Reel Life February 2018
Reel Life February 2018
This crazy weather of ours is all a bit Biblical…first came the heat, then the floods – courtesy of ex-tropical cyclones.
In places, our poor trout have experienced everything from being trapped in shrinking waterways, starved of oxygen, to battling flooded rivers and streams.
But of course the incredibly humid conditions have boosted insect life, and trout have had a smorgasbord of passion vine hoppers, blowflies, crickets, mayflies and caddis.
And March and April are when trout start to really feed up so they can put condition on for spawning.
Don’t forget there are still a few weeks left to chase salmon in some regions down south (check those ‘rules & regs’).
In any event, don’t let summer storms put you off - our Auckland / Waikato Reel Life has tips for these very conditions.
And dive into some great reading in our new Fish & Game NZ magazine - feature articles, photo spreads, columns and fly-tying - check it out online.
And if you're on Facebook, 'like' the Fish & Game NZ Magazine Online page so we can keep you up to date with new content releases, competitions and other offers.
P.S. Thanks to Cassidy Blampied for this snap of his 14 pound rainbow caught in a canal at Twizel.
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.
Our 'summer of extremes'
It's been a summer of weather extremes that have hammered our valued fish species. At time of writing, we'd moved from hot and humid to the expected deluge in some southern regions as ex-cyclone Gita trucked south. The record-breaking heat has left regions as far apart as Southland and Taranaki fielding reports of dead trout turning up in waterways. The combination of high temperatures and depleted oxygen levels in low water levels have been fatal for some trout (click here for one example). Algal blooms have also thrived in the warm conditions. At the same time, in some areas rivers running high have made life tough for the fish.
Praise for our trout
A Fish & Game opinion piece on the value of introduced species penned by our Chief Executive Martin Taylor has received widespread publicity. He noted that introduced fish earn New Zealand hundreds of millions of dollars every year. "What is interesting is the unlikely alliance of vested interests which have jumped on the article to push their own agendas," he wrote. And a few farmers "have revelled in the claim against trout, using it to divert attention from declining water quality, the environmental ravages of dirty dairying and excessive irrigation." Read more here.
Help this casting cause, win a top rod
Anglers, here's your chance to help a great cause – Casting for Recovery – and have a crack at winning a superb fly rod. The not-for-profit organisation runs retreats in support of anyone who has or has had breast cancer. The hand-made rod donated by Wanaka-based Swift Fly Fishing, is valued at $1300 and is being raffled for $20 a ticket. To buy one click here.
Urgent action call on pesticides
A national trout fishing organisation wants urgent attention to insecticides that are almost certainly causing deep damage to freshwater ecosystems. The call follows information from the US that a variety of neonicotinoid insecticides—harmful to aquatic organisms—were reported in major Great Lakes streams.NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers president Graham Carter says trout anglers had over decades noticed strong declines in hatches of aquatic insects such as mayfly and caddisfly species. There is help - Agrecovery is one organisation that offers farmers safe disposal of unwanted chemicals : www.agrecovery.co.nz.
Water quality still 'big issue'
An editorial in the Herald is a pointed reminder that the issue of water quality is not going away – and it's not just "water quality alerts" for beaches the public are concerned about. "The problem is not confined to Auckland and beaches, it is apparent in lakes, rivers and streams throughout the country…The problem is water quality and its comparative neglect in a country that likes to present a fresh and clean environment to the world." Click here for details.
Will Spry says there's been some great fishing in the high country lakes...
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Graeme Marshall points to strategies for catching those spooky trout that are seeing too many summer anglers...
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Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy
It's a relief to wade in the water. Heat and humidity combine to make the journey to the river an unpleasant experience. The water is lukewarm, and it soaks into my boots with oily ease. I would hesitate to splash myself with it, let alone drink it. If any fish are caught, they should be returned. The bacteria count in the river must be at record highs.
Stones are turned to see if any mayflies or caddis have survived the heat. There are midge larvae and Dobson fly larvae near the margins. But the absence of any insects that thrive in clean water is significant.
A few hundred metres upstream, a tiny flow of clean water enters the river. It comes from a stand of beech and manuka where the undergrowth is green and the margins are mossy. There is deer sign on the soft, wet soil and damsels, dragons and blowflies hum in the sun. Where the rille enters the river, the stones are clear of algae and there is just a light sprinkle of duckweed at its downstream edge. And here lie large trout.
Click on the region to read.