Good conditions offer the luxury of choice

Mike Weddell practises casting on the Silver Stream ahead of the start of the fishing season...
Mike Weddell practises casting on the Silver Stream. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Choosing where to fish this weekend will not be easy as all waters look to be in good order.

It is rather nice to have to make such difficult choices for change.

I usually make my choices based on where I have fished recently and which waters I would like to have fished but have not been able to due to them being out of order.

It is tempting to go back to a particular river if the fishing there has been good recently, but is also a good idea to fish somewhere new or somewhere that has not been visited for a long time to broaden your horizons.

I will not fish a dam this weekend because I have fished dams several times this season when rivers have been unfishable — or rather, not as fishable as I would have liked.

My choices will be made from a list that includes the Taieri, the Mataura and the Pomahaka.

The final choice will be made on the day, taking in to account the weather and water conditions.

I have fished several different places over the last week, none of which turned out as I expected.

The first was the outlet of Lake Te Anau. It was a perfect evening, almost calm and quite mild.

There was not a cloud in the sky and there was a pink glow on the lake from the setting sun. The only clouds to be seen were mayfly spinners.

The huge Oniscigaster spinners, which can at first glance look like damselflies and smaller mayflies, probably Delatidium, gyrated above the water.

Few, if any, were on the water so there were very few rises.

Just after the sun had set there were some splashy rises to sedges, but only a couple were within range.

Both took my sedge on the first cast to them.

Then there were no more rises. So, the whole evening’s fishing was condensed into ten minutes.

Normally the evening rise to sedge goes on for much longer.

The next outing was on the Whitestone River.

The weather was mild and not much wind, the water was very low and clear.

So far so good.

The river had obviously had a big flood through it and I did not recognise any of the pools and ripples from the last time I fished it.

I covered every likely bit of water with nymph and it was some time before I hooked a fish which was in a small backwater.

I landed three others, each of which was in its own deep pool.

At the end of the day, I had fished for six hours — saw six fish, hooked five, landed four and lost one.

The other fish followed the fly then drifted off. I would have expected to see more fish and the odd rise.

I also fished the Taieri on the Maniototo. Conditions were good — not much wind but no flies and very few rises in the morning.

In the afternoon, some damselflies appeared and trout were jumping at them and I caught a few.

Hopefully things go to plan this weekend.