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Trout Fishing, Trout, The Internet and Green Manuka Beetles

Maurice Rodway

Column for January 28, 2005

Those anglers who are becoming Internet wise in an age when it is increasingly important to be so will be pleased to see the hydrographs on the Environment Southland web site ( sliding downwards lately. Even the Mataura is down to about 40 cumecs at Tuturau which is the most it needs to be for good fishing to be available in this wonderful river. The smaller streams such as the Waikaka, Waimea and Otamita are also getting low and ideal for fly-fishing. The larger rivers are fine for spin fishing but soon it will be possible to explore the shallow riffles of the Mataura and Waikaia for the trout that like to nose their way up into water so shallow they can only just fit in there.

Usually a double rig of a small dry fly and a little nymph about 50cm farther on is the ideal terminal tackle for these riffle feeding fish. They are more likely to take the nymph than the dry fly but they may surprise you. In any case you have to watch the dry fly in case it dips under like a good indicator should. Sometimes you will see a pair of jaws appear over the floating fly and then…

It probably is a bit soon for this fishing but certainly fishing the riffles with little nymphs  - size 16 is ideal - with a bit of weight should be productive. In the upper Mataura and the Waikaia you can got a little bigger – to a 14 - but that is all you need. A pheasant tail or similar lightly dressed fly that looks a little like a mayfly is what is needed. Or perhaps you need a willow grub? Damn those Mataura trout!

If you are lured up into the mountains where easier trout lurk there are plenty of green beetles about at the moment. Manuka covered hillsides are white with their flowers. This signals the flight of the manuka beetles with their shiny green backs. The insects are small too but a 14 will imitate them. While they have a green back their belly is a rusty red so your fly should reflect this. No doubt the peacock herl and the red thread on a Royal Wulff is suggestive of this. These flies will do the trick where rivers and hills are intertwined.  

Maurice Rodway
Southland, New Zealand                           E-mail:

Article © 2005 Maurice Rodway, All Rights Reserved.


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