North Canterbury Reel Life October 2018

High country opening – what you need to know

For a kick off, we apologise for a mistake in the Anglers Notice - the high country Opening Day is on the first Saturday of November, the 3rd, and not the 4th .

Above right: An angler casts out onto Lake Georgina on high country Opening Day last year.

High country opening applies to all the lakes that are not currently open, and the Broken and Porter rivers.

It does not apply to the Harper River, Ryton River or the Wilberforce diversion which open on December 1.

Fish & Game will celebrate this event with its annual fishing competition held at Ryton Bay, Lake Coleridge. 

Anglers can weigh in their catches from 9 am to 1 pm, with the prizes drawn around 1.30 pm.

All fish must be caught in Lake Coleridge or the nearby surrounding lakes, the fish must be weighed whole and not gutted. 

There is a great prize pool which has been generously sponsored by Hunting & Fishing.  

You don’t have to catch a fish to get a prize - just show up with your licence during the weigh-in times to go into the draw for spot prizes.

Entry is free!

Glenthorne Station has generously allowed us the use of their paddock at Ryton Bay. 

This will be available for camping on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th and the 10th and 11th of November. 

The gate will be locked for the week in between. 

A new toilet has been installed at Ryton Bay courtesy of the Selwyn District Council with help from Glenthorne Station. 

The toilet is located near the lake, so Fish & Game will be providing a porta-loo in the paddock for the two weekends.

Please observe the rules for camping in this area which are:

  • No dogs
  • No fires
  • Nothing to be left behind between the two weekends
  • All rubbish must be collected and taken away

November's a good fishing month 

November is one of my favourite months on the fishing calendar. 

For a start, there is the opening of the high country lakes. 

The lakes are currently looking full and many cruising trout have been observed around the edges. 

November is usually a great month for fishing lakes as the water temperature is still low enough for trout to be very active, especially on the surface and edges. 

As the water warms towards Christmas you will find the trout go deeper to seek out colder layers in the lake. 

Last year you will remember the lakes heated up so much in November that the trout were under severe stress. 

Hopefully this won't happen again this year. 

That event was a combination of very hot days and no wind. 

The usual battering that our lakes receive from the north west-winds actually help keep the water temperature down by mixing up the different temporal zones in the lake. 

So although the nor-west winds are an absolute pain for anglers, they're very much needed for our fisheries.

Back country rivers also traditionally fish well in November. 

There is more insect activity both under and above the water which in turn means more active trout. 

It can mean more dry fly action for fly anglers. 

Lowland streams also experience brown beetle hatches. 

These can be prolific around the Ellesmere tributaries just on dusk.

It is also a good month for spin anglers as this is when the sea-run brown trout start to run at the likes of the Hurunui and Ashley river mouths.

November is also the month that salmon start to turn up in the Rakaia River. 

These fish are usually a bigger than the rest of the run and they are always fresh and silver.

To top it all off in November we have Show Day, which means an opportunity to get away on a multi day fishing trip or camping opportunity around our many lakes.

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.

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