Spoilt for choice this weekend

The rain earlier this week was a bit of a glitch as far as good fishing is concerned.

However, things are looking good for this weekend with most streams fishable.

The weather forecast is good until Sunday, and even then there are only a few showers predicted.

All streams are dropping so can only get better over the next few days. By then most waters will be just about perfect.

The hard part will be picking where to fish as we are spoilt for choice here in Otago.

If I had to pick right now as I type this column it would be the Pomahaka, closely followed by the Taieri and Mataura.

Then again, the Waipahi looks good too.

As we approach summer, the fly fisher’s mind turns to willow grub and as often as not quickly turns away again at the recollection of the frustration that can occur when fish are feeding just a short cast away but totally ignore any fly thrown at them.

This can continue for hours depending on the angler’s patience, or rather stubbornness.

The trout usually wins any battle of stubbornness.

Recently, I have noticed large numbers of willow grub larvae already deposited on willow leaves or, I should say, mostly as in some places they were conspicuous by their absence.

However, there should be plenty of the little blighters to keep us entertained through the summer.

I catch a reasonable number of trout on the willow grub and I am often asked what imitation I use.

Fly fishers are always looking for the magic pattern, which of course does not exist, especially for willow grub.

I do have a couple of patterns that catch fish often enough.

Even on a given day they are not consistent; they may catch fish for a while, then be refused for a while, then catch again.

I have had days when catching trout on the willow grub has seemed easy and others when it seemed impossible.

My son Chris said to me one day after spending over an hour pestering a Pomahaka trout and eventually catching it, ‘‘it’s just a matter of persistence’’.

At times there are thousands of willow grub dropping on the water and trout, not wishing to expend too much energy, do not move very far to pick up these tiny creatures.

This means any fly cast to a grubbing trout must land close enough for the fish to make the effort to take it.

If it is dropped right on its nose, it will probably grab it without being able to see it properly.

On some days the supply of grubs will not be as great and fish will move a little further to take them, but putting the fly as close as possible is still the best bet.

Oh, I almost forgot: my willow grub patterns are one that looks like a willow grub and a size 14 hare’s ear nymph which looks nothing like the real thing.

 

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