Trout will be pleased with the cooler water

The nights are getting longer and cooler, which has reduced river temperatures.

For the past few days, the high for the lower Taieri has been about 18degC, which is beneficial for trout as the optimum for growth is between 14degC and 18degC.

It is also good for the creatures on which trout feed.

Mayflies, sedges, willow grub and beetles will all be active, so anglers should be able to spot trout feeding either on the surface or, since most waters are clear, feeding in deeper water.

As most streams are low at the moment it should also be easier to pick the spots that trout are feeding in even if they cannot be seen.

Trout like to use weeds for cover, especially in small streams, and they often lie beneath the weed where the current runs close to them.

Drifting a nymph below the surface or using a terrestrial imitation such as a beetle imitation can tempt a fish to pop out and grab it. It pays to use a heavier tippet than normal when fishing among the weed — a trout will dish through the weed entangling the leader and a light tippet will easily break.

I like to use a 3kg breaking strain tippet and this will handle all but the biggest of fish.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is not too promising but hopefully the amount of rain that falls will not disrupt the whole weekend.

If you can get out, it will be worth exploring some of the smaller streams in the region.

Of course, there are always the abundance of stillwaters to fish if the streams are a washout.

On the subject of stillwaters, Trevor Millar and I had a leisurely session on Sullivans Dam earlier in the week as I had to be home by mid-afternoon.

We got there about 9am. The weather was fine and calm but a lot cooler than when we left Mosgiel.

The flat, calm water mirrored the bush and birds were chirping — idyllic.

The only thing missing was rising trout, although there were regular disturbances on the water as swallows swooped to pick up midge from the surface.

I started with my usual set up with a damsel fly nymph on the point of the leader and a water boatman on the dropper about 60cm further up the leader.

I cast from the dam and as there was no surface activity, I let the flies sink for at least a minute before beginning a slow figure-of-eight retrieve.

After about half an hour I saw a fish rise but did not get too excited as it was about 200m away.

I was chatting to another angler who came along when a fish grabbed the fly at the start of the retrieve, so it was quite deep. Not a big fish but in fine condition.

It had taken the damsel fly nymph.

When the northeaster got up, I fished from the grassy bank and caught one more fish.

A very pleasant way to spend a few hours.

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