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The prospects for the weekend fishing are not the best but it looks like there will be a window in the weather on Saturday and early Sunday giving people a chance to get out. It all depends how much rain falls before then.
Even though spring has not been kind to anglers so far, some anglers have been out and catching fish from the Waitaki to the Mataura and lots of places in between. For those who live in the Dunedin area and are not leaving town for the long weekend, an outing to Tomahawk Lagoon or Sullivans Dam should be worthwhile as they have been recently stocked with rainbows of varying sizes from the Fish and Game hatchery at Macraes Flat.
Although these fish have been living on pellets, the bigger ones from the brood stock pond will be used to taking natural food and the ones straight from the hatchery will soon adjust to what is available in their new home.
In Sullivans the bigger fish will be able to feed on crayfish and they and the smaller ones will have damsel fly nymphs, snails, midge pupae and water boatmen to keep them happy. So, imitations of any of the above should catch fish.
Most of these creatures move relatively slowly, so do not fish your imitation too fast. My standard cast is a damsel fly nymph on the point and a water boatman on the dropper about 75cm up from the point fly. These hatchery fish are in good condition so fish a tippet of at least 2kg breaking strain. If you have the patience and are not distracted by rising fish a fuzzy wuzzy or a woolly bugger fished slowly down deep will give you a chance of catching some of the bigger fish that are feeding on crayfish. You will need a good supply of flies as you will lose a few on the bottom.
Last weekend, Murray and I fished Mathias Dam for the second time this season. The water was quite a bit lower than on our opening day visit and a lot warmer, which raised our hopes for a good day. Unfortunately, it did not live up to our expectations. I spooked three fish from the shallows before I had even cast a line. I settled down to cover the water systematically, filled with hope. It was about two hours before I had a take which turned out to be a nice brown trout over 1kg. A few minutes later in the same spot there was another take which did not result in a hook-up.
That was it for the morning although I saw some rainbows chasing about in the shallows but they would only follow the fly without taking. They had either spawned or were about to spawn. The race that runs into the dam provides limited spawning. They need gravel of a suitable size and a steady flow of water. I found a couple of reds just up from the mouth of the creek but I doubt if the eggs would survive due to lack of flow.