Last month before the season opens again – get prepared now
  |  First Published: July 2013


We have two waters open in the region for July, but with the recent maintenance work at Lake Meadowbank the best option is really not an option at all.

The level was drawn right down for all of April and the best part of May, so most of the rainbows would’ve gone down into the Derwent when the level was lowered. There would still be a few browns left in the remaining water but I really can’t recommend the fishing, unless Inland Fisheries release a load of Atlantic salmon or rainbows into the lake.

This usually happens in the weeks prior to the season opening again so it will pay to keep an eye on the IFS stocking list on their web site.

Lake Burbury is the really other option if you want to risk a trip to the wild and woolly west. Personally I think I’d rather stay home and tie some flies or save your petrol money and stock up on those lures for the more friendlier early spring months. If you tie your own flies or a looking to stock up with some more from the shops, July is the month to get cracking!

Early last season a few patterns did stand out for me and a few other mates. Muz Wilson’s Black Fuzzle Bugger worked very well, as it did throughout the season in the right conditions. This pattern ticks all of the boxes, black in colour with a touch of flash, it has a great profile and plenty of movement, don’t be afraid to tie it big: a size 4 isn’t too big.

Give the fly a nice long and full marabou tail, add a bead head also for increased depth and action. The rise in popularity of the fly fishing competitions has really caused an influx of very effective flies in the last few years, one that has made a real impact has been the Shrek. Again it has plenty of movement and flash, usually tied on size 8 or 10 hooks, Kamasan model B170 or B175 are a good choice. Tie the tail as long as possible to the get the most action possible, many anglers were fishing two Shreks down deep on sink tip lines early last season all over the highlands for some great results.

The old reliable standbys will always be popular though and rightly so, the Mk 2 Woolly Bugger, Black Woolly Bugger and if you find fish in close in the first weeks of the season the Scintilla Stick Caddis or the 007 are never poor choices.

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