Cooler weather may knock fishing back

Winter and summer continue to alternate every few days and it looks like the winter phase will last until the start of the weekend and if there is enough rain or snowmelt, it may knock the fishing back if rivers rise and cool off.

Things had been looking good with most streams above 10degC at the beginning of the week and clear enough for good fishing. But anglers must be optimists and I am sure there will be somewhere worth fishing this weekend.

Again it is the smaller streams that fall and warm the quickest but the biggest river, the Clutha, is fishable most of the time as it does not get as cold as the small streams and remains fairly clear most of the time. Anywhere there is gravel beach has a good chance of a hatch of mayflies from late morning to mid- afternoon and if there is there are sure to be trout rising to them.

Something that will have a greater effect on our fishing than the weather is the Indigenous Freshwater Fish Amendment Bill, which the Government is introducing to Parliament. It will allow trout and salmon to be removed from particular rivers and lakes, and may even allow the sale of trout.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer has done an analysis of the Bill and says it is worrying for trout and salmon anglers. Go to the Fish and Game website for details and to see how you can voice your opposition to it. Over 40 years ago a National government wanted to allow farming of trout and anglers' opposition to it helped bring the government down, so we have the power to change the present Government's mind.

Last Sunday morning was cool and foggy on the Maniototo but it takes more than a chilly breeze and a bit of fog to put off Murray and me. The Taieri was on the high side but oxbows tend to stay clear and the trout move into them to feed. The hard part was getting to them. In places it meant a slog through flooded tussocks, which did have the welcome side effect of warming the hands and feet.

There was little insect activity, so I started by fishing blind with a water boatman but after a few minutes there was a rise. I covered it quickly but there was no response, so I kept covering the general area and eventually was rewarded with a solid take. The fish dashed about and jumped several times but it soon came to the net, a nice fat fish of close to 2kg. The whole episode was repeated about half an hour later except this fish was over 2kg. Murray related a similar experience when we met up for lunch.

We finished off the day on Mathias Dam, where it was quite a bit sunnier and warmer although there was not much fish activity. Not long before packing-up time there were a few rises and a couple of fish came to the water boatman.

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