Most waters still low, well worth a go

Autumn is here.

Last Sunday on the way to fish the Maniototo the car thermometer dropped to 2degC and a fleece was needed once on the water.

Despite a slow start it was a warm day.

Later in the week it was 28degC on the Taieri Plain and the water temperature was 17degC — perfect for trout feeding.

Other than on the coastal strip from Dunedin to North Otago little rain has fallen.

Danseys Pass has had the most over 50mm and Swampy Summit over 25mm.

This has had little effect on inland rivers, but those in East and North Otago have had a welcome rise in level.

The Kyeburn, which rises near Danseys Pass, rose enough to affect the Taieri River below their confluence, but not enough to reduce the chances of catching a fish this weekend.

So most waters are still low and well worth fishing this weekend.

Because the weather has been fine and calm there have been spinner falls during the day bringing trout to the surface.

This should continue at least in the next few days.

As the water cools duns should start to appear during the day.

With rivers being very low trout have been concentrated in deeper pools and the ripples running into them.

When the water is warm trout avoid shallows as they need deep water in which to seek refuge when disturbed.

Such holding pools are well worth a visit in the evening, when trout will rise to sedges or mayflies that hatch.

The upper Clutha River is very low, which makes it easier to fish and allows some of the fishier spots to recover.

Fishing a sedge from dusk and on into darkness can provide great fishing.

Some days on the water are more memorable than others: either a lot of fish have been caught or an exceptionally big fish. But neither of these are essential for the day to be fixed in the memory banks forever.

I had one of these days during the week.

It was a scorching cloudless day on the lower Taieri River with barely a breath of wind.

I started at a favourite spot where I have caught fish already this season.

It is not possible to see into the water at that point, so I fished it blind with a weighted nymph and on the third cast was rewarded with a trout of 2kg. A fine start to the day.

In the ripple above the line I lifted the rod and felt the weight of a good fish, which swam past me at high speed, the biggest Taieri fish that I have hooked this year.

Then the hook pulled out.

The next few hours made up for this loss with trout rising at regular intervals and some of them taking my fly.

A couple of ladies came paddling down the river in their kayaks and apologised for disturbing my fishing.

I told them they would make no difference to my fishing and within two minutes I netted the biggest fish of the day.


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