Reel Life February 2019

  • 26/02/2019

Reel Life February 2019

After a long hot summer, fresh water fishing has been given a boost with widespread rain replenishing rivers and streams and hopefully dropping water temperatures to more trout-friendly levels.

It's hoped that the higher water levels will also have flushed out the increasing volumes of algae that have plagued rivers through the recent heat wave.

While the sustained fine hot weather provided anglers with some terrific 'cicada days,' algal blooms have snagged a hook or three and sent trout in search of cooler waters.

This issue of Reel Life has some tips for both spin and fly anglers on how to get around the algae issue.

And as autumn signals its imminent arrival, there are certainly some good fish around to target.

Starting with the North Island, Hawke's Bay has reported "excellent” fish numbers in the Ngaruroro River, including record numbers of large trout noted during drift dives by Fish and Game staff and volunteers. More drift dive fish counts are planned.

Lake Rotorua stream mouths are also continuing to produce some excellent but "challenging” fishing. Staff say the warm water means trout can go off the feed for long periods.

Staff are describing the angling in the lower North Island as exceptional, with very good fish counts and "some of the best terrestrial insect hatches we've had in years.”

Down south, West Coast officers have great tips for newbies trying to catch their first trout on the coast.

In Otago, anglers have reported "amazing” cicada hatches.

In March, the river mouths of Otago's main lakes are always productive as fish congregate in preparation for their spawning migrations.

Landlocked salmon can be caught in large numbers, but remember browns and rainbows are also on the menu.


March is traditionally a good time for targeting salmon on most South Island rivers, especially with the weather cooling off.


Wherever you are fishing, how about taking a youngster along, or introducing a friend or colleague to angling? They will love it.

P.S. This month's cover pic shows Megan Hunt proudly showing off the rainbow trout she hooked on Lake Dunstan while fishing with her dad Geoff, who took the photo.

And Canadian visitor Glen Forge (right) who caught this lovely Rotorua brown trout with fishing guide Julian Danby, who snapped the photo.Thanks to Lance Black for the photo he took of seven year-old Mason Morgan (left), who caught and released this rainbow fishing at the Groynes Fishing Lakes in Christchurch.

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


Fishing News


'Our environment matters'
The National Party is signalling a change of direction when it comes to the environment, water quality and access to the outdoors with a new policy discussion paper which has just been released. National's mis-handling of the environment portfolio and water quality attracted severe criticism when it was in government, with some political observers saying that water quality cost it the election. It is now testing new policy with a greater environmental focus and emphasis on improving water quality, saying these are now core issues for New Zealand. And it is saying hunters and anglers should take more responsibility for managing themselves and their resources. You are invited to have your say on National's discussion paper, which can be foundhere.


Have your say on the future of pastoral land
Anglers and hunters are being invited to have their say on the future of Crown pastoral land, including the ongoing problem of access to our outdoors. Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage has ended the controversial high country tenure review process and opened public consultation on the future management of Crown pastoral land. You can find out more at the dedicated consultation webpage that page you will find the discussion document which gives much more detail on the proposed changes, and poses questions for you to consider when providing your feedback. Who is holding the meeting? We will be holding a meeting in Christchurch to discuss the proposals, but it's invitation only. This will be on Thursday 28 March at 3pm. The venue has not yet been set.


Spinning into a freshwater grave
PR obfuscation and denial ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous achieve nothing and only limit the chances of necessary environmental change occurring, says Victoria University of Wellington's Dr Mike Joy. He says that once again we have witnessed the summer epidemic of no-swim warnings in popular lakes, rivers and beaches throughout New Zealand. Every year the number of warnings and closures grows, and now no region seems immune (pictured – aerial view of an algal bloom).Read here.


Eastern Fish & Game seeks angler feedback
Fish & Game is appealing to trout anglers for information about their fishing trips in the Eastern Region that includes the Rotorua lakes. Management of the trout fishery, which is a key role of Fish & Game, depends on quality information about anglers' fishing activities, says Fish & Game Officer Mark Sherburn. Fish & Game recently set up an online angler diary so that trout fishers can enter information about their trips.Click here for details.


Get set for some game bird hunting
Are you an angler who also hunts (or a hunter who also fishes?). Here's a gentle reminder to start thinking about the 2019 hunting season ahead. For a start, put the date of Sunday April 7 in your diary - Pegging Day (aka tagging, marking). Start thinking about the state of your maimai to be ready for Opening Day – Saturday, May 4. Don't forget to put another very important date in your calendar – Thursday March 14 is when new hunting licences go on sale. Save yourself some bother and get yourshere online. And of course make sure you are subscribed to Fish & Game's electronic newsletter Both Barrels for the latest information on what is happening on the game bird hunting scene.







Advertising Opportunity!

If you would like to advertise in the above banner position and directly reach the fishing community across New Zealand, please contact Don Rood.

Streamside with...

Will Spryrejoices in long summer days with cicadas at their peak...
Find out more

Graeme Marshall describes getting hit after hit on the Rangitata River...
Find out more

Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy

Hot air, thick with birch seed, blew down the valley. fishjump35Stags across the river in high-fenced paddocks, coughed and grumbled and readied themselves for the roar. There were even a few who brayed in the late evening, early starters soaked in testosterone and spoiling for a fight.

The southerly blew for days – a hot wind that kept anglers off the river until evening, when, for an hour or two, a cast could be made to fish that held in deep water. They were hard to catch. A constant hatch of small mayflies and a drift of willow grubs kept them well fed and highly selective. At night there were hatches of caddis and fish could be heard rising and splashing well after dark.

In the early morning they were sated and ignored any offering no matter how well imitated by an expert tier. As the sun rose and cast shadow under the willows it was possible to stand in the shade and cast fly after fly to fish in line astern and highly visible. Size 16 to 20 nymphs with speckled hackles were ignored...Continue reading here.

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

More Posts