February 25, 2020
Over February we have had some great fishing, with cicadas being fly of the month locally. With the lake levels high, finding places to access has been tricky but worthwhile when there is enough space to cast.
Excellent morning midge hatches has provided great fishing, with a size 16 Black Gnat being effective for patient anglers.
On days with hot weather, the shallow areas only fish well in the mornings before the water temp gets too high, 20C seems to be the cut off.
In rivers the heat has also been an issue, and after about 2pm the water is not holding enough oxygen for the trout to feed effectively.
The backcountry rivers have been running high quite often, and most of the best fishing has been found closer to the mouth areas.
Rivers further down South around Lumsden etc are really feeling the effects of the recent large floods, with fish numbers well down and the fishing difficult.
Looking ahead to March, the rivers and lakes will cool down, and hopefully become more stable. The waters near the head of the lakes has been discoloured from flooding for several weeks, but should clear up.
I have seen whitebait shoaling up in the lakes, so they won’t be long away from heading into the river mouths where they will be a target for hungry trout.
Mayfly hatches get more prolific with the cool weather, and if there is an upstream southerly breeze, the conditions will be optimal for some dryly fishing.
Suitable flies that Southern Wild carry for March are:
Smelt flies (whitebait)
Mayfly dry patters (Adams, Dads favourite, spent spinners)
Small mayfly nymphs - pheasant tail, tungsten bead Hare and Copper
Black Gnat size 16
Below is a nice brown taken on a cicada this week during a very successful father and son fishing trip.
Enjoy the fishing in March.
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