Great autumn spell for weekend fishing

Mike Weddell practises casting on the Silver Stream ahead of the start of the fishing season...
Autumn is here. Although it is warm during the day, night temperatures have dropped.

The cooler nights mean streams have cooled too, dropping several degrees at night and not warming as much during the shorter days.

With low flows, the water cools off and warms up faster than it does when the water is high.

Most waters are in the mid-teens of degrees by early afternoon which is great from the fishing point of view. In such conditions mayflies will hatch during the day and if it is calm, mayfly spinners will return to the water to lay their eggs.

These two events, dun hatches and spinner falls, give some of the season’s best fishing .

As far as this weekend goes, things are looking good, although there is a cold front approaching which will reach us on Sunday, so Saturday will be the pick of the days.

All waters are low and fairly clear. As mentioned above, look out for mayflies and there is no better place for them than the Mataura — it is at a perfect fishing level.

If the morning is on the cool side, it may take a while for the action to begin, so stick at it.

The peak of fish activity in the autumn is in the afternoon.

I was in Christchurch last weekend, I was not fishing but saw several very good trout only a few minutes from the city when out for a walk.

One of them was rising steadily and looked to be about 2kg.

The other thing that was notable was there was water in the Selwyn River at State Highway 1.

That is only the second time in many years that I have seen that. Let us hope it continues but, I am not holding my breath.

I fished the Taieri on the Maniototo during the week.

The water was fairly clear with a good flow. The weed of summer is starting to die back making fishing a little easier.

When the mist cleared the day warmed up rapidly.

By the time I had walked downstream to my starting point, the sun was shining and all was well with the world, at least the part of it that I was standing in.

I saw a fish moving in the shallows and it took my hare’s ear nymph, a good start. It was a while before I saw a rise but it stopped after a couple of casts.

It was lunchtime before I saw a good fish rising steadily.

I guessed it was interested in mayflies as there were a few duns hatching.

I also guessed it was taking the nymphs as its snout did not break the surface. When it rose it took the nymph first cast.

A few minutes later and few metres upstream another fish was doing the same thing but right in front of a log jam.

It took straight off and I immediately bullied it into open water and eventually into the net.


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