Reel Life December 2018
With the rain-soaked start we've had to December and summer, things are looking brighter all the time, especially with more and more fine and fishable days coming along.
Right about this time last year, the dry conditions had started to put pressure on some fisheries. Early summer this year is very different…many rivers have had healthy flush-outs and the fish are in good condition.
And we're pleased to confirm there are some great fishing opportunities out there to hook into.
Some of those opportunities may be right under your nose - Wellington's regional report has the teasing tale of an enormous brown trout only metres from the state highway.
Staff note a "wealth of opportunities" within easy striking distance for most folk living in the lower North Island. They also have some great tips on what approach to take to make the most of these opportunities.
Lake Rotorua's stream mouths are attracting the annual run of brown trout including some impressively-conditioned fish in excess of 3kg.
The stream mouths that are open to both fly and spin methods are a great place to chase one of these lunkers.
The release of "jumbo trout" in Lake Rotorua, after a clean out of the Fish & Game hatchery's display pond, has been grabbing headlines too (read below).
Down south, the first salmon have been caught.
As expected, the first sea-run salmon catches of the season have now been nailed in the Canterbury rivers - Rangitata, Waimakariri and lower Opihi.
There have only been small numbers caught so far but fish up to 9 kg have been landed.
Staff reckon that by the Christmas holidays, the Waiau, Hurunui and Rakaia - should have some salmon around. Oh, and some stunning rainbows have been taken around the Mackenzie Country's fabled salmon farms in recent weeks.
And if you're holidaying on the coast, don't forget the estuary fishing on offer with kahawai a possible 'bycatch.'
Have a great Christmas but take care around the water.
P.S. Big thanks to Greg Sosna for supplying the photo (above right) of his wife Helen and their two sons at Loch Cameron in the South Island. Helen is holding a plump salmon; three year-old Jordy eagerly wields the hammer, while five year-old Alex is pretty blasé about the photo shoot. The family of four is on a "sabbatical," travelling the country before Alex starts school in the new year (great idea).
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.
Don't forget to pack a rod for your holidays…
This is the time to plan some fishing as part of your holiday break, if you've been too flat tack til now. Holidaymakers have plenty of licence options to choose from. One of the best options is a Short Break Licence ($47) that provides three days of fishing in a row – great for a long weekend. These licences allow you to fish for three days in a row so they're ready made for a long weekend. A Long Break licence ($91) is ideal for some more serious fishing in that it provides for nine days – so you are all set for fishing over two weekends plus the five days in between. If you're a complete novice, a $21 One Day licence represents a great option. Click here for details then grab your licence and get into it!
Monster trout released
Anglers have been given the chance to chase some “jumbo-size” trout in Lake Rotorua. Fish & Game officers have released about 200 mega-sized trout into the lake near the Ngongotaha stream mouth. The fish were scooped from the Ngongotaha hatchery’s display pond to allow for routine repairs and maintenance. The browns and rainbows were all hefty with some hitting the 10 kilogram (20 pounds-plus) mark. Read more here.
Salmon could become major industry, says King CEO
King Salmon wants to test two 3600ha Otago ocean sites for the viability of offshore salmon farming. Its chief executive says the operation would be environmentally friendly and potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and could form the country's next dominant industry. Otago Regional Council staff are suggesting it processes the consents itself, rather than deferring decisions to the Conservation Minister. This would be different from the approach taken by other councils to which the company has applied. Click here to read more.
Stop the spread of pests - Check, Clean & Dry
If you’re moving around over the holidays and fishing different waterways, please remember the important CCD message. Please check, clean and dry any clothing, equipment and fishing gear before moving between lakes or rivers to help prevent the spread of didymo, lake snow and other freshwater pests. Didymo has yet to find its way into a number of our waterways so let's keep it that way!For more information 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 due to the earlier poor weather, rivers are under-fished and there are plenty fish to be caught... Find out more
Graeme Marshall writes about a “wealth” of fishing in South Canterbury, including smaller streams ... Find out more
David Haynes comments on recent freshwater news and issues ... Find out more
Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy
Heat has gone from the day. Last rays of sunlight throw a golden glow over the water and a light chop pushes wavelets to the shore. Tori curses quietly. She’s only wearing thigh waders and the chop is high enough to slop water onto her trousers. She’s fishing a 6-weight, fast-sinking line with a 2-metre leader. A #8 dragonfly nymph imitation completes her outfit.
Earlier in the day, when the sun was on the water, she had spotted a channel in the weed beds that led to a drop-off about 20 metres from the shore. The whole shoreline looked fishy and insects were rising – dragonflies and damsels darted in search of prey and mates. Gnats and midges clouded the surface and sandflies came out to feed.
Tori’s cheeks and hands were spotted with their bites and she rubbed the back of her hand against the rough surface of her waders. The channel looked to be a strip of papa a few centimetres deep, and its light grey colour would contrast nicely with the dark green colouring of the nymph she would use... Continue reading here.
This Month's Regional News
Click on the region to read.