Hearts creek is my favourite spring creek. It normally has clear water and consistent flow (it rarely floods). There are good numbers of mid sized fish two to five pounds, with a good chance of fish up to twelve pounds. The river has improved significantly, from local inactivates and work by local farmers (stock is fenced from the river bed now) lets hope that other rivers receive the same treatment.
Most of the fish I catch during the day are two to four pounds. This is the first time I have made it to hearts creek this year, it normally fishes better for me after Christmas. Most fish it with streamers and lures, but I enjoy nymphs and dries on this creek, sight fishing has always been more appealing to me.
this is normaly where I start from
Above the walk way to bird hide, the casting is difficult with some inventive casting necessary. There are some good pools to fish, with very few riffles (with most being closer to the bird hide end of this reach). This section receives much less pressure than the lower reaches, and normally I fish it alone not seeing anyone else. (For access most of the land owners are happy to let anyone fish the river if you ask).
a small fish above bird hide
some bigger fish above bird hide
From the bridge to the walkway to the mouth into Lake Elsmere there is some excellent fishing. Most of the big fish are taken close to the mouth at night, but there is some great sight fishing from the mouth to the bridge. Casting is easy if the wind is not too strong (the NW is the prevailing wing and would be at your back at an angle and blowing very strong), there is little in the way of obstacles’ (but you need to be careful with your back cast because it is a public walkway and you don’t want to hook some one).
the bird hide walkway
what the water looks like
I was to fish the Selwyn river but once started I was reminded that over Christmas people use it as an off road challenge! After a half hour walk I saw two fish, four people on horse back in the river (in two groups) and a dirt bike. With memories of past trips with countless 4WD trucks in the river, I decided to leave before I got too upset.
a breeding pair of native brown teal ducks
The fishing was more enjoyable, where the other users were anglers and bird watchers or families. I started with my usual nymph for this river a small caddis larva nymph with no response form the intended target. I changed to a blue dun wet and still no luck, not having my streamer box got me trying things I would have left in the box on other occasions. (In hind sight I should have tried a blow fly humpy being next to a dairy farm).
Then the Coch-y-bondhu wet went on and on the first cast results, a good fish come up of the bottom about six feet and gently took it. After a poor hook up the fish got off with out a fight, after a few small ones hit it coming across the river and got off. I met another angler gave him some nymphs to try later, and helped confirm his fly choice a small white smelt fly similar to a Brunton #2. I met some other anglers as I was leaving for home they were there for the night (I had to be home on time or else!).
one last shot of the river for JP
It was a great day and I will be going back as soon as I can after Christmas!