Perfect time to snare a trout

Last updated 05:00 31/01/2014

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A positive outcome from the recent run of stormy weather is that trout will not have had much exposure to anglers so they might be a little less wary than they would otherwise be.

If you haven't given up completely the gradual improvement in fishing opportunities should reward you with a trout or two.

There will be a few salmon in the rivers now. With the lower flows finding them in the deeper pools. Usually the best chance of catching a salmon is early in the morning. Locating a good deep pool in the lower reaches of the main rivers a few days before your fishing trip so you can get to the pool in the pre-dawn will optimise your chances. Salmon lie close to the bottom. You need to get your lure down there, bumping along the stones as you retrieve it.

Mayfly hatches will be sporadic and rare now until autumn but late evening caddis fly fishing should produce a few trout for you. On the lower Oreti for example, trout only rise just on dark, and then for only half an hour or so. A small bushy dry fly skated across the surface or a traditional wet fly fished in the same manner should attract a trout.

The Upper Waiau is still pretty high and fishing there will be difficult. However, the lower Waiau should be as clean as a new pin since it has had a long period of high flows to clear away the didymo and other algae. The lower Waiau's flow at Monowai was clear and frisky on the weekend, reminiscent of what it was many years ago.

Estuary fishing, especially in the early morning and late evening is still pretty good, with trout feeding on the thousands of whitebait and smelt that escaped the whitebaiters' nets. Early morning is the best time for this fishing too. Early risers definitely have an advantage when it comes to catching a fish, as it is for the proverbial bird and the worm. Predatory trout take advantage of low light conditions making it easier for them to sneak up on their prey, just as it is for anglers who make the effort to get up early.

For updated river conditions visit www.es.govt.nz/rivers-and-rainfall, and for fishing licences and information go to fishandgame.org.nz. For videos of trout fishing in Southland Google: Maurice Rodway You Tube

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- The Southland Times

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