Autumn mayflies making for good days and a fine outlook

The sun is shining as I tap this out on my computer which bodes well for the weekend as the little rain that is forecast will do no harm to your favourite stream.

Earlier in the week some waters rose a little but are now back to summer lows.

Approaching autumn, leaves are beginning to colour and fall which means that on breezy days hooks will frequently come into contact with them which is a nuisance but a small price to pay for what is often the best fishing of the season.

On my last few outings, I have seen mayflies on the water, both duns and spinners, and trout rising to them.

Between now and the end of the season the hatches of duns and falls of spinner will increase in frequency and duration.

Trout seem almost as preoccupied with mayflies as fly fishers are, and will rise to them whenever the opportunity, ah, rises.

Mayflies in most of our streams and fly fishers should keep an eye out for them when fishing. The best chances of mayfly fishing are on the Taieri, Pomahaka and Mataura, but any small lowland streams will have hatches too.

Last weekend, Murray Smart and I fished the Mataura. It was fine and calm when we arrived at Wyndham bridge, promising a good day on the water.

I started on a favourite stretch fishing it through carefully with a weighted hare’s ear on the point and an unweighted version on the dropper.

I would have been equally as successful with no flies at all as I did not touch a single fish and only spooked one small one close to the bank.

As I approached the top of the ripple, I noticed odd rises on the flat above.

The first one was well out and I waded out and covered it with my nymphs and one of them was taken straight away.

I do not know which nymph worked as the fish dropped off before it came to the net.

A bit further up I spotted a fish beneath a bush and it took the unweighted nymph.

An hour and a-half to catch the first fish.

By now there were quite a few spinners on the water and although there were fish rising to them, the rises were spasmodic and not often enough to convince me they were locked on.

I kept the nymphs on and when I saw a fish rise, I covered it with the nymphs and most times it was taken. If they did not take on the first couple of casts, I would let the flies sink deeper on subsequent casts and list the rod when I thought they were near the fish, this would induce a take although not always a hook up. The spinner fall gave about half an hour of nice fishing.

By now it was getting hot and time for a cup of tea and time to compare notes with Murray, who had done even better below the bridge.

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