Flowing waters a gamble after rain

The considerable rainfall over the first few days of this week has raised the levels of all rivers and streams.

The South has experienced between 30mm and 50mm of rain in that time and Swampy Summit had 80mm.

There was even enough rain in North Otago to raise the levels of the Shag and Kakanui rivers, which up till now had been very low.

All rivers are now dropping, some quite quickly, but the fishing will still be a bit of a lottery this weekend if you intend to fish flowing waters.

The best bet will be some of the smaller streams such as the Tokomairiro West branch and Lee Stream.

Even if there is a bit too much water, there could well be a hatch of mayflies and trout will rise to them at any height of water, as long as it is not too dirty.

We are lucky enough in our region to have lots of stillwaters to occupy the ardent angler when river prospects are not good.

Dunedin has Sullivan’s Dam, Southern Reservoir and Tomahawk Lagoon, all of which have been restocked with rainbows recently.

Further afield there is Mahinerangi and the Maniototo dams, except Rutherford’s and Blakely’s which do not open until November 1.

One or two other places offer the chance of trout, such as Victoria Dam and Otago Dam, which are near Lawrence, in Gabriel’s Gully.

I once spent an interesting rainy spring day exploring the area and was rewarded with several trout.

Close by there are also Phoenix and Malone’s dams but on that wet spring day the roads in were a bit dodgy, so I gave them a miss.

For those living in Central Otago there is even greater choice.

There are all of the big lakes but smaller waters are more interesting to fish such as Island Block Pond, which has good sized brown trout and perch but the rainbows do not seem to do as well there.

Butcher’s Dam and Conroy’s have plenty of fish in them and there are also small orchard ponds that are worth fishing.

I was lucky enough to get a day on the Pomahaka last weekend when it was at a good fishing height.

Bruce Quirey and I fished the middle reaches and although there were mayfly spinners and duns on the water throughout the morning, there were few rises.

It took me a while to catch my first fish, which took a nymph as it cruised the shallows. A few minutes later, a second fish was in the net and that was it for the morning.

There was little activity in the early part of the afternoon but about 2pm there was a hatch of duns and a fall of spinners.

It started to rain a little and the sky darkened and it was hard to see the fly on the water but I pestered a pair of trout that were rising steadily and managed to get both of them.

A nice finish to a good day on the water.

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