Temperate weather ideal for river fishing

The Mataura River from Wyndham Bridge this week. PHOTOS: MIKE WEDDELL
The Mataura River from Wyndham Bridge this week. PHOTOS: MIKE WEDDELL
The relatively settled weather over the last week has seen rivers fall slightly and remain in good fishing order.

The only river running high is the Clutha as the heavy rain on the West Coast has been sneaking over the Alps into the upper reaches of the Clutha and the Kawarau.

Luckily the weather has not been too hot, otherwise fish in small streams would have been heat stressed.

The water temperatures about the region have been ideal, in the upper teens of degrees by mid-afternoon.

This is ideal for fish feeding and growth which has been reflected in the good condition of fish I have caught over the last week.

Picking where to fish this weekend will be difficult as most waters look good.

If you have been desperate to fish the Mataura it looks a good option and the Taieri and Pomahaka are good alternatives.

A 3.25kg trout caught in the river.
A 3.25kg trout caught in the river.
I think the cicada season is over, even though it hardly started, but the tussock lakes are still worth a visit.

I have been out on the water twice over the last week: a few hours on the lower Taieri and a day on the Mataura.

The fishing on the lower Taieri was as good as it has been this season.

There were fish feeding throughout the afternoon, mainly on willow grub although I did catch some blind with a nymph away from any willows.

The rising fish are always a challenge as they are always on the move. It is much easier if you can see the fish in the water rather than just the rises.

Persistence pays off; keep putting the fly in the general area of the rises and a take can be expected — eventually.

Sometimes it is hard to tell why a fish has taken when it has refused so many times before it gives in.

The day on the Mataura was interesting, the river was at a good height and fairly clear and the weather was perfect sunny, warm and calm.

However, it was a different river to the last time I fished it.

The river has changed dramatically due to the big flood there are deep pools where there was dry land or shallows before and islands and beaches where there was water before.

It was like fishing new river.

I started off with my usual heavy nymph on the point and a light nymph on the dropper covering all the likely water.

It was over two hours before I hooked and landed a fish. I had only seen two before that.

After walking about two kilometres I came to a favourite section that was still recognisable and fished it carefully with the nymphs, catching several fish. In the pool above I spotted a fish cruising the shallows and it took first cast.

At 2.5kg it was a good fish for the Mataura.

A few metres further on there was another lying in the side which took first cast, and at 3.25kg was also a very good catch for the Mataura.

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