Reel Life January 2023

  • Auckland/Waikato
  • 24/01/2023

Reel Life January 2023

Summer is here, and the fishing is on

The summer has finally arrived, and due to poor conditions this spring and early summer, fish are hungry and aggressively feeding.

With fish migrating to avoid the heat and cicadas in full swing, it is a good time to get out fishing.

If you were planning a backcountry trip to target big trout, now is the time to do it.

River crossing has been difficult, so many of our harder-to-reach areas have had little or no pressure.

The Awakino, Ongarue and upper Whanganui will be buzzing with insects and are fishing well.

After spending at least three years underground, most cicadas are eager to get in the air, but they fly like dumbo.

When the afternoon sea breeze is on, many cicadas end up blowing into our bush streams and set off a feeding frenzy.

Cicadas are amongst the biggest terrestrial insects trout have on offer in New Zealand and when they hit the water with their legs wiggling and wings beating fish react like a bunch of college students around free pizza.

It is great to get out there early before fish get educated, and it is also easier to entice and fool fish with a bit of wind on the water.

Cicadas are big, so don’t be afraid to use a size 6 like the fly pictured above right which is anOlive Cicada from I Love Fly Fishing.

The large plop on the water won’t scare fish, but a poor drift will, so use as much leader as you can cast.

If you are not sure if the fish are after cicadas yet, tie one on as a strike indicator to test the water.

Check Clean Dry…..It’s not just Didymo


Didymo in a landing net

Unfortunately, the next devastating invasive species to hit New Zealand is probably already here in someone’s fish tank or quietly smouldering away in an area of the country where it can’t thrive in.

The only thing that is preventing some of these aquatic nightmares from becoming a reality maybe you.

Hopefully, most of you get a chance to travel around over the next couple of weeks to enjoy some great weather, but when you leave the Auckland/Waikato region, please don’t take any unwanted invasive species with you.

We have the highest density of invasive aquatic species in the country, so we need to be the most vigilant when travelling.

Harmful invasives can be anything from microscopic species living in a drop of water to fish eggs stuck on aquatic plants in your boat's bilge.


Enough hornwort to destroy a lake

Removing all visible plant material from your gear and boat is a good start, but MPI has new guidelines for washing your equipment.

The new recommended cleaning method is called 10 for 10.

Soak or spray your gear with 10% dishwashing liquid and let it soak for 10 min.

The South Island is still a controlled area for didymo, so it is a legal requirement to clean all gear used in the water before going from one South Island waterway to any other waterway.

If you need information on cleaning specific gear check out the MPI web page or call us, we are happy to help.

TIght Lines

Adam Daniel, Auckland Waikato Fish & Game

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