Choice of where to fish at the weekend wide open

The record temperatures recorded recently have kept rivers and streams warmer than normal for the time of year, but it will just take a frost or two to cool them down.

The warmer water has resulted in trout being more active early in the mornings and produced good evening rises.

The only weather factor against the angler last weekend was the wind.

On Saturday I fished the Mataura in perfect weather and on Sunday was blasted off the Taieri near Middlemarch by gale-force winds which showered leaves and branches on the water.

The forecast is not too bad for the weekend with the possibility of some rain but hopefully not enough to discolour rivers.

The choice of where to fish is wide open, although the mayfly hatches that I have mentioned over the past few weeks have not materialised, at least not in the afternoons, probably due to the warm water.

Fishing the lower Taieri on Tuesday there was not a cloud in the sky and very little wind, which made casting easy but I noticed most of the fish I caught were hooked fishing into the sun.

When fishing with the sun behind me I cast to several fish with no response, possibly due to flash of the leader in the air or on the water.

At this time of year with the sun low in the sky, shadows are long even in the middle of the day, so it pays to fish the bank that allows you to cast towards the sun. At one point I heard the sound of a rise which seemed to come from the shadows under willows on the far bank.

I waited to see if I could spot it if it rose again. It did not.

I cast into the shadow and immediately hooked a good fish, which dashed out into the open water and was eventually brought to the net.

The area of shadow was quite large so I thought that another cast was called for.

In fact, it took another three casts to hook a second fish, slightly smaller than the first.

Shortly after a few fish began to rise spasmodically most refused my hare’s ear nymph except when I cast into the shadows or with the sun behind me.

A glorious day on the water.

I had a harder day on the Mataura on Saturday.

The weather was perfect and the water looked good but there were few fish to be seen.

I had two fish in the first 10 minutes and never touched another fish by lunchtime.

A change of location after lunch produced another two fish in the first 10 minutes then nothing for a while.

Towards the end of the afternoon, I picked up a few more before calling it a day.

It seemed ironic that driving for a few minutes to the Taieri I caught the same number of fish as on the Mataura, where I fished for twice the time and drove for a lot longer.


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