Angling: Higher temperatures in ideal range

The relatively mild and breezy weather this week helped dry out saturated ground and consequently rivers and streams have been dropping steadily. Most small streams are in good fishing order but the bigger rivers, the Taieri, Clutha and Mataura, are still a bit on the high side.

However, they are dropping too, and as long as there is not too much rain they should be fishable by the weekend.

The higher air temperatures have lifted water temperatures into the ideal range for fishing between 12degC and 16degC.

Streams that look good for this weekend are the Waipahi and the Waiwera and if they keep falling the Pomahaka and the Mataura will be worth a cast. One stream that does not get a lot of attention is the West Branch of the Tokomairiro. Although difficult to fish in places because of overhanging trees, some sections hold plenty of medium-sized trout so if you are looking for a challenge give it a go.

The weather last weekend was not what most anglers would choose for a fishing trip, but if you have to go, you have to go regardless of the weather.

Murray Smart and I headed for the Maniototo early on Sunday morning and as we descended into Strath Taieri there was snow on the tops all around and there was a strong wind blowing. It was much the same when we arrived at Blakely's Dam. The snow was well down on the Hawkduns and much of the Rock and Pillars were obliterated by rain or snow clouds. Showers passed us on either side throughout the day with the wind varying between strong and very strong.

The water was clear but slightly peat-stained and there was a lot of weed, which made fishing difficult in places and impossible in others. My favourite starting fly is a damselfly nymph which I fished on the point. As a dropper I used a midge pupa as there were some midge hatching. Fishing a convenient clear channel in the weed, I soon saw a fish rise but despite covering the area for a while nothing happened. I moved 50m along the bank and was soon into a fish and just as quickly it dropped off.

A little further along I was soon into another which went ballistic doing circuits of the weed beds.

Luckily the tippet held and eventually a 2.5kg rainbow was netted. I kept this fish and despite being caught on the midge pupa it had mainly large snails in it.

A few minutes later in the same spot a 1.5kg fish was landed and returned. For the rest of the morning very little happened either in the way of takes or rises.

After an early lunch, both of us had several takes and Murray was unlucky to lose a couple of good fish in the weed before landing a nice one. We had a few takes from small recently stocked, fish which will be well worth catching by the end of the season.