Rivers are still low and unseasonably warm

There has been a nip in the air in the mornings recently which has started to drop water temperatures but they are still above normal for the time of year.

The rain that has fallen this week has raised river levels a little which is probably a good thing as it may stimulate some mayfly hatches.

The Mataura has received the most extra water but is still well below normal levels. It should be good for fishing this weekend.

The Taieri is still very low and well worth fishing especially in the lower and middle sections of the river.

The Pomahaka is very low and will need to rise a lot more to bring the famous run of sea trout into the river.

The Clutha is very low throughout its length with historical lows in the upper reaches which are ideal for the evening sedge hatch. The lower river, too, is very low, giving the opportunity to fish areas that are usually inaccessible.

Some of the smaller rain-fed streams will be worth fishing as the cooler water causes the weed to die back making them easier to fish and increasing the chances of landing a fish once it is hooked.

My son Chris, his mate Matt and I fished the Taieri on the Maniototo at the weekend.

It was very cold when we started. There was not a frost but the dew was so heavy the grass would not have been wetter if it had rained all night.

My hands were numb within five minutes of starting to fish.

It was foggy and it was obvious that things would not warm up until the fog burnt off.

I did see a fish rise straight away which stimulated the circulation a little. I covered the area where the fish rose with a diving beetle imitation with no effect.

Then 18 geese slid down the bank one after the other and swam through the pool creating quite a disturbance so I quickly moved on.

I covered several favourite spots before hooking and landing the first fish of the day.

A little further on I spotted a rise and luckily spotted the fish take down deep as the diving beetle drew away.

It was a while before I saw anything else and eventually caught another fish. Time for an early lunch I thought.

Chris and Matt had the same idea as their fishing had been slow, too.

Over lunch we discussed options and the vote was to go to Mathias Dam.

It was a fine warm day with little wind, a perfect autumn afternoon by the time we got there.

There were very few rises but Chris spotted a fish close in and caught a rainbow of just under 2kg.

After a while Matt had another rainbow at 2.5kg then I got a 2kg rainbow a well.

All were caught on damsel fly nymphs.

Rainbows of this size are not that common. In Mathias at this time of year the best fish tend to be brown trout.

We might have to make another visit before the end of the season.

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