During the past week, river conditions have been the most
stable so far this season: ideal for holiday fishing.
During the holidays, anglers have the opportunity to venture
Waters worth venturing to are the tussock lakes, Loganburn
Dam, Lake Onslow, Upper Manorburn Dam and Poolburn Dam.
These places are usually associated with cicada fishing,
which is at least a month away. However, the fishing can be
just as good with green beetles on the water.
If it is warm green beetles will be active and, if they fall
on the water, there is a trout waiting to grab them. A beetle
imitation, such as a coch y bondhu, fished conventionally
with a fly rod or with a threadline outfit and a bubble float
will catch these eager trout.
Running waters are low, clear and fine, and far off is the
best approach. On willow-lined waterways, trout are locked
onto willow grub and can be difficult to catch.
A small imitation with a fine tippet of dull nylon improves
the angler's chances. Shiny tippet material is often the
reason trout refuse our offerings, especially in low water
and bright conditions. My picks for fishing at the moment are
the Mataura, just about anywhere on the Taieri and any of the
tussock lakes if the weather is fine.
I cover quite a few kilometres in pursuit of trout over a
season and ironically this week I caught my biggest trout
this year within a few minutes of home.
I popped down to the Taieri and, talking to other anglers, it
appeared I was too late for the main action.
They told me there had been lots of fish rising earlier in
the day but I struggled to find any to cast at for a while.
The first fish I landed was a perch. I spotted a shoal of
them and plonked a nymph in front of them and the nearest
nailed it. It was about 500g, which is a decent perch.
I eventually found some trout feeding on willow grub;
incessant rising while ignoring angler, line and hook. Sheer
persistence produced a fish of 1kg.
Later I came to a long line of willows on the far bank and
there were several fish sipping away. The water was deep and
they were hard to reach. I was in up to my waist and could
just get the fly near them. One of the fish looked bigger
than the others so I concentrated on that one. Eventually it
took the size-16 willow grub tied to 1.5kg tippet and
conveniently swam towards me and away from the tangle of
trees on the far bank. It made several determined runs
towards those trees but luckily the tippet held and after
about 10 minutes a fat hen fish of 3.5kg was in the net. At
the rate it was feeding, it could be 4kg by now.