As temperatures cool, make the most of daytime

Once again, what rain that fell across the region has had little effect on river flows, but it has certainly dropped the water temperature.

At the beginning of the month, the Taieri was hovering in the mid-teens but now is barely into double figures.

Of all the rivers, the Mataura rose the most from rain in the upper reaches of both the main river and the Waikaia. They dropped quickly and are now at a good, fishable level.

The Taieri, too, is looking good and from the Maniototo down should be worth a try.

Some of the smaller streams such as the Waipahi and Lee Stream have risen a little, which should freshen them up and make them worth fishing.

One feature of this time of year, especially on clear days, is the sudden drop in air temperature once the sun goes down, which brings the sudden cessation of fish activity — the much-anticipated evening rise does not happen.

So, make the most of any daytime opportunities.

I have mentioned daytime hatches of mayflies recently but they seem conspicuous in their absence. That said, I have seen a few duns trickling off at times.

Stillwaters have lacked action recently, too.

I fished Blakely’s and Mathias’ dams this week, and there were very few fish showing.

There was still frost in shaded areas when I started at Blakely’s and there was a thick mist holding out the sun. By mid-morning the mist had burnt off and my hands had thawed out, and I saw the odd rise but all but one of them was out of range.

I did catch one fish which was very pleasing, not because of its great size but because it weighed just over 300g. It would have been one of the fish stocked in November which averaged about 100g.

For the weight to treble in five months shows how productive the fishery is. It will be interesting to see what they weigh in five months when the new season starts.

The fish will only have to survive predation by shags and bigger trout to keep on growing, as both Blakely’s and Rutherford’s dams closed yesterday.

After lunch I moved to Mathias’ dam where I did see a few rises — not a lot and not very often, but enough to keep me plugging away.

I did not hook very many and I landed even fewer.

The best fish was a maiden rainbow caught in the same spot as a 2kg rainbow two weeks ago.

It was on a different fly this week; it was a water boatman and the previous one was on damsel fly nymph.

After 4pm, the little breeze that had been flitting around dropped off and the water went flat, and shortly I noticed a mayfly spinner sitting on the water.

There are no stillwater mayflies in New Zealand but they can be seen on Mathias’ occasionally as they hatch out on the race that feeds the dam.

By the time I packed up I had seen several more.

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