November heralds the opening of most high country waters and as usual, the weather has been its usual spring self. Strong winds have made us seek rivers with plenty of trees around for shelter, and a healthy rainfall which turned to snow has pushed anglers towards lowland rivers for the last couple of days.
Rainbow trout are around, but seem to be later running than usual, with lower numbers of fish up the rivers, and they seem to be earlier in their spawning cycle than usual. The winter had cold temperatures later than normal, so it is probably a response to this. Please remember, if you are fishing for spawning rainbow trout, respect the fact that they are in a weakened state and take extra care when releasing them.
Brown trout are feeding actively in the lake margins as well as in the major rivers. Mayfly hatches are predominant, but subsurface flies are achieving the highest hook up rates, with free swimming green caddis working particularly well at the moment.
Looking forward to the next few weeks, we can expect flows to reduce in the eastern rivers, and hopefully stabilise in the backcountry rivers. We are starting to see more interest in dry flies, and green beetles should start to appear. Brown beetles are already around on warmer evenings and a great imitation to have in your flybox on an evening fishing excursion.
There are quite a few anglers about so if you encounter a fellow enthusiast, take the time to have a chat about what you both want to do. If someone is in on the river before you, that’s how it is - go somewhere else. Please don’t try and sneak around ahead of them at some folk tried to do to us yesterday - it’s just poor etiquette and doesn’t end well!