Reel Life February 2020

The big dry continues

We are now officially in drought conditions.

The historically low rainfall for the last twelve months and back to back dry summers has put enormous pressure on our river systems.

Most rivers and streams are stressed and have been below minimum flows allowed for consented water abstraction for some time.

Excessive weed growth, high water temperatures and the resulting low oxygen levels severely impact on instream life.

Fishing in these conditions is challenging at best.

Opouteke River

This small river originates in the Tutamoe Ranges (pictured above).

Historically it only holds a small number of trout.  

There are some nice deep pools scattered along its length. Access can be accessed via Opouteke Road or Takitu Road.

The headwaters become increasingly rocky and shallow as you progress upstream.

The lower reaches can be productive near the confluence with the Mangakahia River.

Please obtain permission from landowners to cross over private land.

Kai iwi lakes

Kai iwi trout

1.1kg trout caught at the Kai iwi lakes.

The crowds are now hopefully reducing making fishing a bit more enjoyable.

The water levels at the lakes have now started to drop considerably and the water temperatures are warm.

There is a good amount of surface insect activity.

We are still having reports of fish being caught.

The set up that I find that works well at this time of year is the use of a trout jig rig used on a spin rod.

These are basically like flasher rigs used for snapper but with trout flies on them.

These are ideal for the lakes as you can cast out into deep water over the drop off where the fish tend to be.

Tight Lines

Graham Gallaghan, Northland Fish and Game Officer.