As long as the rain holds off, some rivers will drop enough to be fishable

The rain earlier in the week has put a dampener on the prospects for the weekend.

Most rivers are running well above normal for the time of year and the Taieri is very dirty from the Kyeburn downstream.

The Pomahaka, Mataura and Waipahi are all dropping steadily and could well be fishable provided there is not too much more rain.

As the weather is reasonably warm it is well worth a visit to the tussock lakes.

There will not be any cicadas yet but they still have to feed and they will be feasting on midge pupae early and late in the day.

Through the middle of the day, they will be feeding on beetles that are blown on to the water and damsel fly nymphs and water boatmen beneath the surface.

Picking a nice warm, sunny day helps increase the chances of catching a fish. Fish and insects are more active when the atmospheric pressure is rising or when it is high and steady.

On December 11 last year, it snowed on the Maniototo when I went to fish the dams and had I had one of my best days ever.

When the weather forecast for last Monday was for snow to low-ish levels I was inspired to go to the dams hoping to repeat the triumphs of last year.

It could not have been more different. I saw fewer fish than normal, had very few takes and landed even fewer fish. I tried Rutherford’s Dam first where I saw a couple of rises and had no takes in three hours. A week earlier I had a very good day there.

I moved to Blakely’s Dam where it was rather windy but otherwise conditions were good.

I had three takes in about 10 minutes, hooking none of them.

From the feel of the takes I suspect they were the small fish that were stocked last week.

I did not see another fish in the next two hours.

Hoping that Mathias’ Dam would be better, I fished an hour and a-half there.

It was cool and breezy but the water looked good and was full to the top. As soon as I started, I hooked a brown trout which jumped and threw the hook.

On the very next cast I hooked a rainbow which also jumped but did not throw the hook.

So, I was happy to have at least caught one fish. I tried different spots but only caught one small one before returning to the site of my previous success and caught a nice brown trout.

Both of the brown trout that I hooked took the fly when I had let it sink for over a minute, whereas the rainbow took the fly as soon as it hit the water.

Most of the fish I have caught on recent visits to the dams have been on a deep sunk fly, mostly a damsel fly nymph — this week it was the water boatman that caught the fish even though I had a damsel fly nymph on as well.

Such is fishing.


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