Reel Life March 2019

  • 29/03/2019

Reel Life March 2019

If you’re an angler – fly, spin or complete newbie – April will provide some great fishing opportunities.

For a start, only three days of annual leave is needed to join all the statutory holidays together and make an autumn break of 10 days.

Add some seasonal factors, such as trout actively feeding to pack on condition for winter spawning, and the coming weeks are looking pretty fine.


In parts of the country, it’s been one of the best cicada seasons in terms of duration and intensity for at least five years or even longer.

The result is some very fat and healthy fish as the protein-rich insects allow trout to put on a lot of condition very quickly.

Around the Rotorua lakes, autumn is an ideal time to harvest fish for the table, and staff say early morning harling with smelt flies will become successful over the next couple of months

April is mayfly time on lowland streams in the South Island.


After a slow start, salmon are running through North Canterbury rivers.

And from now through to April 30th is a prime time to get on the river if you’re hoping to catch a West Coast salmon.

For many anglers, April marks the start of the ‘main season’ at the hydro canals of the central South Island.

And at any of the region’s river mouths, fly fishing or spinning will catch fish.In Otago, our staff say brown and rainbow trout are “gathered in abundance” at the river mouths that feed the large lakes.

P.S. Thanks to Peter Cuthbertson for the photo above of his eight year-old son Arn with two rainbows he caught in Lake Te Anau that “were delicious smoked.”Don’t forget to phone your nearest Fish & Game office for fishing tips before you set off on holiday to somewhere new – or even for your staycation. Our officers are only too happy to pass on their knowledge.

And thumbs up to Jim Bailey for the photo of his grandson Jayden (12) “absolutely chuffed” with a nice rainbow he caught at Okere Falls at Lake Rotoiti.


Fishing News



Fish & Game strongly supports firearm law reforms
Fish and Game, which represents 150,000 anglers and game bird hunters, says the changes to firearms legislation are well-considered and ensures public safety. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on military style rifles in the wake of the Christchurch mosque killings. There will also be restrictions on sporting semi- automatic shotguns including limiting their magazine capacity. The move has support from Fish & Game. Read morehere.


Retail chain takes lead to ban military-style rifles
One of New Zealand's largest hunting goods retailer chains is calling for a ban on online gun sales. Hunting & Fishing, which has more than 30 stores nationwide pulled what it described as "military-style assault weapons" from its shelves, after details of attacks on two Mosques in Christchurch which saw 50 people killed emerged. The company's Chief Executive Darren Jacobs said it supported a Government ban on sales of the weapons, as well as an investigation into a national firearms register.Click here for details


Unique autumn spectacle as sockeye salmon spawn.
The Mackenzie Country has a new autumn tourist attraction, with a spectacular run of sockeye salmon heading up the region’s rivers to spawn. Native to North America, the onset of autumn sees large schools of the brightly coloured fish moving up rivers as they look for a place to lay their eggs. The Mackenzie sockeye population is the only one in the Southern Hemisphere and Fish & Game is in the second year of a three-year study to try and better understand the species.Read here.


Call for strict limit on salmon fishery
South Island fishermen are being warned to adhere to possible new bag limits for sea-run salmon or risk losing fishing for a period of time, as the national wild salmon fishery is declared in crisis. The national Sea Run Salmon Committee has asked South Island Fish and Game council to reduce bag limits for salmon in the Waitaki, Rangitata, Rakaia, Waiau, Hurunui and Waimakariri Rivers, because of the ''significant decline'' of the wild salmon fishery.Click here for details.


Buy a bargain licence!
If, for some reason, you haven’t bought a fishing licence, winter licences are available from the beginning of April for those who want to fish over the colder months. These licences provide six months of fishing, from April 1 to September 30. They are valid for the whole of the country except Taupo (run by DOC). For New Zealand resident anglers only, the adult winter licence is a modest $78.




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Streamside with...


Will Sprysays “cicada time” provided long and excellent fishing through the Mackenzie...Find out more

Graeme Marshalldescribes catching a 6kg rainbow in the Tekapo canal...Find out more

David Haynesraises questions about government spending on irrigation…Find out more


Creasy's Column- By Hugh Creasy

It’s been a great season for algae. It’s been blooming away in vast quantities on our waterways in the summer heat. Low river flows give life to these leafless, stemless plants that soak up oxygen in the water and turn free-flowing rivers into turbid puddles.

Pollution helps, of course. Add a few million litres of animal faeces and urine draining off the landscape and nitrogen enrichment helps the algae garden grow. It’s highly visible in green or brown clumps trailing through rivers and streams and blooming away in lakes. Lake Horowhenua, a poster child for man’s destructive villainy, blooms a bright emerald green in the summer sun. It’s a wonder even algae grows in its poisonous depths, and its near neighbour, the Manawatu River is in a similar state. Global warming gets the blame, but global warming has only highlighted a problem that already existed…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

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