Wellington Reel Life August 2017

Bigger fish about this season

This is what we're all waiting for (Photo Hamish Carnachan).

Let’s face it, last season was tough going for anglers with one of the wettest spring and summer periods many can remember.

While that was great for the fishery, in terms of sustaining flows over the normally dry period, it was a write-off for our anglers with frequent fronts closing in almost every Friday like clockwork to ruin the weekend's fishing.

Statistics suggests this was an anomaly, and it’s highly unlikely the weather will as bad again this season. And let’s hope so too because our field work suggests there are some mighty big fish around to be caught!

We again ticked off all our core surveys and the results for some rivers were very impressive. Most notable were some extremely large fish in key waterways including the Rangitikei and Hutt rivers.

While the trophy trout potential of the Rangitikei is internationally renowned, staff were staggered by the numbers of 10lb-plus rainbows and browns, and some more accessible than you’d expect!

The Rangitikei continues remains a jewel in the crown of the Wellington Fish & Game region and one that all anglers should have on their bucket list to fish.

Hutt numbers down but trophies for the taking

W RL 2 Hutt tribs will hold fish early on. Credit Hamish Carnachan

The Hutt River also impressed. While numbers were down – particularly in the reaches actively ‘controlled’ by regional council bulldozers – several fish over the trophy benchmark were observed and one went well past 12lbs!

Hutt tribs will hold fish early on (Photo Hamish Carnachan).

Don’t discount the Hutt tribs early on the season too – many of these will hold fish that haven’t yet dropped back into the mainstem post-spawning.

Meanwhile, while the drop-off in trout numbers in the main-stem Ruamahanga is a concern (presumably a result of excessive regional council instream bulldozer works), the tributaries appear to be in good health.

Indeed, many of the smaller waterbodies in the Wellington region are holding excellent trout populations and will provide some exceptional angling this season… if the weather plays ball.

We don’t want to ‘hot-spot’ these rivers and streams, lest they succumb to overpressure, but do a little homework and expand your angling horizons and you’ll discover some gems.   

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Grab your licence!

Don’t miss out by buying some of the lesser licences thinking you’ll get a bargain … As some anglers have found out the hard way, the cheaper licences may seem attractive at first glance but prove to be a let-down in terms of restricting the available angling.

If you want unhindered access to all Fish & Game waters then the best value for money by a mile is the Whole Season Licence. Licences are now available on-line here.

Don’t get caught short – go the whole hog and maximise your fishing experience this season!

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