Lakes, dams best options for anglers
PROSPECTS for river fishing this weekend are not good due to the weather.
The extent of the rain is reflected in the Waikaia River rising from 50 cumecs (cubic metres per second) to 330 cumecs at Piano Flat above the township, the Mataura River at Gore going from 80 cumecs to almost 400 cumecs by noon yesterday, and the Oreti rising swiftly from 40 cumecs to 260.
There are alternatives, such as fishing lakes or dams, and the Clutha is usually clear regardless of height.
When I was at school I used to bike down to the river after rain to see if it had risen. If it was up there was a dash back home for tackle and worms and there was always the prospect of a good bag of fish.
Back to presentday fantasies. I fished the Waipahi Gold Medal last Saturday. A bunch of optimistic anglers met at Clinton at 7.30am. It was fine and warm, and spirits were high although high winds and rain were forecast.
I drew section three near the top of the river — I had fished it before and caught fish so was confident.
That confidence was badly misplaced. Despite the weather being mainly fine and warm with just the odd shower and some mayflies and sedges on the water, I did not see a fish or hook anything for the whole day.
Just before lunch I met Matt Pettersson who fished the beat above me, and he had a 2kg fish which kept me optimistic. The river coloured and cleared several times throughout the day as the odd shower passed but was fishable all day.
Conditions varied up and down the river with mayflies hatching and fish rising on the lower river in the afternoon. Tony Calder was on the lower river, section 28, and made the most of his opportunities, catching four trout weighing in at 4.03kg to win the Gold Medal for the third year in a row which is a fairly impressive feat, especially to those of us who did not catch a thing. His best fish was on a black rabbit lure which is a good imitation of a koura. There are a lot of these in the Waipahi and the trout love them, and they give trout that deep red flesh which makes good eating.
The silver medal went to Tim Gibson who fished section 14 for three fish, weighing in at 3.3kg. Mark Barret was third on section eight with two fish weighing 2.38kg. Steve McGuire had the heaviest fish at 1.55kg from beat five.
There were 16 fish weighed in with an average weight of just over 1kg.
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan (far right) welcomes new citizens (from left) Sean Adams, Lorraine BennettEnglish, Martin Gledhill, Antonina Kraakman, Maria Stanley and Lisiate Fukofuka at a citizenship ceremony in Alexandra yesterday. Absent: Vanessa Logan.