Summer-level waters make for good fishing

For the first time this season most waters in Otago are fishable, rivers and streams have dropped rapidly over the last week due to high temperatures and wind.

One river is very high, the Clutha, due to heavy rain spilling over the Southern Alps into the headwaters.

This can provide good fishing where it spreads out into low lying paddocks as trout will move in to take drowned worms and insects.

The same applies to the lakes in the Clutha system.

Trout will forage in the shallows often with their backs out of the water if there is enough food to tempt them.

Fishing in flooded areas can be exciting, as big fish can be spotted and directly targeted then it really gets interesting trying to avoid the vegetation once they are hooked.

The tributaries of the lower Clutha and all the rivers east of the main river are now at summer level and if the fine weather persists the prospects are good.

The whole of the Taieri system is now worth fishing and is just about perfect. The lower Taieri has a lot of easily accessible water and is well worth fishing, although few anglers seem to fish it as I rarely see other anglers when I fish there.

At this time of year when the evenings are long is a good time to explore your local streams and evening is usually a good time to fish as insects tend to hatch and trout rise to them.

As well as exploring local waters the upcoming holidays provide opportunities to explore waters further afield.

There are several things an angler can do to help ensure a successful visit when preparing to fish a new location.

It is always a good idea to check the regional council website which gives information on flow and height. The graphs provided will show if the river is rising or falling.

If it is falling the chances are it will be clear enough to fish but if it is rising it could be too discoloured to fish.

If you are thinking of fishing a river you have not seen before it is a good idea to check it out on a map or on Google satellite images.

This can help identify access points and also how open the banks are.

One other factor is important.

Generally, if a stretch of river meanders, it will be better than long straight sections as good holding pools tend to be on corners, especially in small streams.

Fish & Game also produces very informative pamphlets on the various fishing areas in Otago. They cover access and suitable methods of fishing.

Some tackle shops will have them or they can be picked up from Fish & Game Otago’s office in Dunedin.

Most waters can be fished successfully with a small selection of flies or spinning lures.

Tobies are good for spinning as they are easy to cast and do not kink the line. A couple of nymphs and a bushy dry fly will cover most occasions too.


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