Weekend options abound on rivers, lakes and dams, rain or not

At the time of writing rivers are low and clear but with some rain forecast rivers could rise by the weekend.

With the ground being so dry it could take a lot of rain to wipe out the weekend’s fishing on running waters.

But there are lots of lakes and dams to fish, so all will not be lost if rivers are unfishable.

I was on the lower Taieri the other evening with my fishing class. The weather was warm and calm and the river in perfect order, as low and clear as I have seen it for a long time.

As dusk approached there were mayflies hatching, the duns trickled off over an hour or so, which is heartening after two massive floods over the last year.

There were a few fish rising to mayflies but also some splashy rises to sedges on dark.

So the lower Taieri is good option for a couple of hours’ evening fishing with a good chance of a fish or two.

Other river options are the Mataura and the Pomahaka, rain permitting.

An alternative would be to fish an evening midge hatch on Sullivans Dam or Southern Reservoir.

With the day shortening it is possible to fish into darkness and still be home at a reasonable time.

Last Friday, I drove to Maniototo to fish the dams.

I first checked out Rutherfords, which last time I looked at it about a month ago had an algal bloom.

Unfortunately, it was still like pea soup so I went to Mathias.

It was very low and very clear — just how I like it.

There were large areas that were unfishable either being too shallow or too weedy but, on the plus side this meant that there was a greater concentration of fish in the water that was fishable.

I saw rising fish straight away, many of them small.

I fished a combination of a damsel fly nymph on the point and a water boatman on the dropper.

The idea was to get down deep where presumably the bigger fish were feeding.

The smaller fish had other ideas, grabbing either of these flies as soon as they hit the water.

These small fish were under 0.5kg and in very good condition and should be double that weight by next season.

I did manage to get deep on one or two casts and was rewarded with a nice brown of 1.75kg.

Moving along a shallow shore where the light was conducive to spotting fish, I caught another two good brown trout.

I saw a sizeable fish rise well out, covered it and was soon into a better class of rainbow which raced off in all directions before coming to the net.

Moving on to another stretch, I managed to catch several more, smaller fish and one better one.

By now the wind had swung from northwest to southwest and there were fewer rises, but fish kept taking the fly.

Surprisingly, the bigger fish took the water boatman and the smaller ones the damsel fly nymph.

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