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

Reel Life - August 2016

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Time to start visualising the zing of a reel and bend of a rod, as those little hints of spring and summer start appearing.

As of 1 September, the new fishing season is a mere 30 days away on October 1 – so now's the time to get kitted out.

Reports from around the regions (we would say this, of course) hint at some great fishing to be had, as the days lengthen and temperatures slowly rise!

You Auckland folks can fish your own backyard again – with Lake Pupuke bouncing back from an oil spill in June. But head out of town to the Waikato and you'll find plenty of fishing options – summarised in Auckland / Waikato's newsletter.

Be ready to sample the legendary Rotorua lakes – 13 no less – packed with fishing opportunities. Open year round, trolling on Lake Rotorua has been highly productive over the past few weeks. One visitor reported multiple double hook-ups trolling and harling in shallow water.

There have been encouraging reports of some solid late season shoreline catches on Rotoiti and the main beach at Okataina.

Out east, Lake Waikaremoana fishing has reportedly been "quite exceptional” this winter for anglers who've found the right trolling speed. Hawkes Bay offers very good early season fishing for both brown and rainbow trout.

Taranaki and Wellington also have great fishing on offer, with many trout streams in both regions receiving little angling pressure.

Fishing will hot up in the South Island in Nelson Marlborough and other regions where the whitebait head upstream in spring.

New back country fishing opportunities are available in the West Coast and Nelson Marlborough, so if you are keen for a bit of adventure, check them out.

If you like your fish freakily large, be quick to make the most of the MacKenzie country hydro canals that fish better in the cooler months.

In the South Island, keep your eyes open for some tagged trout; around 2000 brown trout are being released into the lower Rakaia following some habitat restoration in some spawning streams near the mouth. We need those details thanks!

P.S. - This month's cover pic from Mike Bodie shows six year-old Lucas Corson and his catch - with proud dad Pete on Lake Rotorua late August.

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

Fishing News

Are sick rivers responsible for sick towns?
Monthly feature imageWater quality has roared (or should we say flooded) back into the spotlight in a major way in the wake of the Havelock North gastro crisis. In one development, New Zealanders in their thousands are calling on the Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC) to scrap the Ruataniwha Dam. Read about it here.

Media such as Hawke's Bay Today have taken a hard line on the issue. The newspaper notes that the crisis hit about a third of Havelock North's 14,000 residents. "The source of the outbreak is still unclear, yet an indicative test revealed cattle, sheep or deer faeces were likely to be responsible.” Read more here.

Dame Anne Salmond has also taken a tough line, and raises some serious questions. Read her column here.

Fish on the rise….on film
Monthly feature imageThe Rise Fly Fishing Film Festival has kicked off in Kiwi theatres. It began in Arrowtown and ends in Auckland on 21 September. The film tour serves as a stage for the best Kiwi and Australian filmmakers in the industry to premiere their latest offerings. You'll see stunning footage from New Zealand, Argentina, and other countries. For more information and to buy tickets visit

Vote for fishing friendly folk!
Monthly feature imageLocal body elections are just around the corner - October 8. The regional council elections are of utmost importance to the interests of anglers and Fish & Game. At a regional level, this is where decisions on protecting water quantity and quality (or not, as has been the case over successive terms) are made. Sus out the regional council candidates and look for clean water advocates – and make your vote count!

New Licences on sale
Monthly feature imageIt's never been easier to line up a licence and go trout fishing. To buy your new licence and joint the fun simply click here. If you're a newbie just follow and answer the prompts about who it's for (resident or non-resident), confirm the season and the licence category, then enter your personal details. You can't beat the versatility of a Whole Season Licence to fish anywhere, anytime. If you hate the interweb, you can still buy your licence from your favourite store or nearest Fish & Game retail agent where staff can process the licence order for you. At the same time you can stock up on waterproof gear, line, flies and lures.

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
Otago n/a
Southland n/a

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

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