Otago Reel Life November 2019

Back Country opening much enjoyed

Anglers were grateful that on November 1 and for a few days the sun shone making the opening of western backcountry waters most pleasurable with anglers reporting great fishing and some nicely conditioned fish.

Rivers were generally clear and fishable.

Early reports of a major seed mast particularly in South Island areas has run true with a huge mice invasion.

Fortunately, trout love em and will gorge themselves putting on body weight very quickly.

Right: A cleaned back country brown trout with several mice revealed.

There are several mouse fly and spin patterns available.

Fishing large deep pools on a moonlight night will get those big fish off the bottom.

Otherwise during the day large dry patterns will fool large predatory fish.

November a month of rain and wind

After the back country opening the region experienced regular rainfall and strong winds which produced difficult angling conditions on most waters.

The main lakes have lifted sharply, and most are now full.

Fishing newly flooded ground is a good option with plentiful food available for hungry fish.

Overcast days provide stalking opportunities for fish hunting close to the shore.

The bed of Lake Hawea at the Neck has been exposed for several months and the recent filling will provide great fishing opportunities for all angling methods.

A bubble with a floating worm beneath is a sensible option.

The Upper Clutha river is running high but will still fish well on balmy evenings.

Caddis hatches have been more common, and fish will move in to feed away from the main flow.

Lowland waterways have been coloured up but will hopefully recover with better weather.

Bait fishing on the bottom is recommended, get your hand on some huhu grubs, otherwise try using lures with a little more colour than usual.

All the central lakes reservoirs are well stocked with fish and there have been reports of excellent fishing at Poolburn, and Conroys Dam.

Take A Kid Fishing Events

Ella Hill 6 roxburgh

Ella Hill aged 6 from Roxburgh excited about her catch.

November was the month for organised TAKF events with several held across the region and keenly supported by Fish and Game.

Upper Clutha Anglers Club organised a day at a Cromwell orchard dam that was well stocked with rainbow trout.

The day was hot but around 25 eager youngsters managed to land 15 fish to their delight.

A casting competition and BBQ rounded off the day nicely. Fish were kept on ice and cleaned prior to the travel back to Wanaka.

Teviot Anglers Club supported 17 local children on a local orchard dam on Sunday November 17. 

Nine fish were caught with the largest being a whopping 3.92 kgs.

The young anglers were treated to a range of spot prises and a tasty BBQ lunch.

Feedback Sought on Upper Fraser River

Fish and Game is seeking angler feedback on the Upper Fraser River.

If you have experience fishing the river or dam, or you would like to comment on its current state please contact Cliff Halford at chalford@fishandgame.org.nz

Upcoming Events

December 15 – Taieri River. An introduction to soft bait fishing. Go to the Otago Fish and Game face book page for more information.

December 29 – Glenorchy Boat ramp area. Boat fishing seminar presented by Fish and Game. Free admittance and giveaways. 2pm - 3pm

December 30 – Wanaka Outlet Camp. Boat fishing seminar presented by Fish and Game. Free admittance and giveaways 2pm - 3pm 

For complaints about pollution or damage to rivers contact the Otago Regional Council (ORC) 24-hour pollution hotline on 0800 800 033

Up to date river flow information can be found on the ORC site here

Land and public access information can be located on the NZ Walking Access Commission site here

Quote for the month

Be patient and calm - for no one can catch fish in anger.

Herbert Hoover

Cliff Halford, Otago Fish and Game Officer, Cromwell