Reel Life - The Angler's Newsletter from Fish and Game New Zealand

Reel Life - December 2015

Monthly feature image

The mad hectic days before Christmas are about to end, leaving time for you to finally hit the water and start fishing.

All legally fishable lakes, rivers and streams are now open, so there are plenty of options available throughout the summer holidays.

The freshwater season so far has been variable, with the weather not helping in some regions, but as summer becomes established, conditions will improve.

In the South Island, the first salmon are being caught. While the main runs have yet to begin, the fish are there, and not all of them at the river mouths. Some good salmon are being caught further up-river and opportunities will only get better over the coming weeks.

Trout fishing in both islands is also improving.

After the early season preponderance of nymph fishing success, dry fly opportunities are now becoming more common, with some areas reporting that cicadas are starting to make a tentative appearance.

And of course, willow grubs will also soon be hatching, sending trout into a feeding frenzy in rivers and streams with willow-lined banks.

Whatever the opportunity, think about introducing your family or a friend to trout fishing – they will love it.

Make the most of your summer holiday break and may your lines be tight!

P.S Thanks Bernard Bailey for this month's cover pic, 10lbs of Lake Whakamarino brown trout! Photo taken by Trefor Ward.

P.P.S - If you think you've got a freshwater fishing image worthy of featuring on our 'cover', email it to Don Rood for consideration.

Fishing News

Wangapeka-Karamea Road?
Fish & Game is concerned over a proposal to put a road through the South Island's remote Kahurangi National Park. The road being proposed by the Buller District Council would affect the Karamea and Wangapkea rivers, both famous for their trout fishing.

Be Careful Out There!
Remember to look after yourself, family and friends by taking all safety precautions when venturing out on the water this summer. Boaties should carry lifejackets for everyone, while wading anglers should practice their emergency wader drill so they know what to do in an emergency.

All Fisheries Are Go!
All of New Zealand's best trout fishing areas are now open, with the last waters in both islands opening at the beginning of December. Enjoy yourselves but follow the rules, which can be easily found in the regulations book issued with your licence. If you have lost it, you can find the 2014/15 Sports Fishing Regulations here.

New Licences
Fish & Game has introduced a wider range of fishing licences this season in an effort to tailor a licence to your individual needs. From a one day licence, to 365 days, there is an option to suit.

This Month's Regional News Click on the region to read.

Auckland / Waikato
Hawke's Bay

Nelson / Marlborough
North Canterbury

West Coast
Central South Island

monthly advertisment or promotion

monthly advertisment or promotion

Streamside with...

Will Spry

Chris Dore explores the array of flies required in these trying conditions… Find out more

Will Spry

Will Spry offers some tactics to employ when fly fishing in the wind... Find out more


Graeme Marshall encourages anglers to get out and enjoy the angling on offer... Find out more


NZFFA President David Haynes summarises recent freshwater news and issues ... Find out more

Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy

El Nino presages plague, drought and disaster. So far, it has brought to my corner of the world, wind, rain and an increased cycle of depressions.

We gird our loins (if strapping on waders, fishing jacket, wading boots, and carrying a rod equals sword and armour) and venture bravely against whatever nature can throw at us - usually gales and muddy water.

So when Ted rang and offered something different my heart lifted at the opportunity.

"Catarafts,” he said, "are just the ticket. They get you into places untouched by other anglers. Virgin waters where the fish are plentiful and uneducated – and they're big. Bring a spinning rod as well as your fly gear. We'll be catching them on the move. ”

My imagination did the rest. Blue waters, sparkling in the sunshine as we floated over riffle and run, casting as we went, capturing the innocents with guile and a good supply of Rapalas.

On the appointed day we loaded rafts and a motorbike onto the trailer, tied them securely and set off. There was rain on the Tararuas and the Ruahines, but the Wairarapa valley basked under sunshine ... Creasy's Column continues here

Fish & Game NZ, 2 Jarden Mile, PO Box 13-141, Wellington. Tel: (04) 499 4767

facebook linkF&G Logo

Click here to unsubscribe
Buy Fishing & Hunting Licences Online