Fly Fishing with Chris Dore

Your FFF Certified Fly Casting Professional, and Member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association


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Stream Mouth Intel

Posted by chrisdore on August 17, 2017 at 7:20 PM

Picture your typical lake stream mouth. These can fish well at this time of year but are not as easy to fish as some think. On a clear day you may hit one or two fish, but they will be finicky and few and far between as clear, bright conditions leave them rather exposed. Youre better off hunting out a weedbed. If starting at the creek mouth I would probe the drop off with an Airflo Clear Camo intermediate fly line and a smaller, more natural streamer or pair of wets retrieved slow but it's in the deep where most fish will be found on days like this, the domain of Airflo Di7 Forty Plus integrated shooting head and a trained cast.

Now throw in a night of rain. The creek is now pumping and discolouring the shallows... This is the time when these areas fire. A fast inter through to Di5 line depending on depth, a Yoshi Bugger, Dores Mr Glister, Rabbit or similar sporting lots of movement, fished in teams and stripped fast to grab a reaction can be killer. Fish feel less exposed in foul weather, choppy or coloured water and good numbers will move right up onto the flats in, and adjacent to the creek mouth.

If the action slows then fish your way along the lake shore as winter shoals will often roam, and by staying mobile, covering water and working it you will no doubt locate them again.

August is a great month for rainbows, and some rather large fish too. Wrap up and get out there!

August river mouth tips from Dore

  • Attach your fly with a loop, and what better knot than a Leftys loop. The extra movement this allows, especially on clear days will pay off on finicky fish, and can even bring less articulate flies to life.
  • Fish your feet first. Think it looks too shallow? It isn't...
  • Use fluorocarbon for abrasion resistance and check your tippet often. The transition between the depths and shallows on these lakes are usually strewn by masses of sharp rocks and debris, and your leaders will get a hammering.
  • Start off natural and light on clear days in the shallows as fish will be more wary, and go to something with a bit of flash and colour once you wade out to plug the deeper, open water.
  • Keep changing it up regardless if you're not getting hit. Make changes in size, colour / accents and shape / profile of your fly.
  • Important too is switching up your retrieve. Super slow crawling, long slow draws, short fast strips, stopping, hanging, fishing the drop...keep playing until something works.
  • The change of light is the prime time to hit fish massing at stream mouths, particularly immediately following a fresh.
  • Beware of unstable drop offs which may drop away beneath your feet - safety first!
  • Keep a couple of rods rigged up at the car. This makes for a quick change between a fast intermediate, Di5 and Di7 say.

Rug up and enjoy!

Stripping 101

Posted by chrisdore on August 17, 2017 at 7:15 PM

Yo! Let’s chat about a rather important aspect of swinging that most two hand tyros neglect...

Undoubtedly the sexiest part of your routine with compact head systems is seeing a tight, straight D or V loop being transitioned smoothly forward and sent off into the distance. Then comes the swing, slow and controlled working through some Gucci water. No fish, now strip, strip, strip that head back, anxious to do it all again.

However there are four key elements to the above cycle: The cast, the mend, the swing AND the retrieve... most anglers neglect the latter, (and the mend to a large degree, but that's another blog), and this costs them fish by retrieving line haphazardly without thought.

The way we conventionally fish streamers is to cast them out, and employ a variety of methods as we enticingly strip them back in right? So why aren’t we doing this here, as we strip back our running line? I mean, we are often pulling our lure back upstream through some pretty good looking pockets, seams, drop offs and most often, along those uber-fishy banks. Makes sense to me to fish them.

In our clear waters here in NZ fish will see your fly from quite some distance, and move on them accordingly. The next time you retrieve your running line in prep of your next cast, keep your rod low, line tight, and dance the rod tip, vary your retrieve, fast / slow / stop, manipulate your fly back upstream through the choicest of water and be prepared for the eat... you WILL catch more fish.


Posted by chrisdore on August 17, 2017 at 7:10 PM

It's that time folks when summertime energy levels have gone and the mid winter chills creep in. For many that means the dreaded Man-Flu. We are a sympathetic bunch and understand what you may be going through, so here's a fast three to get you up and fishing again in no time...

  • Wrap up in your Simms Waderwick thermal base layers, Tightlines gloves and Chunky beanie, jump into bed and get it sorted
  • Put on season one of Pure Fly NZ
  • Pour a dram or two of whisky from your Simms flask. Add a squeeze of lemon, a tblsp of manuka honey, top it up with hot water and repeat until symptoms subside, or you feel like dancing

Youre welcome!

DIY Sink Tips. The Low-down

Posted by chrisdore on August 11, 2017 at 3:35 PM

When it comes to sink tips for two hand fly fishing we really are spoilt for choice. Flo tips and Salmon / steelhead weight polyleaders cover a wide range of angling conditions and are designed to be very angler friendly, however it is the nature of fly fishermen to tinker and customise our rig to better suit our style, the water, and situation at hand.

Airflo have long been the benchmark for sink tips in design, innovation and quality, and due to the unique qualities of polyurethane coating, continue to make the strongest, slimmest loops on the market, and provide a couple of easily customisable options for building your own.

18' T tips. These 18' lengths of T material come looped on one end, with a handy coloured sleeve indicating weight. T tips are available from T-7 at the lighter end of the range through to T 18 designed to sink like a stone

20' Custom Cut tips looped at both ends, these 20' lengths come in both 200gr ( T-10 ) and 330gr ( T-16 )

Customising your tip - the low down…

Grain weight:

Spey lines and sink tips are measured in grains ( 1 grain = 0.065 grams.) To keep things simple, T-10 = 10 grains per foot, T-14 = 14 grains per foot etc, and so a 12' T-10 tip will weigh 120gr, and a 12' T-14 tip will weigh 168gr. The above sink tips are tungsten impregnated and so designed to sink, fast.

Sink rate:

The T designation denotes the density of your material: how quick it will sink to depth. T-7 sinks at 7 inches per second, T-10 at 8ips, T-14 at 9.5ips and T-18 at 11.5ips.


The length of the tip determines how long your fly will stay at depth throughout the swing. A shorter tip will raise the fly quicker / earlier in the swing whereas a longer tip will keep your fly at depth throughout. A tip thats too short may kick about and become troublesome to anchor whereas a tip that is too long, or heavy may overload the rod, or prove difficult to turnover.

Let's chat:

Employing a longer tip means your fly will remain at depth for a greater portion of the swing, great for wider, more uniform flows. In faster, shallower rocky reaches or for fishing a deeper gut adjacent to a shelf, or gravel bar a shorter tip may prove beneficial so as you don't foul up in the shallows as your fly swings to shore.

In general, I find most anglers I guide are comfortable handling tips of around 10' - 12', and these cover most situations.

Remember, Longer tip = longer stroke whereas shorter tips require a more compact casting stroke. If you're starting out and just getting the hang of spey casting, keep your tips at a uniform length as suggested above for ease of casting.


What you need:

T Material


Tape measure

Airflo braided loops / 15lb nylon

Loon Uv knot sense + UV torch

Flytying bobbin and a few different colours of thread

How to:

Butt end.

Measure and cut material to length with sharp scissors

Slide the braided loop over butt end

Whip a Bind over the braid with tying thread

Secure the bind with UV knot sense and cure

Tippet end.

Repeat the process with a second braided loop. (Tip: colour this loop with black permanent marker to prevent the bright white of the braid whizzing past the fish's nose)

Alternatively, and my personal preference is to tie an Albright knot to a short length of 15lb nylon. Create a perfection loop in the end for an easy loop-to-loop connection to your tippet

Handy tip:

Use a coloured thread binding on the rear loop to indicate weight. I.e.: yellow for T-7 Green for T-14 etc. For quick identification of length you may choose to use 1 bind for 10' tips, 2 separate binds for 14' etc. Formulate a system that works for you.

Dores 2 cents:

Personally I favour 10' - 12' sink tips, the extra length allowing my fly to stay at depth for longer throughout the swing. Shorter come in handy for swinging in across shallower drop offs / bars, and where I don't want my fly too deep in the latter part of its swing. This is also where factory Flo tips come in handy, offering 7.5" of T material with 2.5' of intermediate transition to smooth out the cast. However I also asked my friend, and Oregon Steelhead guru Matt Klara for his thoughts on sink tip length...

Klara speaks:

"Hey Chris. I find a 12ft tip to both fish and cast better in virtually every circumstance in skagit casting. The perfect point in the length continuum of castability and fishability. I remember when I learned I could cut back Rio 15' tips to 12'. That was a breakthrough for me. I feel like you get fewer blown anchors and a less abrupt, slappy turnover, regardless of fly size compared to shorter tips. A longer tip also allows for a deeper BROADSIDE presentation in wide runs. A 15' tip is often too much anchor and runs to deep at the end of the swing to get a good presentation into the hang. Rivers I fish include Deschutes, Klickitat, Sandy, Clackamas, John Day, OR coast, Grand Ronde, Snake, Clearwater, North Umpqua for steelhead. Missouri, Yellowstone, and Madison for trout here in MT, where I also prefer 12' tip, but slower sinking.

I actually almost never go for an 8' tip honestly. I’d rather fish a slower 12' tip. That said, if fish are in slow bouldery flow I will sometimes sacrifice castability and go to a short 8' tip to "hang it' between the boulders. This is typically on inside seams, so casting distance and cleanliness isn’t a priority.

Broadside is a big deal to me especially for summer steelhead and brown trout."

Now go swing!

Need Boots?

Posted by chrisdore on June 22, 2017 at 7:50 PM

Looking to replace your boots after a hardcore season? Check out my advice here...

Spey Tip - Easy Loops in Airflo Miracle Braid

Posted by chrisdore on June 2, 2017 at 2:10 AM

We've been selling a lot of Airflo Miracle Braid of late as the local spey scene look for an easy to use, super long shooting running line for lighter / shorter heads. A question we often get asked is 'how do we loop this to our backing & head?'

Splices are often fidgety and nail knots aren't the smoothest movers through the rings of your rod. Luckily the guys at Confluence Fly shop have a solution for easy, smooth, easy-through-the-guides and most importantly, durable loops." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Click here for the Video

Tech Session - Fixing pinhole leaks in waders

Posted by chrisdore on May 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM

So it's winter and chances are by now, your waders have been given a hammering over the past season. While goretex is the most breathable, 'durably waterproof' wader material on the market, it's time to give your Simms a health check.

First, clean them... this will unclog the pores and improve breathability. Not to mention, dissappear the funk.

How to clean goretex waders...

* Machine wash on a delicate cycle. Pop the shoulder straps inside of the wader pocket so they dont tangle on moving parts.

* Use powdered detergent, without fabric softener.

* Hang dry both inside then out away from direct sunshine

Now to check them for leaks...

1 - turn waders inside out

2 - spray them with isopropyl alcohol, available from your pharmacy

3 - Any pinhole leaks will show as little black spots. While visible, circle the more problematic holes lightly with biro, so when the alcohol dries you know where the leaks are

Fact: many pinhole leaks remain unnoticed as the whicking properties of the goretex remove moisture before its noticed.

4 - Apply a small blob of aquaseal on your finger tip and simply smear it over the hole. That's all folks!

5. Have fun removing aquaseal fron your finger ??!!

For those wanting a more in depth, visual instruction check out Brian here from Simms...

Getting eggy for winter

Posted by chrisdore on May 15, 2017 at 4:55 PM

It’s that time of the year when the browns are on the move and winter edges closer to the front of everyone’s mind. Flies get heavier as fish move less to feed and louder in design to catch the eye and egg patterns begin to get more attention.

Imitating the roe of spawning fish, or an 'emerging trout', for the purist, egg patterns can be fished in a number of ways, in moving or stillwater with success:


• Solo, or in teams on a sinking line

• Tied on a short trace behind a streamer and stripped, or swung on either single, or two hand rigs


• Tied behind a nymph and fished upstream beneath an indicator

CHRIS’ TIP: as many egg patterns are tied from yarn type materials - the same stuff often used as indicator material they tend to be rather buoyant. If fishing an egg behind a nymph you should choose a heavier pattern to pull it down. Iron Maidens, Hooligans and Simons Uglies are my pick.

You can also play on this in stillwater and fish them on a longer trace. Every draw of the line will pull them deeper and forwards and an extended pause will see them rise so slightly, especially if a foam style eye, or booby pattern is employed.

Dealing with Late Season Glare

Posted by chrisdore on May 8, 2017 at 2:00 AM

While the main freshwater season here in the S.I. has ended many of our top backcountry lake tributaries remain open for another month, offering often great opportunities to nab a large, migrating brown or fighting fit rainbow. However with shorter days and a very low sun angle, not to mention the incoming winter weather, glare / poor visibility will most days be an issue.

Here's a fast 5 to help beat that glare:

1/ Fish dry flies you can see. Big & bright, sure, you may put off a couple of fish, but you'll connect with other takes you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

2/ Position yourself to better see the fly, whether that means from below, out from the bank casting back in, casting away from the edge at 45 degrees or side on. You need to know where your fly is.

3/ Have a spotter to watch your fly. Two anglers working as a team is often the best way to fish.

4/ Keep in contact with your fly. You may feel the take if you don’t see it, and a bit of movement on the nymph isn’t always a bad thing.

5/ Keep your line short. You will see your fly much better if it’s close to you, and not 60' + away.

2017 / 18 Guide Bookings - Come Fish with Chris

Posted by chrisdore on April 29, 2017 at 6:10 PM

Its booking up strong so if you want to tick one off your bucket list, and fish with Chris, contact him now!

  • Guided Fly Fishing (NZPFGA)
  • Qualified, IFFF Certified Casting Instruction (IFFFCCI)
  • Wilderness Heli Fishing
  • Queenstown Day Trips
  • Multi Day Road Trips
  • Backcountry Campouts
  • Single, or Two Handed (Spey) Options Available

Chris Dore is one of New Zealands most recognised, and referenced fly fishing personalities and offers guided fly fishing excursions througout the lower South Island of New Zealand. Day trips depart ex Queenstown area and multi day bases may include Lumsden, Te Anau (Fiordland), Twizel and Haast to get you onto the very best  water for the conditions.

In 2006 Chris became one of the first New Zealanders to sit, and successfully pass the International Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor Examination and is a member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association. A battle-tested 12 year guide, Chris operates under an audited Health and Safety plan, holds all mandatory insurances and is concessioned by the New Zealand Department of Conservation to legally guide within our National Parks and river reserves. Chris believes that "Life's too short to not catch fish" and takes a fun filled, and highly instructional approach to fly fishing and guiding.

"So feel free to browse this site, my blog and my Fly Fishing with Chris Dore and Friends facebook page to get a feel for what I'm all about. Feel free to touch base with any questions and enquiries to put in motion YOUR lifetime trip to my neck of the woods."

Chris Dore