Martyn White | Thursday, 12 May 2022
After the public holidays were all out of the way, it was time to get fishing again. Usually after Golden Week, Chuck and I head out on the float tubes in search of the early topwater largemouth bite, but this year it wasn't to be.
After a glorious week of stable conditions and temperatures in the high 20s a front started moving in on Sunday bringing temps down to highs of 11 or 12. A definite rethink was in order for Monday. Rather than cancel we decided to se if we could rustle up a few smallmouth as they seem less affected by temperature drops than the largemouth. If the front held back a bit there was a chance of some good prefrontal action, so we got organised and headed out to the river.
A bit disappointed to be doing it in May, I pulled on my waders and jacket and got set up 2 rods. One with a streamer on an intermediate and the other with an olive crayfish on an indicator rig. It wasn't long before we saw some smallies chasing down ayu in the slower water of the first pool. I was feeling pretty confident about getting a quality fish on the streamer, maybe a good size post spawn female would be on the cards. Athough the fish were periodically smashing the ayu, eats weren't forthcoming and A few fly changes eventually produced and eat that didn't stick. Chuck followed along with a small crayfish on a sink tip trying to keep bottom contact and slowly finesse a bite. No dice. The day progressed and the weather got worse, the river was rising a bit with the rain and the pleasant stain in the water was turning mucky.
Moving on to a usually reliable spot I switched to the indicator rig, swapped the fly out for a heavily weighted black helgrammite pattern which would get down and be a bit more visible in the dirty water. the first drift through the rock with the indicator ticking as the fly dragged bottom resulted in a solid eat from a little smallmouth about 30cm. Better than nothing, but I was hoping for something a bit better as I continued to pick my way through the pool. It wasn't to be unfortunately, another couple of eats were all I managed, both fish were small and came off mid fight. Meanwhile Chuck had only managed a missed pick up on the crayfish. We didn't last much longer as the weather really started to turn and I discovered my waterproof jacket wasn't waterproof anymore. We had no choice but to retreat in search of coffee. A miserable day all round, only one fish for our efforts and even the ones that got away were small.. I thoroughly enjoyed it!