Angling: Mataura and Pomahaka best of bunch

At the time of writing, rivers were at their lowest level since the season began and the big decision will be where to fish when just about anywhere would give opportunities to catch fish.

The best of the bunch in my opinion are the Mataura and the Pomahaka. Not far behind would be the Taieri and the lower Clutha. If small streams are your preference, then any one you care to choose should produce results.

We are between spring and summer conditions now and sometimes the fishing will be like spring and sometimes like summer. Warm days will finish with an evening rise to sedges or mayflies but on cooler days the hatch of mayflies will probably be in the middle of the afternoon.

Overall we can expect fish to be feeding either on the surface or sub-surface most of the time which greatly increases the chances of catching fish.

The advantage of fishing at this time of year is that weed growth has not taken off yet and this makes small streams especially easier to fish than later in the season when it really takes a hold.

I must admit though that I like fishing in small streams when they are weedy, as the fish are easier to find as the lies are more defined. It can be a bit of a bother having to remove weed from hook or line, but it is worth the effort.

Last weekend the Mataura was just dropping into the good fishing range, so Murray Smart and I decided to give it a go. We fished in the Wyndham area. The hard part as usual is picking which stretch to fish, as it is all good. There are a lot of fish in the Mataura and regardless of the section fished it gives confidence that even on a bad day it is possible to catch a few fish.

Sunday was not one of the better Mataura days as there was a strong downstream wind and few fish rising and few to be seen in the shallows. If the fish are not rising and not in the shallows, the logical thing to do is fish deep. By mid-morning this had produced two trout for Murray and one for me. Another pool produced a couple more. An early lunch was called for and after that we moved upstream, fishing opposite sides of a large ripple which only produced a couple of fish.

Around the next bend I saw a fish rise and managed to catch it, shortly after another rose and that took the nymph too. Things were looking up we thought, but we did not see or touch another fish in that area.

We drove upstream a few kilometres to just below Mataura and an hour there increased the score by three fish, all three were feeding close to the edge and again took the nymph.

By then the rain clouds were gathering, the temperature was dropping and the rain began to fall. Time to go home.