Martin Langlands column, Reel Life August 2017
Winter river season
During May and June, the winter river fishing was the best I’ve ever experienced – maybe due to lower more stable flows, especially in larger rivers. This made for some very good fish numbers and incredibly well-conditioned trout.
Covering lots of water with deep nymphs produced the best results and most days we had to work and focus hard to catch fish. However, as is often the case, at times there were runs (sections of river) that held lots of fish and if you could identify these it made things easier. It’s all about putting in river time in with repeat visits.
With my fishing buddy Wayne, in early June I was so pleased to land a four pound rainbow from the Waimakariri River, a very good fish for there. Towards the end of the day Wayne had caught none and was about to call it a day when I suggested we try just one more run. As this was a drizzly low visibility day, I took to a high bank and thought I saw a fish. After several casts and no response I was having doubts as it whether it was a fish or not so I swung a large articulated streamer over the target. Sure enough it moved to follow the streamer without taking. We opted for some nymph changes and a wonderful, even record breaker brown made Wayne's (and my) day. The message here is that having a rod rigged with a streamer set up can be a great way to find trout, especially with two anglers working as a team, the second rod set up with nymphs .I even recall fishing mayfly hatches right into early July which is a first. Then the rain came and high flows and more or less ended winter river fishing. It was great news for the wellbeing of the rivers however.