Reel Life - The Angler's Newsletter from Fish and Game New Zealand

Reel Life - February 2016

Monthly feature image

Autumn …season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, said the poet.

Not sure about the mist but it's mellow and very warm, with plenty of bugs on the wing, including cicadas at full noise, for trout to target.

Even after some torrential rain some rivers and lakes are drying up quickly to create challenging angling conditions. But the good news is that anglers in the South Island are finally catching a salmon or three.

Salmon fever is taking hold in Marlborough anglers and even during recent low river flows the Wairau has been delivering the goods. There are reports of salmon being caught in some of Southland and West Coast lakes. Well-conditioned salmon in the 8-20lb range have been caught in the Canterbury Plains river, the Rangitata – and for a little novelty, kingfish are being taken at the mouth. Our staff note that "there's still plenty of time left to catch the fish of a lifetime.”

High country lakes like Benmore have turned on some excellent fishing, and the seasonal 'carnival' is in full swing on toasty Lake Rotorua as anglers fish shoulder to shoulder targeting the fish gathering at the stream mouths in search of cooler conditions.

P.S. - This month's cover pic shows A fabulous South Canterbury brown trout from a spot so secret its location is kept in a locked vault.

P.P.S - If you think you've got a freshwater fishing image worthy of featuring on our 'cover', email it to Don Rood for consideration.

Fishing News

Government's failure over freshwater
The Government has dropped the ball on measures to protect freshwater – again. The consultation document on fresh water overall will weaken not strengthen existing environmental protection. We think it's a smokescreen to hide backdoor efforts to undermine the Resource Management Act and Water Conservation Orders. Public submissions are now being invited. Have your say! Click here to make a submission.

Anglers – help save Kai Iwi Lakes fishery
We also need anglers to speak out over the Kai Iwi Lakes fishery – under threat from Kaipara District Council proposals. The council proposals to ban trout releases and power boats have already sparked protests and if they're approved, the fishery will collapse. If you fish the lakes, or simply want to help protect this northern fishery, put in a submission before the Council's deadline on 22 March, 2016. Click here.

Fishing hots up at Lake Rotorua stream mouths
The fishing at Lake Rotorua stream mouths has been running hot for anglers, as trout gather in the cool water flowing from the streams. Anglers from all around the world have been fishing shoulder to shoulder at stream mouth such as Hamurana and Awahou, making an almost carnival atmosphere at times. Click here for details.

Social media
Sign up to Fish & Game's social media accounts on Twitter @fishandgamenz and Facebook to stay up to date with the latest developments on fishing and the environment.

New Licences
Lots of anglers have taken advantage of new fishing licences to suit their needs. There's still time to get the one that's right for you, from a one day, to a whole season 'fish anywhere' licence. Click here to join the fun.

This Month's Regional News Click on the region to read.

Auckland / Waikato no report
Hawke's Bay - no report

Nelson / Marlborough
North Canterbury

West Coast
Central South Island

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Streamside with...

Will Spry

Will Spry says this time of the year can bring some of the most exciting fishing – or not... Find out more


Graeme Marshall says Canterbury's hottest driest month has run true to form ... Find out more


Martin Langlands notes the hot weather has made for some great dry fly fishing... Find out more

Will Spry

Chris Dore explores the array of flies required in these trying conditions… Find out more


NZFFA President David Haynes summarises recent freshwater news and issues ... Find out more

Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy

It rained and rained and rained.

The tourists from the U.S. travelled from Christchurch to Queenstown and took a day trip to Milford where the falling waters cascaded from every peak and the sight took their breath away, making up for the endless rainfall that blotted out most views. Every cloud has a silver lining. The tourists ended up in Motueka, next door to our accommodation, and they looked forward to travelling the North Island.

On the river the silver lining was a long time coming. Black shags dived in muddy water and black back gulls cruised the river. We were just downstream from the Baton River confluence and we watched the gulls diving to snatch up tiny corpses from the flooded waters. We surmised they were mice, drowned in the beech forest lining the Baton River. The river was unfishable, and carried detritus from recently logged pines on both banks.

The logging had also displaced wekas. These flightless birds had taken up residence along both banks of the river, and their raucous calls rang through the night, an accompaniment to squawking pukekos. A pair had taken up residence under our house, and their booming, chuckling and snuffling carried into the night. We got used to it. When the rain stopped they came out to play, but their play turned out to be a serious attempt to get rid of a much smaller weka that we assumed was their offspring. The adults were relentless in their pursuit of the smaller bird, and it shrieked in protest at their pecking attacks. The nights were peaceful and the youngster was no more to be seen ... Continue reading here

Fish & Game NZ, 2 Jarden Mile, PO Box 13-141, Wellington. Tel: (04) 499 4767

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