Riches mean choosing where to go the hardest call

As I type this column it is raining, and the temperature has dropped 12degC since this morning.

However, I can see bright sky to the west and hopefully that means not enough rain to spoil the fishing at the weekend. It should, in fact, freshen up rivers and streams by cooling them down and maybe raising the level a little.

Once the water temperature drops below about 15degC trout and trout food will go into autumn mode with mayflies hatching during the day and trout locking on to them.

If conditions remain settled, autumn can provide some of the best fishing of the season.

My favourite autumn river is the Mataura but there are other good mayfly waters such as the Pomahaka and the Taieri, as well as the many smaller rain-fed streams in the region.

The final decision where to fish will be made on Sunday morning, and will depend on the weather forecast and height of the river.

We are blessed with a plethora of riches in Otago and Southland as far as trout fishing is concerned, which makes choosing where to go the hardest decision of the day.

Last weekend Murray and I decided to fish the upper Taieri.

I had fished the same section of the river a couple of weeks ago with some success; unfortunately it was not as good on Sunday.

We covered a lot of good water and saw no rises and between us we spooked four fish and landed two.

By lunchtime the cool easterly wind had become quite strong so, weighing up our options, we decided to have a look at Blakely's Dam.

When we got there the water looked in good order, quite full for this time of year with a touch of peatiness and the weed did not look too bad.

Fishing the north shore looked a good option as the wind was on to the left shoulder, making it easier for us right-handers.

I tied on a pair of damselfly nymphs, an olive one on the point and an orange version on the dropper.

Fishing from the north shore means fishing across the wind and, as fish feed upwind, it allowed covering the beats of any fish passing within casting distance.

After covering the water for about 15 minutes I had a solid take and felt the fish for a few seconds, then the line went slack, then contact was made again and the fish took off on a strong run.

I guessed the fish had taken the dropper come unstuck and had been foul-hooked by the point fly as the rod recoiled.

And sure enough, a magnificent 2.5kg rainbow was hooked in the dorsal fin with the point fly.

A few minutes later another rainbow a little smaller was landed on the same fly.

Murray put on an orange nymph and landed the first brown trout we have had from the dam in some years - a beautiful 2.5kg fish.

All the fish we hooked were on the orange nymph.

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