpentine and reach mends will all put more fish in the net and don’t neglect a downstream presentation - an essential on calm, glassy days.  

If the fish doesn’t eat your small, dark film fly it probably isn’t your fly...

Get over here and get in there. The Mataura is undoubtedly New Zealands most prolific brown trout stream with a super abundance if 18-24 inch free rising, wild browns and its about to come into its own...

Get some!  

Chris Dore

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