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TROUT FISHING WITH MAURICE RODWAY - Weekly Column: November 1, 2002
Southland, New Zealand

There has to be some good in all this weather !

While there are plenty of signs of the spring and summer most of these do not arise from warm calm days. They arrive because they recognise the unchanging physical forces that occur at a global scale. The most important of these is the length of the day. This is a metronome that wakens the buds of plants, even though they might be cut to the quick by a freezing night, or dashed from their branches by an energetic spring wind.  Global changes are reliable and while the longer day length struggles with cold southwesterlies the frequency of warm days will increase and cold ones will diminish.

Anglers believe and have faith in many things. They believe that no shag is a good shag, that dairy farms pollute streams, that townies know little about the country, and that trout fishing is worse now than it was when they were young. As with all things some of what they believe is true and some is not. One thing that is more often true than not is the idea that a west wind is the best wind for fishing.

Of course when such a wind brings rain, hail and sleet fishing might be good but most of us would rather be at home. When it is just windy however, the fishing is often good. A strong cold souwester is the best of such winds. On the lower reaches of the Aparima, or the Oreti if the wind whips up waves and makes casting a fly a challenge in itself then the trout will be biting more than the wind. On Lake Waituna, trout will be found in the waves that leap onto the shore, driven by the coldest wind that Southland can deliver. If you need to wrap up in a double layered coat and back into the wind just to survive, Waituna trout will be out. A comfortable breeze and a bright sunny day will be as troutless as a thermal pool.

This spring the winds have been from the west and as cold as any tardy spring will allow. So the trout fishing has been splendid. Fishers on the lakes have boat fulls of trout and where the river waters are clear their waves have issued fat trout to anglers tough enough to know that a cold wind is a good wind and that some beliefs are indeed more true than others.

Maurice Rodway
Southland, New Zealand                           E-mail:

Article © 2002 Maurice Rodway, All Rights Reserved.


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