Stars aligned to deliver good fishing this weekend

Multiple Waipahi medallist Shane Hansen, of Balclutha, shows the fish that took silver. PHOTO:...
Multiple Waipahi medallist Shane Hansen, of Balclutha, shows the fish that took silver. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
It has been very dry over the past week and this is reflected in the rapidly dropping levels of the region’s rivers and streams.

With the exception of the Clutha all waters are at summer levels.

The water temperatures are correspondingly high. For instance, the Taieri was 19degC on Wednesday, but as recently as last week it was only 13degC.

The world is your oyster as far as good fishing this weekend is concerned. Every stream is fishable, but I suspect that the peak time of the day for activity will be in the afternoons.

I have noticed a lot of sedges about, which indicates there are good evening hatches, and this is handy if you only have an hour or so to fish around dusk.

For stillwater devotees, early morning and late evening midge hatches are in full swing.

Last weekend the 138th Waipahi Gold Medal was contested on what was more like a summer’s day than a spring day.

The river was very low and clear and on my section the highlight of the day was hooking and losing a good fish at 9.45am, although I did see the odd fish throughout the day as they were heading off at high speed.

There were some anglers who did make a competition of winning the medal.

In first place was Craig Cookson, who took three fish from section 13 for a total weight of 4.31kg.

In second place was Shane Hansen with three fish from section 7 weighing 3.96kg and third was Dean Kibble with three fish from section 29 weighing 3.28kg.

There were only a total 26 fish weighed in and the three medallists were the only ones to weigh in three fish each.

The upper middle reaches of the river fished the best and also had lots of mayflies and sedges and consequently rising fish.

When I fished the Waipahi a couple of weeks ago I saw quite a few mayflies on the lower river, which is a hopeful sign of the improvement of the river.

In the competition the heads of all the fish weighed in were collected by Fish and Game so their otoliths could be extracted and analysed to read the life history of individual fish.

Otoliths are ear stones and the accretions of minerals in them indicate the environment in which the fish developed throughout their lives.

Hoping to have a better day fishing last Monday, Murray Smart and I fished the Taieri on the Maniototo.

It was a hot day with little wind and the river was low and clear and warm enough to make wading very pleasant.

There were a few fish rising to spinners early on but they were hard to catch, but luckily there were others that were a bit easier and I caught some on a diving beetle and an unweighted hare’s ear nymph, while Murray was doing the same further upstream.

Things slowed a little in the afternoon, but the fish caught then were of a better size.

A good day but not as good as winning a medal.

 

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