Reel Life August 2017
Woohoo! Licences for the new trout and salmon fishing season are now on sale. While the licences can't be used until October 1, it's a great little milestone as we count down to some spring and summer fishing.
It's an indicator that we can at least start to put the worst of this winter and its evil flu bugs behind us, and look forward to getting out on a favourite trout stream or river.
Your Reel Life editor has scarcely seen so many positive reports from around the country just ahead of opening (and remember, lots of fishing waters are still open – check your local rules & regulations).
The good news has come everywhere from Waikato hydro lakes and central North Island ones like Lake Rotoma to Taranaki – where staff report "early spring action" at Lake Mangamahoe.
In Wellington staff say field work points to some "mighty big fish to be caught."
Down south, staff report the river mouths are starting to come alive – the place to catch "voracious" trout.
And it's thumbs up for soft baits and lures in the lower reaches of rivers in the Nelson / Marlborough region. Staff reckon that for the spin angler, non-scented soft baits imitating smelt or other small fish are "absolutely deadly" on trout.
In the Central South Island there are "acres" of open fishing in September, including the fabled Mackenzie basin canals and lakes Benmore and Aviemore. Hungry browns are cruising lake edges after spawning.
Great fishing is yours for the taking (with a little work)!
P.S. - This month's cover pic shows Wayne Barnes with a whopper winched from the Waimakariri River and photographed by Martin Langlands.
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.
Political parties speak
The media is describing 2017 as the environment election but who will you vote for?
Fish & Game NZ gave our politicians the chance to outline their policy positions on the issues important to anglers and hunters. Questions put to the parties focus on five current issues of critical interest to those of us who head outdoors for our recreation.
We at Fish & Game are strictly neutral and haven't commented on or analysed their replies. We present them here for you to make your own analysis and judgements.
Salmon 'summit' on the way
Fish & Game is organising a two day symposium to discuss the South Island's troubled wild salmon fishery. The salmon – known as the King, Chinook or Quinnat – is found mainly on the West Coast, Canterbury, Otago and Marlborough. The species spends much of its life at sea and is highly valued by freshwater anglers.
The symposium is being organised by Fish & Game's two Canterbury regions, Central South Island and North Canterbury. It will be held in Ashburton on November 11 and 12.
Call to help fund river sensors
River campaigners are calling for the public to back their bid to raise funds for a water quality tester they've developed.
The degradation of a river running through his land pushed Grant Muir to help develop the River Watch sensor to give communities the ability to test their own waterways.
It's a device that's left in the river and collects data every ten minutes on dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, temperature and conductivity, with a sensor for nitrates soon to be added. To make a pledge to back this important project click here.
Fish & Game dismay at Hawke's Bay rivers move
Fish & Game is disappointed the Hawke's Bay Regional Council is opposing a Water Conservation Order to protect the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers.
A group, including Fish & Game, Ngati Hori ki Kohupatiki, Forest & Bird, Whitewater NZ and Jet Boating NZ, has jointly applied for the Water Conservation Order.
Click here for details
Buy a licence!
Get yourself all set to fish when October 1 comes around! Go to our "gateway" page here and click away for some well-priced outdoor adventures.
We remind anglers and wannabe fishers that nine different types of licence are on offer, catering for all, including families, older anglers and newbies.
As always, the whole season and family types provide superb value and flexibility – a year's worth of fishing anywhere in the country (except DOC-run Taupo).
Licences available to buy online here.
Will Spry says "hardy souls" have enjoyed some excellent winter fishing…
Find out more
Martin Langlands reflects on the best winter river fishing ever…
Find out more
Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy
"Embrace the cold," said Harry, "and enjoy the moment." My snarled reply was unprintable. My left boot was leaking and the cold seeped through my aching limbs. I could take no more and climbed the bank, and from the top reeled in my fly. I stomped sloppily back to the hut. Harry continued fishing. He regards any lessening of intensity in his pursuit of trout as failure – abject and not worthy of a true fisherman. His foot would be ice before he gave up – capitulation was tantamount to cowardice. I am built of less stern stuff and lit the fire in the hut before attempting to drag off my wading boot. The heat washed over me in gentle waves, thawing and comforting as blood returned to my toes. I am convinced I am not made for winter fishing. My foot, pale and damp, blue-veined in the twilight, looked pathetic and matched my mood. I felt sorry for myself.
It had been a bright, chill day full of promise. We arrived at the river where the water ran clear and deep and whitebaiters were leaving on the change in tides. Some left their nets in the current, and retired to the bank to boil billies and make tea. Their cups were steaming, and though whitebait had proved scarce, they managed a cheerful greeting.
The upper reaches of the river were closed for spawning, but this late in the season many of the trout chasing whitebait were recovering spawners. They chased whitebait with savage vigor, scything through the masses -- ignoring the mesh nets that would normally imbue them with considerable caution... Continue reading here.