Farewell to 2016, Christmas Holiday Fishing Trip ②
A storm hit this area in Southland this early morning, not with a heavy rain but with a big wind. I had a small cabin, so not too bad but would have been so bad If I had been in a tent. So I wasn't sure if I could go fishing today.
I picked up my guitar and had some play with it waiting for the storm get gone. And around 10am, big wind died out, still so windy but not like a storm anymore.
I decided to try to fish some part of the upper Mataura, around Athol or Parawa?
There was nothing to do around here other than fishing anyway. Why not get back on the water!
I left the moter camp to get on SH94 to Five Rivers and then SH6 towards Queenstown.
I turned in the main access road to the upper Mataura at Parawa, had never been here before though.
I saw a river ranger from Fish&Game while getting ready for fishing and had my licence checked. He came up from downstream and told me that he saw 3 anglers fishing downstream.
The second bridge on the main access gravel road. Fishing upstream from here.
As I had fished upstream of Black Bridge above Athol before, I was expecting the Mataura in the same size and similar river configuration, but actually river was much bigger and more like a mountain river sort. Like semi- wilderness fishing here which I really liked.
And how did my fishing day go?
I had a reasonably good day, not like the day before.
Fished on the first one as soon as I started.
Nice and beautiful 2.5lb fish on a dry.
In this stretch, I spotted a good one on the edge just under my feet.
Like 22 inches fish?
Although this brown once rose up to my dry and took it, I couldn't hook up.
She refused all the other dries that I presented to but twice again got called up by the same dry that she once took. Then I had a hunch that the colour was right but something else that I need to change.
Maybe the size?
I tied on a smaller size dry fly in the same colour and the similar shape on 4X tippet.
It worked actually. She got called up to the surface again, rose quickly and did a good take! Got hooked up completely.
Nearly 23inches but skinny. I didn't weigh because she was not a fish for the weight.
Thank you for the exciting sight fishing game.
Another good one sight fished on a nymph.
But I enjoyed fishing the new water for myself out of the upper Mataura.
I spent another day to fish the upper Mataura as I found this part of the river such a pleasant place to be.
So many fly fishermen were out on the river today. I first took an access at the first bridge on the main gravel road and fished upstream but caught no fish in the first 3hours.
After lunch, I drove downstream searching for another river access. Actually there were quite a few sign posted anglers access on the road but I saw anglers vehicles parked at each access point. I just kept driving downstream and found no car parked at an angler access sign, a little upstream from the third bridge on the road.
Hmmm, my Simms Sun Gloves have nearly been worn out again. These are already the third pair tough...
There were too many large cattles on the river bank upstream of myself. I walked downstream first to get away from them because they were stepping down slowly but steadily to myself. I didn't want to be attacked, they can be quite attacky sometimes.
There was a wide and very shallow flat on the true right hand side and some brownies were taking willow grubs off the top.
Before I used a willow grub fly, I dropped the same small dry as I succeeded on the 23inchs fish the day before in front of this fish at long range. She found my dry, came closer, stared, emerged and took it! Everything was visible. It was a very exciting sight fishing game again even though she was another skinny fish just like yesterday's one.
These were what I took out from her stomach.
Willow grubs, water boatmen and tiny snails.
And no other willow grubber took the dry fly, even my willow grub fly either.
After all, except a wee brown that I caught on a dry in the evening, I could catch no other fish on the day. Just one brown I spotted and tried to sight fish touched #18 PT Nymph but did not get hooked up. That's all.
The end of the day.
In the upper Mataura, most larger fish were skinny. And almost no fish rose to the mayfly hatch like the lower Mataura. Maybe, not much mayfly hatch occurs during summer in the upper reach. Actually no mayfly came out from their stomach at this time. It is a beautiful river, lovely place, so it would be memorable experience to be fishing here, however I personaly and preferably would like to enjoy fishing the lower reach for matching the hatch. It's the same Mataura but a lot different between the upper and the lower part as far as I know.
I think I should try the Oreti once again tomorrow morning, like half a day and then try a different river if the Oreti is still too hard to catch fish.