Angling: All but Clutha at OK level for weekend

The rain that fell at the beginning of the week did not affect rivers and streams too much and all except the Clutha are at a reasonably fishable level for the weekend. If you are both a salmon fisher and a trout fisher you will have difficulty deciding where to go at the moment.

There are good numbers of salmon and some very big examples are being caught in the harbour and the tidal reaches of the Taieri. As well, the cicadas have started and there have been some good catches of trout on the tussock lakes. Rivers worth fishing for trout would be the Mataura, the Pomahaka and the Taieri.

Very few anglers seem to fish the mid-Taieri in the Strath Taieri area, even though there are good numbers of trout there. While not as big as those in the upper river, they are still worth catching. In some parts there is a bit of bush-bashing but there are open sections too. At the moment these mid-Taieri trout are preoccupied with willow grubs, although on cooler overcast days mayflies will make life a bit easier for the fly fisher.

On the topic of mayflies and willow grub I fished the Pomahaka on Waitangi Day and it turned out completely different from my expectations. The weather was much cooler than forecast and damp in the morning. I spotted a couple of fish rising and tackled up, got into position and caught one of the fish, a modest specimen of just under 1kg.

I then walked downstream about 3km and began to fish back up the river. I saw the odd fish but very few, most of which were under the willows on the opposite bank and out of range. I eventually caught a second equally modest fish after more than three hours of fishing. When I got back to my starting point there were two fish rising where I caught my first one. I hooked and landed both of them as well as losing another.

The afternoon was completely different. It was dry and a little warmer although quite overcast. There were odd mayflies hatching and a few trout rising and they took a small nymph just below the surface. After a while they were obviously taking from the surface so I fished an emerger. This was not your typical all-out mayfly rise, just the odd fish or maybe two or three in a pool rising spasmodically.

If I saw a rise I got into position and waited for another rise then covered the fish and mostly this worked. On two occasions I caught fish that were only a couple of metres apart - having one of their mates disappear did not seem to bother them. The rise eventually petered out about 5.30pm. As I walked upstream to the car I spotted some fish in the shallows and managed to catch one on the small nymph. A very satisfying afternoon after a frustrating morning.