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Fine pair . . . East Gore fisherman Russell Young caught two brown trout within his first hour of fishing during opening season yesterday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

A lone fisherman could be seen on a stretch of the Mataura River bank near the Gore bridge at the start of the fishing season yesterday morning.

East Gore’s Russell Young was out on the river about 7am.

Mr Young said he had a good start to the fishing season, landing two trout by 7.40am.

“I landed the wee one on the very first cast.

“They’re both in exceptionally good condition.”

He estimated the bigger one was about 1kg.

He usually fished for an hour before going to work.

“Quite often I’ve [caught] three or four in the first hour – I always get two anyway.”

Although he also fly-fished for trout, at the start of the season he baited the hook with worms.

It was surprising no-one else was fishing considering it was the school holidays, he said.

“I thought there would be a lot of people.”

He had been fishing on the Mataura all his life.

“I enjoy the fishing.”

The trout would make a good meal but his wife did not like bones in the fish so he usually filleted them, rolled the fillets in a thin batter and cooked them in butter.

“I can eat them any way – I just cook them whole in the pan.”

Southland Fish and Game officer Cohen Stewart said he was near Cattle Flat on Monday and the Mataura River conditions were looking good.

“Anglers would have had good success if they were spin-fishing or fly-fishing.

“In the lower reaches, given that the river levels were up a wee bit, worms would be the best bet.”

Mr Stewart visited the Aparima and Oreti rivers yesterday and was impressed with the size and quality of fish.

“We have seen some really good fish caught.”