Auckland/Waikato Reel Life February 2018
Don’t let dark water put you off
Summer has turned into some hit or miss fishing in terms of the weather.
The heat and summer rainstorms have put off some anglers and redistributed the fish.
But the fishing is still good if you are willing to change your techniques slightly.
Wet weather success.
Staff member Dr Adam Daniel recently ran into some Aussie anglers in Owhango who were delighted to have the Whakapapa River to themselves after a rainstorm had rolled through.
Although the river was coloured it was fishable and the visitors commented that compared to Australian rivers “the water looked clear.”
We are spoiled for choice here in New Zealand but there is still no need to let summer storms put you off fishing.
Try the following tips If the water is up but visibility is still decent:
- Stay safe and don’t attempt crossings in swift water above your knees if you can’t see the bottom to place your feet. If you do decide to make a crossing use a solid wading stick and plan your route in a location where the area downstream is safe to backpaddle your way out if things go badly.
- Trout will actively feed on bugs knocked into the river in their normal runs as water begins to rise but when the current picks up they will move to the edge or other slow water. Don’t be afraid to fish shallow water along undercut banks and slow runs near the edge under trees.
- Go dark with your fly or spin gear and as you lose water clarity increase the size of your presentation.
The Whakapapa on a day you should just go home.
Question those ‘keep out' signs
Multiple inquiries from anglers about a 'no trespassing' sign near the Puniu River prompted Fish & Game staff to open an inquiry with Walking Access New Zealand, to investigate if the sign was on public land.
Fortunately, this case is fairly simple and the Walking Access NZ staff that took the complaint investigated the sign straight away.
Generally, district councils manage paper roads and the Otorohanga District Council has agreed to work with the landowner claiming the property, to get the sign removed.
Unfortunately, the anglers that have pulled up, taken the sign at face value, and driven away will not be compensated for their lost access.
It would be nice if blocking access to public land was treated as harshly as trespassing, so the landowner could be held to account if the gate and sign were erected to intentionally exclude the public.
Staff have uncovered multiple locations where landowners have attempted to block access to public land using signs or locked gates.
The case law on public roads is straight forward and unlocked gates may only be placed with the permission of the relevant territorial authority.
In addition, if a gate is placed on a public road it must be signposted to indicate there is legal access.
It is also legal to drive on unformed roads provided there are no local bylaws preventing this and no property damage is done.
A misleading sign on a paper road with legal public access.
If you spot a locked gate or 'no trespassing' signs on public land, please report it Walking Access NZ or Fish & Game.
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