Best bets are waters which dodged downpours

Just as things were looking good for the weekend, thunder showers raised river levels throughout the region.

River temperatures have been higher than usual for the time of year with most 14degC-16degC, which is an ideal temperature for trout feeding — the optimum range being 14degC-18degC.

That means fishing should be good if fishable water can be found.

The best bets for fishable water are the East Otago streams and smaller waters in South Otago such as the Waipahi and Waiwera Streams which seemed to miss out on the downpours.

Of course, there are the stillwaters to save the day. They have saved the day for me several times already this season but it would be nice to fish a river for a change.

I was in Te Anau for the long weekend and the visit was remarkable in two respects, the first being that there was barely a breath of wind for three days and the second the number of anglers I saw.

The latter was the result of a fishing competition being held for the great prize of a boat.

There were boats all over the lake and lines of anglers on the shore which is good for licence sales.

I was teaching my grandchildren to spin and took them out a couple of times, the first to Lake Henry where we had the place much to ourselves thus reducing the chance of some unsuspecting people being impaled on a fishing hook.

Although the surrounding vegetation did take a hammering at times.

Then second outing was on the Lake Te Anau at the mouth of the Upukerora where it was not so much finding a good spot as finding an unoccupied spot on what was a lovely sunny day.

The 5- and 7-year-old grandchildren were no danger to the fish but seemed to enjoy the experience.

In between taking out tangles and offering constructive criticism to the pupils I had a look under some rocks to see what nymphs were present.

I was surprised to see quite a few mayfly nymphs, surprised because there are no true still water mayflies in New Zealand.

I found them up to 50m from the river mouth — beyond that none at all, showing the river influence was important for them.

I did do a little fishing myself at the outlet of the lake in the evening.

The first evening there were a few sedges on the water and quite a few rising fish and I caught a couple on a deer hair sedge.

The rise was short-lived whereas the next evening there were masses of insects but very few fish rose and I only had temporary connection with two.

There were a lot of anglers fishing at the outlet, too, which surprised me as most of the times that I have fished there in the dark I have hardly seen another angler.

Now to decide where to fish this weekend.

 - Mike Weddell

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