Will Spry Fishing Report for Reel Life March 2018

  • 27/03/2018

Mackenzie Country Report       

It's been an interesting few weeks in the Mackenzie Country lately.  Sockeye salmon are gracing our well flowing rivers and trout continue to thrive in the district, through high river flows and cooler temperatures.  Overall, things are looking up for the last weeks of the main season.

Following our long hot spell in the middle of summer, we've been enjoying good rainfalls, high waters and plenty of good opportunities to get a line wet and fish in the net, after what was starting to shape up as a dry hot summer, with few fishing opportunities.  One company's  problem looks to be of benefit to the fishing in the region as well, with Genesis Energy suffering through generation issues at the Tekapo A power station.  This combined with high inflows into Lake Tekapo has forced a good release of water through the Tekapo River into Lake Benmore, which was becoming well overdue.  The last couple of seasons have seen low flows and algal buildups in the river being to the detriment of the fishing in this once prolific fishery.  However, the good prolonged flushing has left the river bed pretty well cleaned up for a while, so there should be some good fishing through the remainder of the season.  Do remember, especially at this time of uncertain flow levels on the Tekapo, that the river level can rise without any warning and be a danger to river users - extra care is required at all times!

Elsewhere in the region, rivers are well above "normal" flows for this time of the season and the trout seem to be responding well to these conditions, with some beautifully conditioned fish and good fishing being found in the district, in areas where the fishing at this time of the season can usually be a bit tougher. However, the dedicated angler has pretty much, free reign on all the waterways in the district and can fish them with confidence.  As we approach the cooler months, mayfly hatches may become more prevalent and you should be ready to ditch the nymphs and fish dry fly where you can, as many fish will feed off the surface more reliably than below in some cases.  Smaller dun patterns are the norm and it always pays to have a good spinner pattern or two in the box as well. 

The rains have caused some discoloured waters in many rivers, however, there are pretty much always clean waters to fish in all conditions, including some of the smaller lakes and even the larger rivers in the district.  I think here particularly of the Waitaki River, which continues to produce some excellent dry fly fishing to very well conditioned trout through this season.  Hatches through the day are helping anglers to enjoy some dry fly activity and as the evenings draw in earlier, don't overlook the prolific sedge hatches that this river provides.

Do remember that all rivers in the Mackenzie district close at the end of April this year, however, many of the lakes remain open through the winter, as do the hydro canals, so if you cannot fit in an Easter trip, there is still good fishing well into the cooler months.

Tight Lines,

Will Spry


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