Weekend’s weather a perfect chance to fish

A puddle in a 
A puddle in a Maniototo paddock is home to a 2kg fish, which is still swimming there. PHOTO: MIKE WEDDELL
Summer has arrived (again) this week, and with the weather forecast looking as settled as it has been for a while, this will be the weekend to get out fishing. River levels are also just right.

The Mataura is at its best height for weeks and so is the upper and middle Taieri. The lower Taieri has risen over the past few days but is dropping now and should be fine for the weekend too. All small streams to the south are fishable, as is the Pomahaka.

The fine weather is also good for cicada fishing on the tussock lakes, and with a few fine days in the lead-in should ensure rising fish.

Fine, warm days tend to give the best opportunity for fishing an evening rise to sedges on running water and midge pupae on still waters. The same weather encourages willow grub to drop to the ground to pupate, but many of them will inadvertently drop on water, bringing trout to the surface to feast on them.

I have not fished rivers as often this season due to high water levels and I will take advantage of the conditions to remedy that for the rest of the season. I made a start last Friday by fishing the Taieri on the Maniototo. The morning felt more like autumn, with a chill in the air and heavy dew on the grass.

A brisk walk down stream helped warm me up as I kept an eye out for rising fish. I saw none on the river but as I passed a small shallow backwater, more of puddle in a paddock I spotted a fish rise. Even though the water was clear, it was hard to spot it. Eventually I saw it and the water boatman attached to my tippet did the trick and a nice fish of just under 2kg was soon in the net.

I continued my walk downstream and still did not see any rises in the river. I came to a pool where I decided to start fishing back to the car and I saw a rise in a narrow channel off the pool. On investigating, I found a fish swimming towards close to the edge of the channel. It too seemed temporarily pleased to see the water boatman. This fish was just over 2kg.

At this point the action slowed a little as I picked my way up the river. I found one willow grubbing fish and after a lot of casts it took my fly. It too was just over 2kg.

After a quick lunch I continued upstream and a few fish started to rise mostly jumping out at damselflies and a few dimpling the surface for either willow grub or one of the odd mayfly spinners that had appeared on the water. Whatever it was that they were looking for, an unweighted size 14 hare’s ear nymph seemed to match their choice. And so, the afternoon wound to a close and cup of tea beckoned.

Mike Weddell

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