Prospecting a new River, Discovering the Awatere

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  • #7149
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    The nearest large river to the south of me is the Awatere, Its headwaters are somewhere in Molesworth and it drains the Inland Kaikoura’s , which includes the tallest mountain in New Zealand outside the Southern Alps.

    The Awatere often flows a milky white, thanks to a combination of snow melt and the mud stone cliffs its constantly eroding. Plus its flood prone. Many people claim that it only flows clear for about four weeks a year, two in the middle of Winter when everything is frozen and two in the middle of summer when everything is dry. Another characteristic of the Awatere valley is its unfavorable climate, is both windier, drier and colder then the nearby Wairau valley which itself gets more then its fair share of wind.

    I spent the morning fishing a tributary of a neighboring river, and after lunch made my way over Taylors Pass and into the wide expanse of the Awatere valley. About a kilometer from the Taylor pass junction is a small gravel road which can be used to access the river, the turn off is just upstream of the Nina Brook.

    So I drove to the river edge, and rather then a milky white I was greeted with a clear flowing river and all but calm day. Could not have asked for nicer weather. This is the first time I have fished that part of the Awatere, so did not know what to expect. I have been told that the lower river beneath the bridge is the best fishing, although NZfishing claims thats its not highly regarded and the upper reaches are best, there is a equally favorable review in John Kents trout fishing bible.

    So I found myself slowing flicking a cicada into all likely looking water, and there was a lot of it. Unlike most other rivers, this one did not have footprints in the soft sands

    For several hours I worked upstream, and finally, not much bigger then a fingerling… a small trout inspected my Cicada before drifting away…. My first confirmed sighting of a trout in the Awatere. I fished a few more pools, but it was getting late and I had animals to feed back at home.

    After dinner, I somehow found myself back on the Awatere. This time much closer to the sea, down there the river was still a series of closely spaced pools and rapids and I eagerly started fishing upstream…. It was not long before I saw my second fish, a small flounder which darted away as it saw me approach. I must of fished for a little over a hour, when the threat of night forced me back to the car. But there was still time for a quick Rapala fish, the nearest three pools I covered but no luck.

    So ends my first day of prospecting the mighty Awatere, and she has still not revealed her secrets to me. It might be tomorrow, or next week or next year but I would return. With new tactics, a new stretch but I will figure out her secrets and bring the long neglected Awatere trout to the net.

    Unless I go chasing kingfish, I plan to have another installment of my Awatere adventures tomorrow night. If the rain stays away, and the river clear I would aim to fish either the gorge or upper reaches this weekend.

    #20383
    Duckman
    Participant

    use to work along side the Awatere and not once have i seen a trout in them waters

    #20384
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    So I am already one ahead of you 8)

    There are trout there, just need to find them.

    #20385
    yellowfin
    Participant

    and then make sure they dont slip through your net

    #20386
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    Yeah, got a new bag ordered for my net. Going for the rubber net which is much more user friendly when using treble hooks compared with the finely woven black material bags.

    #20387
    baitman
    Participant

    can you send me a link to find that net pls milli
    mine is past its used by date I’ve been looking for a knotless bag but are yet to find one

    #20388
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    Here is the rubber net , although the photo sorts of looks like the black micro mesh.

    http://www.flyshop.co.nz/product/Mclean_111_Rubber.html

    or if you own a McLean 111 net then you can just order a replacement Rubber bag for it
    http://www.flyshop.co.nz/product/mclean_net_bags.html

    My current net is made from the knotless black micro mesh and its good for flishing, but tangles very bad with spinning hooks, hence why I am now getting a rubber net bag to replace it with.

    #20389
    baitman
    Participant

    thanks mine is a folding kilwel aloy type really light but the net is bad for getting stuck in teeth and gills etc
    I carry it tucked into my wader belt at the back or the back of my vest if I’m wearing one but I also often carry a second rod with a differnt setup the net is very good a netting that too.

    #20390
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    Kilwell has rubber nets available in their saltwater range, they do not seem to have any in their freshwater selection.

    http://www.kilwell.co.nz/Saltwater_Acce … _Nets.html

    #20401
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    I returned to the Awatere, got there early Evening around 7:30pm. I decided to spin, because it allowed me to cover a lot of water quickly.

    The river has not changed much, if anything it was slightly less clear but I slowly fished my way upstream.


    Thought this run had potential, and soon had something grab my line.  Short fight and this little fellow was in my net,  my first Awatere trout  8-).

    The next pool was very nice looking, was quite deep with submerged trees and bank side vegetation to provide cover. Was not long before I had my second strike, then had several more follows. All small fish I suspect.

    Further upstream the fishing was similar, small trout either following or striking but failing to get hooked. Numbers were quite high. Earlier in the week, I fished part of the section with a fly rod and only saw a single fish.

    Fished even further and the water seemed dirtier and saw no further fish, when it was quite late I changed to a larger lure hoping the fish would see it, but it did not work. After dark I spotted a couple of eels in the shallows. Got back to the car at 9:30pm.

    My next trip would be on the weekend.

    #20405
    St_Paul
    Participant

    its dirty at the moment milli really brown coming across it today.

    #20406
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    Really? Must of had a thunderstorm in the headwaters.

    Very flood prone.

    #20407
    St_Paul
    Participant

    everything from hapuka north to the awatere was dirty they were all clear yesterday

    #20408
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    k, been looking at the rainfall maps and flows, and yeah. It was quite widespread. Need to look at the Rain model to see where it was from.

    Can see rain on the Rain radar, scattered through the inland kaikoura’s, the mountains block the radar so was probably quite consistent.

    Wairau back upto 28 from about 18.

    #20412
    St_Paul
    Participant

    wairau could do with another decent fresh, hear there was a 17lb salmon taken at the diversion this morning.

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