Otago Weekly Fishing Report - 2 February 2023
Gear up for the long weekend
A heatwave for much of Otago may keep cicadas chirping heading into the long weekend but will push many fish down until late rain provides relief and bringson more action.
Fish have been dropping out of the smaller rivers in Central Otago as the heat rises and the waterlevel drops.
Casting cicada patterns on Logan Burn Dam last weekend. Photo: Bruce Quirey
Forecast rain may cloud up a few of the rivers. This should increase success for spin anglers or fIy anglers using a streamer and or the famous squirmy worm.
Despite high temperatures, some anglers have been intercepting cruising fish on lake edges with small softbaits or dry-dropper combinations (blowfIy and pheasant tail, for example).
Salmon appear to have moved deeper in the lakes into downrigger territory.
Trout have been slurping cicadas at Logan Burn Dam this week. Fly anglers fished to sporadic rises, enough to keep the day interesting. A seasoned troller picked up his four-bag limit.
Cicada numbers have been patchy at Upper Manorburn. But we’re hearing wee hoppers have worked well there. The Upper Manorburn is a rainbow trout fishery.
A cicada on Logan Burn Dam. Photo: Bruce Quirey.
This #10 rubber-leg foam cicada pattern did the trick. Photo: Bruce Quirey.
A 1.5kg brown trout, typical of the size being caught at Logan Burn Dam.
A fIy angler at Logan Burn Dam caught five brown trout of the top on Monday evening. Trout took cicada and then sedge patterns as the light faded. A fish’s stomach was packed with cicada, green beetles and sedges.
Fly fishing to rising trout at Logan Burn on Monday evening. Photo: Steve Dixon.
Lake Mahinerangi could be well worth a visit.
The water level has been a lot higher than last season, Ryan at Dunedin Hunting & Fishing NZ says. Everyone who’s been going up there fishing since the start of the season has been saying it’s fishing well and perch and trout have been in good condition.
At the time of writing, a monitor showed the lake level at Mahinerangi high at 387 metres.
Worms getting results
Fishing the top of lakes has been hard, says Tim at Central Otago Hunting & Fishing NZ.
We need a good week of rain to cool everything down, he says.
Dams such as Poolburn and Manorburn have been fishing all right on worms in deeper water.
Medium-weight bright lures, such as the 9.3-gram Black Magic Aztec and Fruity Spinmax, have been successful in the Clutha arm of Lake Dunstan.
For the soft bait anglers, trout have been taking bright-coloured paddle tail patterns, such as Z-Man Slim Swimz in Watermelon Red and Gold Rush.
Heavy lead lining
Some much-needed rain and showers have begun to fall around Queenstown, Dylan at Queenstown Hunting & Fishing NZ says.
Rivers have been low and the fish spooky.
The fresh expected over the next week will hopefully do wonders for fishing.
It’s safe to say Wakatipu fish have pushed deeper into the lake due to the heat.
A group of boat anglers trolling shallow areas and edges of Lake Wakatipu reported not catching anything, he says.
If using 18-pound lead lines, try switching to a 27-pound line to target the deeper zones.
Back country clearwater
Back country rivers such as the Caples, Route Burn and Greenstone usually run relatively clear after a fresh, Dylan says.
Target rainbows that push up into the rivers with the rain. We’ll still get some dry fIy action, he says.
Fish have been moving quite some distances to take stimulator patterns.
The Rees (below Muddy Creek) and Dart tend to be more affected after rain.
Wanaka level down
There’s that many fish being caught in Lake Wanaka the lake has dropped a metre, Mark at Southern Wild in Wanaka jokes.
But seriously not a lot of water is fIowing into the lake, hence it being low, he says.
With the heat, fish are deeper.
It’s been harder fishing the streams or rivers due to lack of water. The Matukituki, Wilkin, Young, Motatapu, Timaru, Dingle and Hunter have only lower numbers of resident fish.
Showers are expected before the weekend. But more rain on Sunday could produce better river fishing if water volumes increase.
More fish will move up into the rivers, and insects and worms will be washed downstream to activate the fishing.
The best river fishing is often 24 hours after rainfall. The Lake Hawea Fishing Competition will be held on Saturday, February 11. Hopefully there will be enough fsh for everyone that day, Mark says.
Good perch have been caught in the Waipori River and Meggat Burn this week, says Todd at Dunedin Hunting & Fishing NZ.
Trout and perch were also caught in Lake Waipori last weekend, but the trout were sluggish due to warm temperatures.
Trout were seen rising to mayfIies on Southern Reservoir this week but the fishing action was slow.
The Clutha River, near Beaumont on Wednesday, has risen sharply. Photo: Jayde Couper.
Upper Greenstone beats
More than 50% of fishing beats in the Upper Greenstone booking system were filled at the time of writing.
A booking system on the upper Greenstone applies from February 1-March 31.
Out of the three beats and five days able to be booked, more than 50% of the beats were filled (eight beats booked out of a total 15).
Go to this link for more information and to book on this popular back country fishery.
Preserve your right to fish and hunt
Fish & Game is calling on licence holders to oppose the Natural and Built Environments Bill until it protects the outdoors for fishing, hunting and recreation.
The rewrite of the Resource Management Act (RMA) fails to reIect our Kiwi values to enjoy a healthy environment for recreation, hunting, and fishing.
The public must tell Parliament to delay the Bill so it can be corrected to protect wide-ranging public enjoyment of the outdoors, and involvement in land and water planning and management.
Click here for more info: https://www.fishandhuntforever.nz/
Here's the outlook for the weekend:
A heatwave is forecast leading into the long weekend. As temperatures rise, fish will go down.
Sections of the Taieri River in the Maniototo, as well as the Waiwera, Shag-Waihemo and Waitahuna rivers, have reached minimum Iows. The Taieri River at Outram was just above minimum Iow at the time of writing.
High temperatures will push fish into deeper water and away from lake margins. North-westerlies could make conditions bumpy. Boaters should always check the latest forecasts.
Central Otago rivers need rain. Fishing may be challenging in very hot conditions to begin the weekend, but showers on Sunday and cooler temperatures from Monday will hopefully bring relief
and get fish moving.
Clutha Regional Forecast
The lower Clutha River Iow rate at Balclutha rose steeply late this week and fishing may be better at the mouths of its tributaries.
Thundery downpours in the Clutha area will have stirred up the waterways. Once they settle, expect fish to come on.