Monday 17 February 2014

Another Fish at Night

I first heard cicadas from my house just before the official start of summer - 23rd November, then again the next day up the river. They've been a bit scarce ever since, though, until the last couple of weeks. Now they're loud whenever you're near trees in Marlborough. Cicadas are great, but there's something about the call of a cricket...

Last night I went out for a night fish just before sunset - I've been meaning to since making my 2014 plans at the start of the year, but I didn't even get out for a fish at all in January, which is shameful (definitely not helping with the 'Fish More' plan).

The cicadas were just starting to quieten down and the crickets were taking over as I arrived at the water's edge. The sun was slipping behind the hill. My first stop was a part where the road runs right beside the river - it's hard not to stop here for a look. I had a few casts, but as I was setting up, a couple of guys arrived downstream on the other side of the river and threw stones into the river and tried to coax their dogs in. Possibly not interfering with the fishing, but they were interfering with the solitude.

Packing up and continuing to my usual spot further upstream, I decided to have a cup of tea from my thermos while waiting for it to get darker. The moon was about to rise, and I felt that might help.

It was quiet. The water chattering past; birds sending out their last calls. The birds must have still been active in the vineyards to the south, as I heard a few booms from the bird-scarers.

After wandering downstream beside the Wairau to explore an area I haven't bothered with for a while (high overgrown bank), I walked upstream next to my usual stillwater creekfed patch that gets some fish and food traffic from the Wairau.

The water was quieter, but you could hear the low rumble from the Wairau's riffles a few stone's-throws away.

Standing on the edge, I heard the unmistakable plop of a feeding fish below me. I walked a few metres downstream and heard a loud splash from a trout. Time to fish.

It was dark, but still light enough to get around without my light due to the full moon (98% full and waning, apparently). After a few casts I heard another big splash - on the other side of the stream this time.

Nothing took my lure, though.

I wandered back down to where I've previously caught trout at night. I killed some more time by taking some long exposure photos, then tried casting there. I had been hesitant to start fishing in that spot until dark, as it felt like playing my trump card too early. No luck, anyway.

I had a few more casts in the area, then called it a night.