After the last storm that brought snow to low levels throughout Southland and into Otago and even Canterbury as expected the rivers flows remained low due to the cold keeping the snow from melting. We had one of those rare blue bird days with a light southerly yesterday – the southern fly fishers wet dream! Being a Sunday many folks were out to enjoy some fishing before or after voting and I am sure many had great fishing. We certainly did with most fishing taking nymphs but the odd fish free rising from time to time and a quick switch to a black gnat proving a wise change.
We did see something a little off putting yesterday. On a river that has a series of beats and anglers access signs right beside a main road but not a single vehicle at any of them we decide to stop and use one of the beats for our mornings fishing. We rigged and walked over to the river and dropped about 100m below the vehicle to start walking up and very shortly encountered a vehicle on the far bank that doesn’t have public road access and is all farm land. I walked up to the one figure I could see and he informed me that he had driven down that side and dropped 4 fisherman off (so there was 5 fisherman in total) spread out over the next 4 fishing beats upstream. I said ok mate we are out of here and headed off to another area and had a successful day. Now I have no problem with other parties of fishermen, its parr for the course in rivers with roads beside them, however trying to be a sneaky and driving down the other side of the river thru farm land dropping of so many other fisherman when there are public anglers access signs from the other side is not really fair in my book. We were lucky that we realized what the situation was very early in our day and got out of dodge city but it could easily have been different and our day would have been wrecked. These jokers could have used two road public accesses and put 2 parties of two fisherman together, left the vehicle at one of the accesses and a sign at the other rather than spreading them out over 4 beats with no indication of them even being there from the public accesses. I am pretty sure that most other anglers would have been very annoyed to see this kind of conduct going on and it should not be condoned in any way.
If there are public accesses, use them. Leave a sign in your vehicle saying which way you went, UPSTREAM or DOWNSTREAM and if you want to be really nice write the time down you started off on the sign as well.