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.