Saturday 3 November 2012

At least three lessons learnt

The Wairau River was high and brown from the rain. I didn't hold much hope of catching a fish, but went out anyway, with the intention of at least taking some photographs of the river.

Nobody was fishing at the river mouth at the Wairau Bar except some whitebaiters. I had a few casts with the jigging lure I've been using lately. No strikes.

After taking photos from various spots up-river, I came to one of the spots I've fished more than any other on the Wairau (with the possible exception of the river mouth - last summer saw a fair amount of time being spent catching kahawai there).

The area is quite different to when I first started fishing there a couple of years earlier. Flooding has changed the river - what was once quite a long stretch of river, out of the main current and also fed by a small creek, is now mostly part of the main flow, but there is still an area that gets only some of the main river's water, and the rest is from the small creek.

This setup meant that while the main river was brown, this small area was quite clear.

The main river continues left, the clear pool to the right.

When I first arrived, some casts into the immediate area where this part meets the main river yielded nothing. I decided to take a look through some nearby trees to get to a different part that I haven't fished before. The trees always looked quite thick and impenetrable.

It turned out to be easier to get through the trees than originally thought, and when I slowly came out towards the water, I soon saw a trout. Then another! I think there were a few tolerating each other's company in this small area to keep out of the muddy river.

Slowly approaching the water from the cover of the trees.
It was a nice day and I was in no hurry, so spent some time casting different lures out to the trout, being careful to try not to spook them. I had some trout follow my lures, but no strikes.

Ahead and to the right is where the small creek feeds in.
 Nearing the time when I figured nothing was going to happen and I should consider leaving - and probably getting bolder with my general fishing technique because of that - I mistakenly cast a lure right at one of the trout. It turned and aggressively attacked the lure and was hooked instantly.

The trout put up a nice fight, but was eventually landed.

At least three lessons learnt on the day:
  1. Don't let a river swollen by rain be a deterrent - just find the best places to fish in the circumstances. It might even be a help if it pushes more trout into one area.
  2. Explore more areas that look hard to access. They may be easier than they look, and the challenge might also be putting off other people, so you may find areas nobody else fishes.
  3. Before finishing fishing for the day, try to hit a trout on the head with a lure.
This has been my only effort to catch a trout so far this season, so I've technically got a 100% success rate for the season. I possibly should advertise myself as a guide before I try again...