The 1st of November sees the opening of the New Zealand backcountry rivers and streams.My regular client Bassam and his 2 sons Simon and JP contacted me earlier this year and were keen to fish the first 3 days of the new season.We decided to head to a new region and spend a couple of days chasing some fit rainbows in a few smaller streams and then spend the final day on Mataura river, a river that has fast become a favorite of theirs !
The boys flew into Queenstown on the Saturday where I picked them up and we headed to Te Anau where we based ourselves for the duration. The weather was kind to us on the 1st with no wind and a clear blue sky all day ! We hit our first river early as we expected other anglers to be up and away early also, we arrived at the car-park and no one else was there to our surprise. Rods were assembled , waders and boots put on and away we went. The river was low and clear and looked although it had weathered the winter well, with no sign of heavy winter flooding.
The first pool we came to had a good rainbow swinging in the current that didn't hesitate to move and eat Simon's nymphs on their first drift. The boys made their casts and fished well through out the day landing several good rainbows each and dropping a few goodies as well.
The following day the weather deteriorated slightly and we copped a fair amount of wind and rain so we headed to the Mataura river and sheltered among it's willow lined banks. The first beat we fished started out well with a couple of good fish sighted and hooked but within an hour the river rose dramatically and colored up to the point where we cou[dn't see the bottom 2 feet from the edge, we guessed a small side stream had blown out so I made the call to walk back to the car and head upstream several kilometers to get above the dirty in flowing stream and hopefully find clear water again. We pulled into the next access a few kilometers upstream and sure enough the river was low and clear ..... My hunch had been right !