West Coast Reel Life December 2018
- West Coast
The fishing is really starting to pick up on the West Coast as trout look up and focus on large dry flies floating downstream - that provide a high energy food source.
Trout will become predictable with intraspecific competition - meaning they will now be found at the head of pools and foam lines, the best place to get first crack at the food sources.
Above right: Dry fly time: trout are focusing on this high value food source (Photo Fish & Game).
Over the Christmas period you can expect more people out and about fishing so I highly encourage you to look further afield.
Rather than fishing the bridge pool, why not speak to landowners and get out to stretches of water not commonly fished.
Alternatively, try rivers with higher fish densities, which handle higher angler pressure, as fish line up to take up feed lines when other fish are spooked to the depths.
High fish densities are typically found in lake outlets and mid/lower reaches of large river systems that are relatively stable.
Don't forget the lakes, but keep in mind there are likely to be boaties out and about.
Drift dive results
Drift dives have been completed in both the Grey and Inanguhua catchments with interesting results.
Overall, the Grey and Inangahua river counts were lower than normal while the Mawheraiti River counts were above normal, although lower than last season's exceptionally high counts.
This may be partly due to surveys being completed earlier this year but could also be due to the fantastic period of stable weather we've experienced over the last few months (sorry East coasters!).
This is apart, of course, from a couple of weather bombs that have hit us in recent weeks to remind us that we're still on the West Coast.
Nonetheless, the weather appears to have been favourable for trout populations across many parts of the coast, with high spawning success evident in spawning streams.
Recent visits to spawning creeks have shown an abundance of fry, meaning the number of these tiny fish in these catchments should be at carrying capacity, and larger trout will now have a great food source.
A lot of the fry won't make it to adulthood but that’s all part of life in the trout world.
What this does create is great fishing opportunities at the junction of spawning creeks and larger water bodies for both lure and bait fisherman.
Large trout quite often sit just below where spawning creeks enter, and really can reduce the number of trout surviving to adulthood as they predate on the juveniles.
These are good trout to target, benefiting the population, and they make a great table fish if you enjoy eating trout.
A realistic lure imitating small fish should do the job, or alternatively, a large bully under a float usually won't be turned down either.
With the added reason that it's the season of goodwill, get your family and friends out fishing with you, so they too can enjoy the awesome opportunities that our sport fishery has to offer!
Bear in mind that while catching a trout is great, the memories of being outdoors with loved ones are priceless.
Baylee Kersten, West Coast Fish & Game Officer.