Angling: Trout should be active

Once again as we approach the weekend everything looks promising from the fishing point of view but as we have seen over the last couple of weeks, conditions can deteriorate rapidly at the last moment.

With fingers and toes crossed for this weekend the prospects are looking good. There is little rain forecast and the only blip on the horizon is a northwest wind on Sunday.

Water temperatures are well up this week and trout should be active throughout the day and through the night from now on. A small stream that is looking good after a long period of above-normal flows is the Waiwera, a stream that many anglers drive past on their way to other more favoured rivers. Some of this stream is hard to fish because of willows, but it has a good head of fish averaging about a kilo with odd ones up to twice that size. The flies to use are a small brown nymph or a cochy bondhu, as there are quite few beetles around now. Another good option is the Mataura, which could apply at any time of the season if the level is not too high. I prefer to fish the lower river for several reasons, one being the large number of fish there, although there are times when they are hard to find; just knowing that they are there somewhere helps to keep confidence and enthusiasm levels high. It is not necessary to cover huge distances to find fish and if there is no feeding frenzy in progress odd fish can always be found feeding in out-of-the-way corners. These are such places as backwaters, alongside weed beds or nosing about for caddis in the shallows.

A third option is fishing an early-morning rise to hatching midge in such places as Paddock Bay on Lake Wanaka or the Ahuriri arm of Lake Benmore. On a fine calm morning this sort of fishing can be spectacular with trout cruising the shallows sipping in midge pupae just below the surface. Trout will venture into water so shallow that it barely covers their backs. It pays to keep back from the shoreline and make sure there are no fish close in before wading out further. A size 14 black midge pupa is the ideal fly.

On a different note, salmon fishing is worth a go at the moment. The usual rivers are producing fish and so is the Otago Harbour. The Waitaki is between 400 and 500 cumecs which is reasonable for salmon. Ideally, there should be some colour in the water as salmon seem to take better in such conditions. This seems to be one of the better seasons for a while. The last really good season was 1996 when a large number as salmon were caught in the harbour and salmon rivers as well as the Taieri. Salmon runs are unpredictable usually dependent on the ocean environment but when a good season comes along you need to make the most of it.