Fly Fishing with Chris Dore

Your FFF Certified Fly Casting Professional


A collection of random thoughts, experiences, trip reports and links to cool stuff.

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Early season solutions - keeping your indicators dry

Posted by chrisdore on October 10, 2016 at 3:15 AM

Early season often means fuller flows and colder temperatures and so aside from the occasional hatch event on smaller, rain fed waters nymphing is the mainstay. In cool, often wet conditions the issue is in keeping yarn indicators dry, floating and visible...

The key to keeping yarn style indicators dry is to simply not go fishing. Since that's not an option, here are a few others...

At home..

Loon Hydrostop.

This product dries completely oil free and can be used to pre treat indicators, and material or flies hot off the vice.

Soak your indicators for 5 minutes before drying for 24 hours in-between a paper towel.

Your indicators will be permanently waterproof and ready to fish each time you pull one out of your box.

On stream..

If you're like me, you aren't organised enough to pre treat your dries and indicator material, so rely on on-stream options.

Loon Lochsa

Lochsa is a premium all-around gel floatant that even works on CDC. It won’t mat dry flies made with CDC and is perfect for treating any type of feathers, hair, hackle, or yarn. Lochsa will provide maximum floatation without the slightest hindrance on appearance. It is silicone based, and won’t melt in the heat or harden when it’s cold.

Loon Top Ride

Known as “Shake and Bake” by world class guides, this desiccant (drying agent) and powder floatant is fast and easy to use. A fly or indicator (still attached to the leader) goes in wet, and a few shakes later comes out dry and coated with a powder floatant. A great way to dry and rejuvenate waterlogged, or trout slimed flies.

So dont get stuck retying flies or replacing indicator yarn while your mates are catching fish. Do what the thinking anglers do and carry the right products and maximise opportunities

The Drop on Drop-offs

Posted by chrisdore on September 25, 2016 at 6:50 PM

So the rivers are nearly open and for most, early season sees the nymph box getting a real workout. Riffles, edgewaters and backwaters all fish well but it is the drop offs where many of the better fish will be found...


My approach is to find a good one, and fish the heck out of it.


I always sight my way through first: if you can see the fish, then you know where to drift the fly, and if you have to drift it again... And again... If they're sitting deep / not visible I'll work through blind, covering the hotspots multiple times.


If they're sitting shallow / responding high in the column I'll often go to a dry / dropper, however this type of water is ripe, and produces best to short line / contact nymphing techniques. Indicators / dries will often drift at a different pace on top than what is required of the nymph below, and relying on an indicator will result in a lot of missed fish as they tend to take, and drop the fly very quick in these positions.


Get amongst!


Stalking September Cruisers - Bully Chasers of the South

Posted by chrisdore on September 15, 2016 at 2:35 AM

September is a time when our Southern Lakes come alive. Following winter spawning activity the browns have returned to the lake shores and are feeding avidly around the lake margin as springtime conditions bring everything to life.


This year, following a very warm, mild winter, these browns are present in big numbers, and are in cracking condition too... If you're not out there amongst them, you should be, and here are a few tips to get you started...


- Find the food: look for flats with a nearby drop off supporting lush weedbeds, rocky structure or chironomid filled sandflats. The closer to a rivermouth the better.


- Do nothing: these fish are cruising, so let them come to you. Spend time watching and locating fish. Wading around in search will spook more fish than you will catch. Remember that these browns are territorial so will usually repeat their beat - if you don't have a good shot, let him cruise by and be better prepared for his return.


- Fish when the sun's at its highest: watch the entire lakebed come alive. These fish arent always easy to see so put things in your favour. While they can be caught blind on overcast days, or when using a high backdrop to break the glare they're a little bit more tricky on a calm, blue topper so need to be targeted... Plus you cant beat the rush of clearly watching these guys accelerate towards your fly.


- Give 'em meat: Brown bullies play a huge part in these fish' diet, so Mrs Simpsons, Mr Glisters and Little Buggers are worth their inclusion in your flypatch. Damsels, snails and chironomids too are local favourites and if you're lucky you may even find them looking to the top.


- Don't overfish it: these fish are patrolling for food, and after winter spawning are pretty hungry. A single pull, lifting your fly from the lakebed will be more than enough for these fish to engage. Over enthusiastic stripping will often result in suspicious fish, follows and refusals.


Bonus tip: use the right gear. My favouite rod for these often short casts is a smooth, medium actioned, 5wt G2. (The new Airflo Creek Series rods would excel here also). Long casts and high line speed is not often needed here. This is close quarters combat... A sixth sense slow intermediate (0.5 ips sink rate), or clear camo fast inter (1.5 ips sinkrate) will anull line shadow and surface disturbance on the retrieve, or if you opt for a floating line, a long leader or 10' intermediate polyleader is a decided advantage.


Get amongst!

Tying for October - Contrast

Posted by chrisdore on September 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM

So whats the point in fishing something you cant see? In Octobers often glarey, low light conditions the typical white post parachute flies are next to useless. Im not a fan of white posts at the best of times but they are a definite no-go on the river in most early, and late season conditions.

As you can see in this pic, a black wing makes for a strong silouhette in such conditions and allows the angler to track their fly accurately, ensuring they're fishing their best. Trout aren't going to refuse your fly on colour alone, so red, chartreuse etc posts come in very handy most days. If you can see your fly, you will fish it more confidently.

Get tying!


Don't be boring... Give it life

Posted by chrisdore on September 1, 2016 at 2:30 AM

So if you're one of those anglers who mindlessly strips your streamer while gawking around at the scenery, then your probably one of the 90% who catches 10% of the fish and lies about the other 80... But theres something you can do about it...


Spend time in the shallows, watching how your fly swims, and play around. Boring, uniform strips may bring your materials to life somewhat, but look at what happens when you shake your wrist and jiggle the rod tip. Change the size / speed of each strip, incorporate twitches, pulses and sweeps using the arm more. Simply bring your fly to life to appeal more to the trout.


A couple of tips...


- Take note of how krystal flash, and other flashy materials add life to your pattern and use them accordingly.


- See how your flies react when fished in teams of two or three: the organised, synchronised movement of a couple of whitebait imitations will create an eye catching pattern when pulled through a shoal.


- Try using buoyant, or heavy materials for different effects: a foam backed fly pulled on a sinking line will lift during every pause, and dive under control when stripped, whereas lead eyes or a tungsten bead will give your fly a jig type action when the retrieve is paused on a floating line, especially if a loop knot is employed.


- Likewise see how your flies perform on different density lines: a light / unweighted fly pulled on a sinking line will often have more 'life' than a heavy fly on a floater.



The speed of retrieve is the easiest thing to manipulate. Try this... Begin with a slow retrieve down deep using short, 6 inch pulls like a fish that DGAF. Twitch your rod tip to bring your materials to life.


Now as your fly approaches and lifts up across the shallows, strip fast from the elbow in a series of long pulls to simulate a bait fish trying to escape in exposed water.


Now abruptly stop! Keep the line tight and be ready for any fish which were chasing down its fleeing prey, only to come up on it out of nowhere. You've now given them only two choices: eat or don't eat...


Finally give it one last twitch / pull to convert any undecided fish watching your hastily stopped fly.


A bit more exciting eh, and it keeps you a little more active too....


So take a few moments to experiment, mix it up a little and put more fish in YOUR net.

Sea Runners... Its time!

Posted by chrisdore on August 25, 2016 at 4:00 AM

The NZ Whitebait season is now open and many excitable people are flocking to our estuaries. I too will be visiting an estuary or several over the coming few weeks but not for the 'bait.


Muz's BMS Grey

Im a fan of the incoming tide and high tide turn for chasing sea runners, particularly the hour prior and hour following high... If this coincides with the change of light, all the better.


A quick loading, powerful rod and an easy distance line such as the Airflo 40+ is my choice of rig and don't forget the DI7 for getting down when the tides really pulling.

Muz's BMS White


The key is to get your flies noticed amongst the thousands of naturals, and simply fishing them in teams of two or three creates an eye catching synchronised movement with every pull... Fishing cooler flies than others is the other key, and again MANIC is here to help you out...


Salt Candy Grey

Along with our super cool Silver rabbits, Grey ghosts, Silver Dorothys, Green Orbits and other estuary fly box essentials in sizes 2/6/10, we're dropping these funky newer ties you probably wont have seen yet... The trout sure haven't...



Salt Candy Olive

2016 Sporting Life Turangi, Winter Fly Fest

Posted by chrisdore on August 13, 2016 at 2:05 AM

Thank to everyone that came along on Saturday for the Sporting Life Winter Fly Fest. Turn out was great even though the weather wasn't, already looking forward to seeing what we can do for next year. Thanks to Rene, Chris Dore and Tore Nilsen for the casting demos and Matt Wilson for the wader repair workshop in store. And a massive thanks to the crew at Sporting Life for hosting the event!

Above: Chris, Rene and Tore - Q&A session

Above: Rene Vaz demonstrating roll casting techniques

Below: Chris running through 'get shit done' tactics and and how to deal with the wind

Spring Ties: Simple Smelt

Posted by chrisdore on August 8, 2016 at 6:00 PM

So things are starting to warm and the famous South Island whitebait run is about to kick off and will see many of us chasing the voracious estury browns gorging themselves on these tiny morsals as they enter our Southern Rivers from the sea.

Many patterns are simply too overdressed when the natural is but a small, slim whisp of a creature. Heres my solution...

Simple Smelt:

Hook: (Strong) Kamisan B175 size 10 - 12

Wing: A few whisps of white bucktail with a couple of strands of silver krystal flash

Directions: Simply tie it all in at the head and finish

I always fish these in a team of two or three to create a fish catching 'synchronised movement' of the flies with each pull on the line. These are also top flies for our Autumn smelters in lakes Hawea, Wanaka and Wakatipu. Try a few!

Swingin' Stingers

Posted by chrisdore on July 30, 2016 at 3:20 PM

I had a message from a mate just the other day reading: "I've just bought some stinger style flies. How does the hook up rate go on them in your experience?"


Often in winter our trout aren't actively feeding, so we look to cover water and incite an aggression strike by swinging often bright, 'come get me' flies across the current. In this style of fishing most takes come from behind the fly as fish chase them in, and so the tail of the fly is where our hook should be. With standard patterns, particularly with longer marabou or rabbit style tails designed for movement, unless the fish really wants to engulf your fly the result is often just a 'pluck', another opportunity gone...


Another benefit of a stinger is that smaller / shorter hooks can be used on longer flies. You still retain the benefit of that long shanked #2 leech, but avoid the associated problems of hooking a fish on a long shank hook. In short, you will lose far fewer fish following the hook up on short stinger hooks.


Another handy benefit of a stinger hook is that dull hooks can often be switched out.

2016 / 17 Guide Bookings - Come Fish with Chris

Posted by chrisdore on July 20, 2016 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 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 brown 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