The rain of recent days has mainly affected rivers to the
north and east of the region, leaving South Otago and
Southland unaffected. However, as the forecast is unsettled,
regional council websites should be consulted before setting
out to catch a fish.
At the moment, the small streams of South Otago - especially
the Waiwera and the Waipahi - are in good order. If the
Mataura consistently keeps dropping, it should be good for
Sunday. An advantage of the recent weather is rivers are
cooler for the time of year, in the mid-teens Celsius as
opposed to 20degC or higher. Fish are more active and grow
faster in these conditions.
If you are keen on stillwater fishing, it is just a matter of
choosing your favourite water and hoping that the weather is
suitable for fishing and access. The tussock lakes are well
worth fishing at this time of year as are lesser waters such
as Butchers Dam and Conroys Dam. The latter two are easily
accessible and handy for a couple of hours' fishing if you
are in Central Otago.
The big lakes, Hawea, Wanaka, and Wakatipu, can be worth a
look, especially where grassy areas have been inundated, as
this brings up worms and insects and trout move in to feed.
The same is true of the Clutha River - where there's about
half a metre of water in paddocks, there's a good chance of
Rivers with a run of migratory salmon or sea trout will be
well worth fishing as the water drops and clears. The
Pomahaka and Taieri look the best bet. Last weekend, Murray
Smart and I fished the Maniototo. We started on the Taieri,
where the water was a little misty but at a good height.
Contrary to the forecast, it was cool with showers but it
warmed and brightened through the morning.
Most of my fishing consisted of herding feral geese, broods
of mallards and swans. With patience and skill, I managed to
land a couple of nice fish. Murray landed four for his
morning's effort. By 11.30am, the wind rose to an
uncomfortable level so we moved to Blakely's Dam, where
whitecaps crashed against the dam and a lot of weed was
responsible for a fish that Murray hooked getting stuck and
We had a look at Matthias' Dam (high and dirty), then moved
to Hamilton's Dam, which was slightly misty but fishable. I
saw a fish rise behind the willow-covered island and gave it
a choice of a diving beetle and a damsel fly nymph. It chose
the latter and on examination was found to contain willow
grubs and a green beetle. Luckily, there is usually one silly