Will Spry's fishing report for Reel Life November 2017
HOT! That’s the best way to describe the fishing and the weather.
With summer here early and plenty of great fishing around, it is the best spring in the high country for a long time. Unlike last season, the wind has been in abeyance and this has made angling days much more pleasurable. The beetles are out in numbers and while mayflies are down a bit in numbers, there’s plenty to keep anglers happy. However, it’s not all plain sailing, with some sporadic days still catching us out at times; when it all looks good, but there’s not a huge amount going on or the fish are very touchy with our offerings. That’s fishing though!
Top right: Andrew Bisset picked up this healthy brown on a tiny caddis pupa.
A few of the rivers are still running high, with the warm weather contributing to snow melt of the big snowpack from last winter. This makes for higher and more coloured water than normal at this time of the season, but it’s all good for the fishing. Our lakes are in superb condition with plenty of clean water holding excellent numbers of well-conditioned fish. Parts of Lake Benmore have some very well-conditioned brown trout enjoying the spring feeding frenzy, so have a good look around and get on out there. The high country rivers are well worth a look, especially with the terrestrials out and about. It will pay to have a few beetle patterns in your box, as the trout can be particularly selective when feeding on these tasty morsels.
Saturday November 18 featured the Kids Fishing Day on Loch Cameron, with plenty of kids getting stuck into the fishing. Those in the know took up the most likely positions early and were quickly rewarded with their bag limit, some after only a few casts into the deep. Others pushed on through the morning and were pleasantly surprised with the results later in the morning. Everyone participating looked very relaxed and all enjoyed the warm sunny day that greeted them. Around 400 salmon were released into the lake and with an average size of 1.7kg, there was plenty of quality fish to be taken home. A special mention goes out to the sponsors of the event, who provided the salmon and a huge number of spot prizes, which made for the smooth running of the day. Thank you Mt Cook Salmon, High Country Salmon, Jake’s Hardware, Meridian Energy and Southern Alps Outdoors. And don’t forget the boys from Fish & Game (Mark, Rhys, Jayde, Hamish and Nick) who set up and dismantled the gear, transported and re-located the salmon and gutted plenty of salmon through the morning!
Young Alex got his bag limit by 10am.
The Upper Ahuriri River opens on Saturday December 2 and the river is looking in great condition. It’s time to hit the high country and enjoy some peace, solitude and great fishing. Enjoy the warmer months and remember to limit your catch, handle with extreme care those fish you are planning to return to the water and take your rubbish out with you when you leave.