Season almost over with waters still in good order

I am tapping out this column in Wanaka as I am running a fishing and fly-tying course here and for recreation I go fishing in the evening. I have just come in from the river.

The weather is perfect, calm and mild, with lots of sedges on the water. Unfortunately there was a full moon last night which does not help as the trout do not seem to like it but the eels love it and every time I landed a trout the eels moved in for the kill.

A well-placed wading boot helps keep them at bay.

Unless you fish waters that are open in the winter, the season is as good as over which is a shame as all waters are still in good order.

The Clutha throughout its length is worth fishing except the Deans Bank section which is closed for the winter.

The Taieri below the confluence of the Silverstream is also worth fishing in the winter as many of the sea trout that run the Taieri spawn in the Silverstream and they lie below the mouth of it waiting for a rise in water to carry them to the spawning grounds.

The Lower Mataura is also open until the end of May except for this Saturday as it is the opening of duck shooting.

The fishing can be good in the afternoons as may flies will continue to hatch throughout the winter.

Meanwhile, we fine weather fishers will wipe down the rods and oil the reels ready for next season.

Last weekend I had couple of days on the Maniototo with my son, Chris, fishing Mathias Dam, Hamiltons Dam and the Taieri.

We started at Mathias on Friday about 8.30am, and it was very cold but luckily there was not much wind.

There was the odd rise, mainly small fish, and we caught a few. They were in amazing condition and they will be good fish by next season.

We caught a good one each, a fish deep on a damsel fly nymph.

The day warmed up a little in the afternoon so we decided to have a look at the Taieri.

It was extremely low and a lot colder than the dam.

We spooked the odd one and landed one each then went back to the dam for the evening rise which did not eventuate but we did catch one or two blind.

The next day we were back early and it was just as cold as the day before but the fishing could not have been more different. The better fish were out and about and feeding, with several fish being over 2kg.

The previous day we caught only rainbows, whereas on Saturday we caught some browns which were the biggest fish.

Again, fishing deep, giving the fly a long time to sink followed by a slow retrieve to keep it deep, produced goods.

As the Maniototo turned on a golden sunset it seemed an appropriate time to head for home after a great two days on the water.

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