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Rain does the trick with autumn almost here.
Some rain on the way?
An improvement since the weekend.
Hard going.

Some rain on the way?
Thu 21st February, 2019

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February is a funny ole time of year on the river and you never know what you'll hook up from one cast to the next. That release we had earlier this month sparked off an improvement for a day or two but although there are some good fish around they're not everywhere.

With temperatures still "up there" most anglers are sticking to the early or late routine, constantly moving around trying anywhere there's some likely looking water.

I fished with Morrie and we had a lot of fun on the five weight fishing runs and riffles from town to Boulder Reach.

We had the odd better fish but most of them were juveniles of various sizes. These little guys are usually a pain but they really sharpen up the reflexes and are great practice.

Chris didn't need the practice when we fished Judges early one day and was delighted when this rainbow smashed the dry he'd just tied on. From memory that was the best of only a handful of fish we had between us that morning, which illustrates what it's like at the moment.

The cicadas may have fallen silent where I live. But they appeared a couple of weeks earlier than they did along the river. There's still plenty of noise when you're fishing but its not quite as intense as it was. And as their life above ground comes to an end you'll spot a lot more of them fluttering in the dust at your feet. It's been a fantastic year for these big bugs. But a few anglers have told me that although they're getting "follows" some fish are shying away from their imitations at the last moment. They've seen a lot of cicadas and become suspicious now if the presentation isn't quite right.

Because the fish have been so preoccupied with cicadas the last few weeks, I've dispensed with the droppers below the dry. To be honest there's been so much weed around they've been more of a hindrance than a help. And with most of the fish going for the dry anyway, its worked out ok up to now. But when I fished with Sandy Macfarlane yesterday he preferred to continue to hedge his bets and this chunky brown grabbed one of the nymphs he had on below his dry.

Which reminds me ... Morrie put me on to this great pattern {below} called the "Woomfah" it doubles as both a useful indicator and a really effective cicada imitation. You can get them from Taupo Rod & Tackle and I love the Tiemco barbless hook on these things.

The shop description says it all "This fly evolved very slowly over a number of years and we carry them in olive and black. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to get into some good cicada fishing you will know how crucial it is to have a good pattern. It doesn't matter what you throw because the fish will eat pretty much anything as long as it is big. The key to this pattern is the short shank wide gape barbless hook. Fish have a tendancy to fall off long shanked hooks with a very narrow gape."

Not much of the "cicada season" left now. But If you've been dropping or missing fish on other big dries give these a whirl ... I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

After what seems like months of wall to wall sunshine it looks as if we're definitley in for some rain over the next few days.

There's a low confidence weather watch in place for parts of the upper North and by Sunday temperatures are predicted to be much cooler, as strong southerlies cross central regions. Mind you, despite the hot days, with autumn almost upon us there's already a little bit of a nip in the air when you're on the river early. You have to be careful what you wish for ... but surely the first of the big autumn freshes can't be far away. Because until we get some proper rain things will just continue to tick over with very little change in "the fishing."

Most of the browns caught so far are around five or six pounds, but you watch what happens after we get spate conditions!

Tight lines guys

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