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Southland, New Zealand

Trout Fishing, Christmas Trout Strategies

Maurice Rodway

Column for December 17,  2004

Prospects for the Christmas season are hard to predict when the weather is so important yet it is so unpredictable. We know that lake fishing will always bring variable success. Some days the fish will bite and on others they will not. In rivers trout are unpredictable too. If the weather is fine and the rivers are reasonably low and clear there will be good fishing throughout the day. In the evenings there will be an evening rise when trout will be looking for caddis flies skittering across the surface. Beginner fly anglers will find this time of the day the best to catch a trout since a simple cast and retrieve back will imitate these little insects as they swim and run across the river.

If the weather continues in its present state there may only be a few hours of the day when it is suitable to go out. If the rivers are high, lake shore fishing is likely to be a reliable option. Lake shore fishing with either is best when its windy, so it is likely that these conditions will prevail at least some of the time! Sunshine is a great help too. There are plenty of lake shores where fishing is good in Southland - especially the southeast shore of Lakes Te Anau and Wakatipu, where road access is good as well. Much of Lake Hawea is good for lake shore fishing. Usually in the peak of summer, lake edge waters become warmer and this deters trout from entering them. However this year with the almost constant wind the lake waters will still be well mixed and cool so trout will be there looking for food that occurs abundantly in the lake shore.

Trolling is the most commonly used method of fishing on lakes, but it can be a slow way to catch trout. There are many devices to lure anglers into thinking they can catch trout regularly by trolling, from downriggers to leadlines, paravanes and fish finders. Good equipment is necessary but there is no substitute for experience. Anglers who know when to go out, where to go and how to vary the boat speed and direction of travel should be sought out and befriended. This is the most reliable way to catch a trout probably not only for trolling but for other forms of trout fishing too.

Maurice Rodway
Southland, New Zealand                           E-mail:

Article © 2004 Maurice Rodway, All Rights Reserved.


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