Fly Fishing with Chris Dore

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


Forecast For April. Spinners in the South.

Posted by chrisdore on March 26, 2012 at 1:30 AM

Well rain, rain and rain, what a wet end to summer we have had. Rivers have for the most part, remained blown and the saturated catchments run off the slightest of rains straight into the river. Still, there has been fishable water and coming into autumn we are hoping this is the last of it. So what does this mean for the remaining month of the lowland season?








I dont hold high hopes for the Mataura hatches unfortunatly but feel there will still be some exciting dry fly action for those who explore. It only takes one stable riffle, free of sedimentation to turn on a few mid afternoon emergers and whilst hatches may he sparse, spinners generally return in a synchronised fall. The surface junkie is sure to get his fix.





I enjoy hitting spinnerfalls. Good numbers of fit trout head-tailing in the backwaters and smooth glides, foamlines and edgewaters. Long, fine tippets and effective imitations are esential for success, as are good presentations.












Where possible, I like to get across stream from spinner-sipping trout. This way the line / leader can be kept well away from these fish which often feed in the smoothest of water. Other fly first options include floating a fly downstream via a reach, or parachute cast (see my article, 'downstream dries' on This way, your fly is the first thing to enter the trouts vision, and in the spooky flat water of the pools, this can often be the key to success.





Now as the fish are sitting high in the water column, often looking for minute items a few inches in front of them there window of vision is not huge. The angler can approach to a rather close point, even upstream from which to present his fly. The benefits of a close quarters assault is to avoid the many microcurrents often present in the tailouts and foamlines. The less line on the water, the less currents you cross, thus, micro drag is kept minimal.












Bare in mind too the longer your fly is on the water the more drag it is likley to pick up, and so i am often placing my fly a mere meter or so above the fish, to ensure it is still drifting well as it is inspected. Drop close, pick up farther downstream: whilst the trout may not see your fly drop to the water, they will often 'feel' your line tearing from the meniscus upon pickup.




As for patterns? 'Dores spent spinner' (of course :) ) from Manic Tackle is a good one, as are many of the commercially available spent spinners. Ensure they are dressed sparse and of the right size. Here it is important to diffentiate between a size 16 and 18 when required. Brown / mahogany coloured spents are what I use although I personally think its more the 'footprint' your fly leaves within the surface that does the job.











Get out there and do it this April! As they say, if they arent rising in the pools, nymph them in the riffles!



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