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

Reel Life - October 2016

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It's spring and that marks the re-opening of well, a swag of waterways around the country. And hungry trout are on the hunt.

On the Rotorua lakes, the season started with a bang as around a thousand anglers registered for the opening week fishing competition with the chance to win ten thousand dollars if they could catch a specially tagged trout.

While the golden trout wasn't hooked, some good fish were still landed.

Lake Rotoiti took the honours with solid rainbows tipping the scales at over 3kg with one more than 4kg.

But throughout the country, there is good spring fishing available.

If you're holidaying up north, remember that Northland rivers are open for business and there's more places to fish than just Kai Iwi lakes.

In Taranaki the mayfly and caddis have been hatching and the trout are feeding…

Auckland anglers take note that the Waikato River is fishing well - the annual fishing contest proved it with over 100 trout weighed in.

Down south eager anglers are gearing up to fish high country lakes in North Canterbury and Central South Island (CSI) which re-open on November 5.

In CSI lakes Alexandrina and Mc Gregor are described as 'must fish' destinations.

And "healthy browns” have already been hauled from the lower Clutha and other Otago rivers.

Even further south, there are positive reports of good numbers of trout in the lower reaches of West Coast rivers.

P.S. - Thanks to a proud father who provided this month's cover pic – of daughter Emily Craig and her 21.5lb rainbow hen hauled from one of the South Island canals.

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

Now's the time to plan your fishing holiday...
Monthly feature image If you haven't firmed up your holiday plans, there's no better time than the present to mark some fishing time on the calendar. Holidaymakers now have plenty of choice – in particular a Short Break licence ($45) that sets you up perfectly for a long weekend. These licences allow you to fish for three days in a row, just is ready made for a long weekend. A Long Break licence ($88) covers nine days – in other words you're set up for some serious fishing covering two weekends plus the five days in between. If you're completely new to the sport but want to have a go with a minimal outlay, a $20 One Day licence represents a great option. Click here for details.

Have your say on Waikato River measures
Monthly feature image From now, the public are able to have a say on how best to manage what is arguably New Zealand's most important and complex river system. The ground-breaking plan change aimed at restoring and protecting the health of the Waikato and Waipa rivers has been publicly notified by Waikato Regional Council. People have more than four months to make submissions on the Healthy Rivers Wai Ora Proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change 1, with the council providing an extended notification period to allow people time to understand the proposed changes and make informed submissions. More details here.

Tune in …for fishing tips & techniques
Monthly feature image Catch Fish & Game staff talking about their patch – on Radio Live's Fishing Show from now until late December. The Fishing Show aims to be a 'how-to and where' guide for recreational fishers around New Zealand. It airs every Friday night from 7-8pm and is repeated on Saturday morning from 5-6am. The three hosts are Peter Elliot, Terry Williams-King and John Echelsheim who aim to give listeners an idea of what fish are biting and where, and what the conditions are like. Tune in! Click here for details.

Don't miss out on a kids fishing day!
Monthly feature image Kids 'fish out' days are a not-to-be-missed perfect way to introduce children to trout fishing. The programmes have been run in different parts of the country for more than 20 years. Anglers clubs and other volunteers provide one on one tuition, showing youngsters how to catch and keep a trout. The events have become hugely popular so that bookings are essential. The next KFOs are in Rotorua on 6 November, at the Eastern Region hatchery, and the Central South Island Region's is at Twizel on 12 November. Taranaki is holding another kids' event at the Scout den pool on the Patea River in the heart of Stratford on Saturday 10 December.

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Advertising Opportunity!

If you would like to advertise in the above banner position and directly reach the fishing community across New Zealand, please contact Don Rood.

Streamside with...

Will Spry

Will Spry gives tips for the opening of the season in the Central South Island... Find out more


Read Graeme Marshall's South Canterbury Report for October 2016.. Find out more

Chris Dore

Chris Dore has some advice on technical fishing solutions … Find out more


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

Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy

Creasy's column

Young magpies have left their nests. They nag their parents for food, whiny and demanding. In a few weeks they will be on their own, part of a fresh generation of wildlife that comes every spring.

Across the river a family of herons are having flying lessons from the top of an old macrocarpa. They croak and flap their wings, ugly sounds and awkward movements from youngsters yet to gain the grace of form their parents have. Their parents stalk the shallows and backwaters where spawning frogs make easy targets.

There are whitebait in the shallows, driven there by larger fish hunting the pools and reaches. There is confusion as whitebait mix with bullies and koura, and dangers of tooth and claw cause the shoal to seethe and flash in the sunlight. A trout slashes through the moving mass, scything jaws cutting through soft flesh – a feast of protein for the predators.

Whitebait are driven to fight the river's flow, making their way far upstream to muddy marshes, swamps and drains where they will live secretive lives, until an equally powerful urge drives them downstream again to spawn in salty estuaries or along weedy coastlines.

There is an equally insistent urge that drives young trout to seek out a territory – a feeding space on the river or at sea. It's a powerful urge that has to dominate to be successful. Old resident fish, spent from spawning, struggle to recover the physical prowess that allowed them to make the redds or spread the sperm that brought the new generation. ... Continue reading here

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

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