Reel Life April 2021

  • Nelson/Marlborough
  • 15/04/2021

Reel Life April 2021


While the regular season is done and dusted don’t hand up your fishing gear just yet, May is still a good month to have a fling on open waters before trout get preoccupied with spawning.

The Branch and Leatham rivers are a great option to wet the line in May.

The rainbow trout in residence is still in feed mode – trying to pack on condition for the winter ahead.

To fish these rivers during May don’t feel like you have to get there early either – the valley is cold in the mornings, and it will be best until the sun makes an appearance – more so to aid in spotting fish as well as keeping yourself warm.

Waders are recommended, as is a down jacket and thermos.

While numbers in the Branch & Leatham have been lower than normal (compared to the previous few years), there are still decent numbers around to keep anglers happy.

They can be notoriously hard to spot, so make sure you fish the fast runs and white water which rainbows love to occupy – many anglers simply walk past this water but they are well worth a few casts into, even if you don’t spot anything.

If fly fishing, sometimes it takes a few attempts through a piece of likely water to get the right drift, so fish these areas carefully.

We’ll be releasing more fish into these rivers early in the new season.

Insert: Leatham bow. Caption: Puffer jackets and a late start are advised while fishing in May.


150 salmon have been released into Lake Argyle recently.

Angler reports have suggested salmon require a different approach in order to hook the fish.

Firstly, it pays to move around the lake to find where fish maybe – the dam end where deeper water is located appears to be a good start.

Fishing spinning lures quite fast in the upper part of the water column has been successful to incite a grab from these fish.

The salmon that have been released are excellent table fish at around 1-2kgs.


If you fish the Rai & Pelorus catchments and you’re passionate about the environment, please take a small amount of time and fill out this survey.

Te Hoiere Pelorus Project is a catchment restoration project, aiming to look after the whole catchment from the mountains to the sea.

The project has received significant Government funding, and Fish & Game is a key stakeholder for the work to be carried out to improve water quality and the natural environment.

Tight Lines

Jacob Lucas, Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game Officer.

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