Reel Life January 2021
Prospects for February
January has been a great month for fly fishing. Some settled weather has meant some great back country fishing.
Trout have been responding well to large dry flies.
This should continue into February as traditionally the weather becomes even more settled.
February is also when cicadas are active in the high country.
If you are fishing a back country river or lake and cicadas start flying around, change immediately to a cicada imitation and get it on the water.
This can be some of the most exciting fly fishing around as the trout give up all caution and smash the flies with a vengeance.
Salmon anglers will be looking forward to February.
Salmon have been caught all season in the lower Waimakariri.
Numbers of fish should increase here during February.
Next month should also see the main salmon runs for the Rakaia, Hurunui and Waiau Rivers.
Spin anglers for trout should target the middle reaches of the larger rivers such as the Waimakariri, Hurunui or Waiau Rivers.
Flows will drop significantly during February which will allow the angler to negotiate some seldom fished water.
Often there are good fish numbers in these reaches and there is a lot less fishing pressure.
As the rivers become low and clear realistic looking soft baits and spinners should be used rather than bright coloured lures.
North Canterbury and Central South Island Fish & Game staff have been part of a combined project along with DOC and Environment Canterbury.
The project has been a collection of surveys on the Ashburton, Rakaia and Rangitata Hapuas.
The surveys were repeating some earlier surveys carried out in the early 1980s.
The main focus is to see if Stokells Smelt are still in the Hapuas, but a range of fish are caught and identified.
We used a mixture of seine netting(pictured above), setting Fykes and G Minnows overnight and electric fishing.
Smelt were caught in all the hapuas but not in the same numbers as previous surveys.
It is also unclear as to whether we found any Stokells smelt yet as the samples have to be analysed.
They look very similar the common smelt and can only be identified under the microscope.
All the Hapuas had a variety of fish caught but the main points were that the Rangitata had the most numbers and biodiversity and the Ashburton didn’t have much at all.
Most notably there was hardly any salmon smolt caught in the seine nets.
A report will be written up by Environment Canterbury and further surveys will be undertaken in February.
You can watch a video on the first set of surveys here.
Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.
- October 2021
- August 2021
- April 2021
- March 2021
- February 2021
- January 2021
- December 2020
- November 2020
- October 2020
- September 2020
- August 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- May 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017