Reel Life January 2019
"Nothing compares to a magical February day when seemingly every trout in the river is rising.'
This comment from the NZ Professional Fishing Guides Association sums up well the joys of a sunny summer's freshwater fishing.
February is a great month for fly fishing, when dry fly and 'terrestrial fishing' really comes into its own – and cicada, grasshopper and blowfly patterns can do the business.
Thanks to Suede Horsham from Mataura for sending in this month's cover photo of his 6.5lb brown trout..
But there's lots of simpler fishing on offer - trolling options for family-oriented boaties and spin fishing for the time-pressured or those who're new to angling.
Some of our fresh reports from staff in the field are inspiring, to say the least.
Auckland/Waikato staff say a drift dive fish count in the Whakapapa River turned up 17 "very large" trout per kilometre of river!
And speaking of very large trout, a potential new world record brown trout may well have been caught in the Mackenzie Country. At a reported 55 pounds, or nearly 25kgs, it certainly is a monster!
The fishing is cranking up on Lake Rotorua as fish converge on the stream mouths as water temperatures rise. Rotoiti continues to produce the best fish of the region, followed by lakes Okataina and then Tarawera.
In Wellington, in a fishery less than an hour's drive from central Wellington, staff recorded more than twice as many large brown trout (some 10lb plus) as they've counted in over 10 years monitoring! And there's hot fishing in the lower Ruamahunga River.
Down south, staff reckon that dedicated canal fishers are still pulling out some mega-sized trout and quite a few nice salmon as well.
Staff note that February is traditionally the month for the best Chinook salmon runs, so it may well be time to dig out the salmon lures and have a crack.
As always, read the regional reports for some season-specific tips from our experts to ramp up your chances of catching more fish.
Kiwis want tougher rules to protect rivers from polluters…
Over 80 percent of New Zealanders want tougher rules to protect rivers, lakes and streams from pollution. The findings are revealed in a nationwide poll conducted in December for Fish & Game New Zealand by Colmar Brunton. People were asked if mandatory environmental standards should be introduced for New Zealand waterways, even if it meant regulating intensive farming. Read more here.
Scientist says NZ losing battle over water quality
Land, Air, Water Aotearoa - or LAWA - collates water data from the councils around the country and runs a swimming spot check project across 700 sites. Based on the most recent results from regional council and unitary authority recreational water quality testing, 97 of the 700 sites were unsuitable for swimming in. Freshwater scientist Mike Joy says water quality around the country is getting worse.
Fishing group blasts 'dictatorial' Freshwater Fish Amendment Bill
A Government Bill aimed at better protecting freshwater fish is being slammed as "dictatorial" and unnecessary by the Recreational Fishing Council. Hundreds of people have made submissions to the Fisheries Minister on the legislation, which aims to provide better protection for New Zealand's freshwater fish. In a radio interview, President of the Recreational Fishing Council Keith Ingram told Tim Dower, the Fisheries Minister already has the ability to close fisheries and doesn't need any new powers. Read more here.
Mystery still surrounds potential world record troutFish & Game has yet to confirm reports of a giant trout – a potential world record – recently caught in the Mackenzie Country hydro canals. Eyewitnesses report seeing an angler land a 24.9kg (55 pound) brown trout in the Pukaki-Ohau A canal. If confirmed, it would be a new world record for a brown trout. Read on here.
Working with nature reaps rewards for farmersTwo Canterbury high country farming couples have been jointly awarded the 2018 North Canterbury Fish & Game Working with Nature awards. The awards are given each year to farmers who've made an effort to protect the environment. Fish & Game says the efforts that Bruce and Lyn Nel from Middle Rock Station and Don (pictured) and Julie Patterson from Manuka Point Station have made to preserve the natural environment and protect waterways has earnt them this year's environmental recognition. Click here.
Dairy farmer's 'pretty special' trout rod from Fish & GameBut proving how nice we can be…a Waikato dairy farmer and keen angler has won a handcrafted fly rod from Fish & Game – and he knows exactly how to use it. Tirau local Kevin Taylor won the Epic rod hand-crafted in Wanaka by Swift Fly Fishing Company, in a prize draw for readers of Fish & Game's monthly electronic angling newsletter Reel Life. Kevin is delighted with the prize. Click here.
If you would like to advertise in the above banner position and directly reach the fishing community across New Zealand, please contact Don Rood.
Will Spry says its time for some spectacular takes off the surface...
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Graeme Marshall says some great fishing lies ahead with cicadas and other insects on the wing…
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NZFFA's David Haynes questions the 'new religion' of catch and release…
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Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy
It was a sky of deep grey, sulky and close to tears. The air was still, thick with scents of grass and pollen. The approach to the river was a blue carpet of pennyroyal that refreshed with minted scents and a riverside bog was edged with lemon balm where hover flies trembled and darted over muddy water that later in the day would release clouds of mosquitoes.
Blackberry formed a barrier, but a pause to pick the ripest fruit upon which only a few tiny insects scurried, quenched a building thirst. Succulent and delicious. Thorns were skirted and the river came into view through a curtain of willow.
The river ran glassy, grey-green, with not enough light to show fish holding deep, but the chances were they had moved to white water. The long reach revealed only reflection, pretty enough but sterile ... Continue reading here.
This Month's Regional News
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