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

Reel Life - November 2016

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Can it be after all that rain…summer is finally about to arrive?

Time to give serious thought to some of the great freshwater fishing that's on offer between Bluff and Cape Reinga.

All legally fishable lakes, rivers and streams are now open, so you've got plenty of options to see you and the family right over the summer holidays.

A wet spring did us no favours – it seems that if it wasn't raining it was blowing a gale, not exactly conducive to casting a line out. But we're glass half-full folks – conditions are improving.

Around the country rivers running cloudy after heavy rains are starting to run clear with the better weather. The first cicadas have been heard and it's time to get out those flies that imitate green and brown beetles.

In the South Island, heaps of rain brought some flow back to rivers that hadn't seen much for the last couple of years. It pushed anglers towards lake fishing.

There have been unconfirmed reports of a couple of salmon caught in the Rangitata, and as soon as we know for sure we'll update anglers through the Central South Island and North Canterbury fishing reports.

They go out on Friday in time for you to plan your weekend's fishing mission; you'll find them on each region's home page.

Boaties…now's the time to widen your horizons and give the snapper a break – a family licence is a great way to get everyone out to fish the country's lakes.

Make the most of your summer holiday break and may your lines be tight!

P.S. - This month's photo is Peter Innes from Arrowtown with a nice brown from the Acheron River.

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

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

Fishing News

Anglers federation welcomes Oreti River cycle trail decision
Monthly feature image The Federation of Feshwater Anglers has welcomed Fish & Game's victory in the Oreti River valley cycle trail row. We went to the Environment Court to oppose the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail's planned route through the valley, a world renowned trout fishing location. NZFFA spokesman David Haynes says the valley was not the "them and us” that some potrayed it as – a number of others including hunters, horse riders and trampers use the Oreti Valley.

Southland Fish and Game Council chairman Graeme Watson said the decision was not only an excellent outcome for anglers, but for all Southlanders because it saved ''one of the most iconic back country areas''. Read more here and and in David Haynes column. (pictured - Upper Oreti stunner).

Ruataniwha dam plans on hold
Monthly feature imageGood news for Hawke's Bay rivers left under a cloud by the controversial Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme plans. The Hawke's Bay Regional Council is commissioning an independent review of the project. The review will consider economic and environmental elements of the scheme. Fish & Game welcomes the decision. Click here for details.

Send in those fish heads
Monthly feature imageFish & Game is asking anglers to keep the heads of brown trout caught in Otago rivers open to the sea, in support of an Otago University study into sea-run brown trout migration patterns. Russian fishery scientist Pavel Mikheev is leading the study aimed at identifying sea trout spawning grounds and understanding movement between catchments. Rivers of interest include the Shag, Waikouaiti, Lower Taieri River and tributaries, and Lower Clutha River and tributaries. Click here.

From our in-case-you-missed it files…
Monthly feature imageGuitar legend Eric Clapton, is pretty good with a fly rod too. On one of his annual fly fishing trips to Iceland this past winter, Clapton landed a 28-pound salmon, setting the record for landing the biggest salmon of the summer. Clapton's love for fly fishing apparently goes back decades – from learning to fish on the Wey River in his hometown Surrey, England. Read more here.

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Streamside with...

Will Spry

Will Spry says there's been a great start to high country fishing ... Find out more


Graeme Marshall has been catching trout from the banks of rivers including the Opihi and Tengawai... Find out more


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

Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy

Creasy's column

A drift of clouds obscures the sun and for a while fish are invisible. I have seen their shadows cast on a sandy bed when the fish itself was so well patterned it remained camouflaged, even when moving.

Casting has to stop, and patience comes into play. It may take a while, but the sun will again break through. I stare at the water, hoping for a sign – a flash of gill, or the white of a mouth opening and closing, the sway of a tail in the current – but there is nothing. The cloud is bleakly grey and its metallic reflection closes over the water, blinding.

Decisions must be made. A blind cast may catch a fish, but it is more likely to put fish down. There is pollen in the air, and it settles on the water in a yellow scum. A mayfly sails downstream, its wings pumping as it prepares for takeoff. It achieves its final shape a metre or two ahead of me, its curves of body and wing a thing of beauty. A creature so fragile survives and thrives in a turbulent world, the power in front of which I have stood in awe, or powered in a roaring jetboat, its foaming rapids. But the fearless mayfly flits from wave to wave, a fragile wisp in the wind. There's a lesson there, somewhere, perhaps a lesson in humility ... Continue reading here

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

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