Will Spry's fishing report for Reel Life October 2017
The excitement draws ever nearer in the Mackenzie Country, with some of the best conditions we’ve enjoyed for a long time at the start of the fishing season on November 4th.
With all rivers at good steady heights and plenty of snow still to come down out of the hills following a wet spring, the warm temperatures of October are getting everything humming up in the high country. As I write this, the rivers are all in good health and there are plenty of fish moving around in the final throes of spawning for the rainbows and in full on feeding mode for the browns. Mayflies are peeling off the water in numbers through the warm afternoon and there is only one thing left to wait for and that is the whistle to get the game started.
So what are our thoughts as the new season dawns? Is it time to test some new waters, renew some acquaintances with old ones, or maybe try a new technique this season? Is it time to try fly fishing for the first time and see what all the fuss is about? Do you look at working a new style of lure or do some more research into catching the monsters in the hydro canals? There’s so many angling options in the Central South Island region, that there truly is great fishing for all anglers to be found in such a wide variety of fishing locations. Try the lakes for a challenge, try to figure out the monster Waitaki (more on that river in a moment!) and how to get access to the wide plethora of angling opportunities on this magnificent river. Maybe venture out to one of the back country locations, where towering snow-capped peaks are the perfect backdrop for a crystal clear mountain stream, where the fish are cautious and the angling is superb.
I’ve had mixed bag of reports on the Waitaki River from Opening Day onwards, with some anglers reporting few or no fish for a good number of hours put into hard work, while others are creaming it, with plenty of fish to be found in some of the best condition they’ve been in for a long time. For those who are struggling, maybe it is time to ditch the old methods and locations and go in search of a few new ones to compliment your angling style. I know there are terrific fish to be caught and a bit of extra effort in figuring it out will be well worth it.
Some important considerations for the start of the season. Didymo – remember to CHECK, CLEAN and DRY between waterways. Perhaps carry a spray bottle with pre-mixed solution of your choice to decontaminate – even a garden sprayer bottle will work well. Etiquette – Think about the other anglers around you before you march out in front of them and start working the water – have a chat, find some agreement in your plans and share a yarn or two as well – you never know what you might learn. It also pays to leave a note on your car to let others know where you are, so they don’t spoil your day by fishing over you and they get a good chance to experience some undisturbed water too. Safety - check your weather reports before you head out and carry appropriate clothing/equipment for the day. Let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back (or at least at a “safe place” where you can contact them to let them know) and finally, know what your selected waters are up to in terms of flows/heights. Check out the E-can website for river flows so that you “know before you go”. https://www.ecan.govt.nz/data/riverflow/