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


Reel Life - January 2016

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Summer's heat has rolled over much of the country in the last month, often bringing rain to freshen falling river and stream levels.

Cicadas, beetles and mayflies have taken to their wings and the fish have been reacting to the insect smorgasbord…

In the Central South Island, dry fly fishing has been "as good as it gets” in some spots as the fish take advantage of the opportunity to gobble down the insects which have bumbled into the water.

The rain has also lifted water levels and the rescue of trout and other fish from drying streams which was so much part of last year's summer has not been needed.

However, the South Island's salmon run has yet to fire up, with anglers nervously watching the rivers and social media for the first hint that the much-anticipated run has begun.

In the Rotorua lakes district, summer angling has been on a high with some superb fish catches reported throughout the region.

The stand-out lake so far has been Rotoiti where Fish & Game has weighed and measured a number of fish in the 3-4kg range.

In the lower North Island, fishing has been hard at times but the rain has kept river levels up and water temperatures down.

Remember, just because the fish are hard to find, it doesn't mean they aren't there. In the Auckland/Waikato Region, drift dives have turned up pleasing results for anglers. The Waikato's upper Waihou revealed an impressive 900 rainbow trout per kilometre of river surveyed!

P.S. - This month's cover pic shows Ben, Cameron and Scott (left to right) with dad Hamish's lovely 7lb trout from the Clutha River.

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

Going, going…. gone?
New Zealanders value their access to the great outdoors. It has been an accepted part of the Kiwi birth right that anglers, hunters, trampers and mountaineers will be able to access the wild places where they can enjoy their pursuits. But is that right slowly disappearing? Fish & Game contributed to an in-depth documentary on outdoors access, which can be heard here.

Wading cattle stir up controversy
A photo of a herd of cattle in a Canterbury high country lake has attracted intense public and media scrutiny since it was posted on Fish & Game's Twitter feed.  A holidaymaker took the photo of the livestock from a DOC camping ground beside Lake Taylor, in north Canterbury's Lake Sumner Forest Park.  A complaint has been lodged with the local regional council, ECAN. Click here for details.

Social media
Social media plays an increasingly important role in getting Fish & Game's environmental and conservation messages across to the public and this was startlingly illustrated by Fish & Game's Tweet of the photo showing cattle in Lake Taylor.  The photo reached thousands of people and prompted intense media interest.  If you aren't following Fish & Game on Facebook or Twitter, sign up now.

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
Hawke's Bay

Nelson / Marlborough
North Canterbury

West Coast
Central South Island

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Streamside with...

Will Spry

Will Spry says much needed rain and cooler temperatures have aided stream levels... Find out more


Graeme Marshall hopes that some more rain will liven up the salmon season... Find out more


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

Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy

The evening is calm. El Nino is resting. The mischievous child has toyed with us all day, blowing in our faces and tangling leaders, making the hours spent fishing more like the hours spent undoing knots.

There is a hum from the nearby paddocks – the hum of a million brown beetles taking off. They come with the rise of the moon, fattened on the precious pastures they have been busily destroying.

Their attention has turned to the foliage of trees – the plums and apricots in the orchard and the willows on the riverbank. They will shred the leaves in overnight feasting, and mark the ripening fruit.

And then they mate, and fall, the females to lay their eggs and the males, wasted, to their deaths. The river takes them as well. The moonlight glow of water draws them, and they splash and flutter and twitch till the ravening trout sucks them down and they disappear in the dark swirl.

The angler marks the event and, ever the predator, ties with raffia, hare's ear and cock hackle, a fair imitation to cast adrift in the floating horde. ... Continue reading here

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

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