Another season gets under way

A new fishing season is upon us, which brings with it hope of memorable days on the water.

It is always nice to get off to a good start with a few good fish on October 1, but for that to happen - as on any other day - everything in terms of weather, water conditions and being in the right place at the right time has to be aligned.

Water conditions will be the critical factor: after weeks of waters being ideal for fishing, recent rain and snow melt have raised levels above the optimal.

However, being ever optimistic, there is enough time for them to drop enough to offer a chance of catching a fish.

The other factor other than the height of the water is its temperature, and with recent snow melt the water is much colder than just a week ago.

If I had to pick a minimum temperature for good fishing it would be about 10degC although it is possible to catch fish at a lower temperature.

The colder the water, the shorter the period that trout will feed. They start feeding later in the day and finish earlier. At around 10degC there is a reasonable chance of most fish feeding for a couple of hours from about 1pm on.

It is a good idea to get on the water earlier than this, just in case, to get on to the feed late morning and after not having cast a line for a while casting can be sorted out before the fish start feeding.

It is also worth checking out the water you are about to fish to see what changes have taken place over the winter.

Some parts of some rivers change a lot each winter, whereas other sections of the same river can be stable year after year.

The stable areas tend to be the most productive as far as fish numbers are concerned.

Sometimes an unstable area can be shaped to hold fish for a short time, so they are worth checking too.

The streams that are most likely to be in good fishing order are smaller rivers that rise at low altitude as they will not be affected by snow melt and having smaller catchments drop quickly.

They are more likely to have a hatch of mayflies too, usually early in the afternoon.

My first fishing day will actually be four days before the new season starts, on Sullivans Dam as I will be taking a visiting friend there for the day.

He caught his first ever trout there in September last year and is keen to repeat the exploit.

I am hoping the weather will be kind so that the day does not become an exercise in endurance.

I am about to get my tackle out, organise a flask for a hot drink, make sure my camera is charged to enable the recording of fabulous fishing feats.

Good luck for your opening, whatever day that might be.


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