Cooler weather over week ups chances of catch

The dry spell continues with rivers remaining low in some cases and in others continuing to drop to very low levels.

The cooler weather over the last week is to the advantage of the fish and the angler being at an ideal level for trout feeding and therefore more catchable.

The one river that is higher than might be expected is the Mataura because of West Coast rain creeping over the Southern Alps into its headwaters. However, it is still at a good fishing level.

I have been trekking around the South Island over the last week, although not for the purposes of fishing, and have looked at fishing spots on the way.

I looked off the bridge over the Mataura in Gore and was surprised to see the amount of gravel that has been deposited because of the big flood in the spring.

The holding water has been greatly reduced and I saw fewer trout than I would have expected above the bridge.

The water below looked better and there were trout feeding in likely spots behind rock in the deeper water.

The most trout I have ever seen off the Gore Bridge is 54. This time, it was about a third of that number.

The next water was the Waiau at the Lake Te Anau control gates.

It was windy and cold and no trout were rising but in one sheltered spot there was a cloud of larvae mayfly spinners waiting for the wind to drop before laying their eggs.

I checked out the Clutha in Albert Town and this time I was able to fish.

Again, it was cold and windy so I positioned myself in the lee of a stand of manuka. I only saw a couple of sedges in the air and the usual small trout rising close to the gravel beach.

I did hear a better fish rise at dusk and made a speculative cast in its general direction and was rewarded with a splashy rise to my deer hair sedge and duly landed a nice rainbow.

That seemed an appropriate time to return to a warm motel room.

The next day I drove across the Ahuriri and it was as low as I have ever seen it, absolutely perfect for fishing on a warm calm day if only I had had the chance to take advantage of it.

From there on all the Canterbury rivers were very low, despite fresh snow on the Alps melting and tingeing the water blue.

Despite not fishing all these waters I did have a pleasant day on the lower Taieri fishing for rising trout beneath the willows.

The first fish landed were a brace of perch on a hare's ear nymph until a rise was spotted and a trout took the fly.

There were a few trout rising, enough to make the fishing interesting.

There were also several chasing inanga in the shallows, scattering them in all directions and almost beaching themselves in the attempt to catch.

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