The end of the season was a thoroughly enjoyable fishing and social event! Superb fishing, lots of fish, good friends, plenty good food and drink and a fantastic “Trout Cottage” to kick back in when evening arrived. From about April 20th to 30th myself, Chris Dore, Simon Chu, Bob Wyatt, John Mclean, Quenten Donnelly and Mike and his brother James Wilkinson fished the Mataura nearly every day. For the most part it was challenging and that is a good thing! There was an intense hatch every day for 1.5 to 2.5 hours and the bulging rise forms made it clear to us that the fish were taking beneath the surface. Emergers were the way to go. We fished the glassy water during the rise because that’s where the fish were. Fishing glassy, flat calm water is never easy. An up stream cast to a rising fish simply didn’t work! It was essential to lead the fish well with a cast 90 degrees to the lie of the fish. Fine tippet, long leaders, reach casting, neat distance presentation casting and slack line presentations made the difference between a good day and a great day! We all caught lots of fish and probably averaged about 8 or10 each per day, mostly around 2lbs. Quality fishing!
Chris and I fished together on the last day of the season. We got off the Mataura and went in search of a big fish. We found a few in a river that was rising and colouring after rain and snow but they were chasing each other around, pairing up, anxiously moving around pools, even spawning! Some appeared to be feeding and I got one of those, an absolute cracker and the perfect end to the season on a freezing cold, wet and windy day.
On May 1st Chris, James Wilkinson and I went to the Oreti bike track hearing. Fish & Game spoke very well and the witnesses they had expressed many excellent points. I had an opportunity to speak myself so I did. Many submissions were read out, All but 2 strongly opposed to the track running alongside the Oreti River. Those who spoke in support of the track really had no point to make at all. If the 2.5m wide track goes ahead it will be a travesty and a wrong doing. Most people oppose the track so lets see what happens next. Thanks to all of you who wrote to the editor of the Southland Times. It’s still not too late! 250 words or less..