Eager to get back on the water this weekend

Mike Weddell holds a 2kg fish he caught on the Mathias Dam. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Mike Weddell holds a 2kg fish he caught on the Mathias Dam. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The season is getting off to a good start, most waters have been fishable over the past week and prospects are good for the weekend.

Not surprisingly with the warm weather of recent weeks, water temperatures are higher than normal.

The lower Taieri has been up to 13degC in the past couple of days.

River levels are stable and the picks for the weekend are the Taieri, Waipahi and Pomahaka. Most of the small rainfed streams are also worth fishing, especially in the afternoons when a hatch of mayflies can be expected.

Southland has had more rain than Otago, especially in the headwaters, and most of the rivers are a little too high.

In particular, the Mataura would be better if it was 20cm lower, although it is still worth fishing and will only get better as it drops.

My first day out for the season was on Mathias Dam on opening day.

Trevor Millar and I had a cruisy start mid-morning and there were fish moving from the start.

One surprise was the complete lack of weed which I have not seen before on Mathias, just bare silt. The one thing that thrives in silt is the midge and there were clouds of them in the air.

Despite the presence of midge, I fished a damsel fly nymph slow and deep and was rewarded with a 2kg brown trout before lunch. Things picked up a bit in the afternoon with both browns and rainbows caught, all on damsel fly nymphs.

There were several other anglers on the water, and everyone seemed to have caught fish.

My son came down from Christchurch for the weekend so it was back to the Maniototo on Saturday.

We fished the Taieri first; it was little higher than I like but was very clear so we gave it a go. We spotted some fish rising in a backwater so settled down to try to catch them.

It took a while to get the first one as they were rising spasmodically. The trick was to get the fly to the rise as quickly as possible and it was the water boatman that enticed the fish.

In the afternoon we fished the Mathias Dam where it was even warmer than the day before and there were more fish moving.

Chris was into fish straight off, catching several browns in half an hour acting on brilliant advice from his father who recommended a midge pupa imitation. The best fish was over 2kg.

Things slowed a little after that but we caught a mixture of browns and rainbows on both water boatman and midge pupae.

Surprisingly we only saw one other angler — Bob Hancox, who also caught a fish in his short session on the water.

We were happy to head home at 5pm having had a great day.

I cannot wait to get out again.

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