Reel Life March 2024 - Nelson/Marlborough

  • Nelson/Marlborough
  • 21/03/2024

Reel Life March 2024 - Nelson/Marlborough


With shorter days and cooler nights, it is clear Autumn is here. 

The end of the regular season is not far away, however, some of the best fishing can be on offer over the next 5-6 weeks. 

Backcountry angling destinations will have far fewer anglers, and a trip into our headwater fisheries is still well worth it. 

For fly anglers there is no need to get to the river early – pick a sunny day and get to the river about 10 am, just in time for those sun angles to improve spotting conditions.

Fantastic dry fly fishing can still be had over this time as trout pack on condition in normally stable water conditions, with great mayfly hatches occurring. 

Fish are generally less ‘wary’, with other things on their mind, and spin/soft baits anglers should have better chances after recent months of low, warmer flows which are not as conducive to spin angling success.

In recent years we’ve had plenty of anecdotes from local fishing gurus about how good April fishing can be on lowland and backcountry fishery alike – we highly recommend you keep up your efforts at the tail end of the season, a season which has been characterised by great fish and the excellent fishing that has been on offer.

With Easter falling early this year, it should be a great weekend to hit the water.

Above: Chunky April trout like this are the norm.


After a busy summer, we are nearing the conclusion of our annual drift dive programme. 

By the end of the season, 22 rivers will have been floated in this region, with staff also assisting the North Canterbury region with a dive on the Boyle and Doubtful.

After a lengthy period between visits, the Acheron and Clarence rivers were dived in mid-March (our last attempt was thwarted by high turbidity), with a fairly average count at both sites. 


Due to fire risk, access to Lake Argyle campsite and boat ramp is currently closed.

It is still possible to launch a small boat on the gravel area directly opposite the campsite, self-contained campers can also use other areas around the dam or canal to stay the night.

The road will re-open when the fire risk has been cleared.


A picnic table kindly donated by Lewis Jones.

A recent compliance trip to the Wangapeka River highlighted the generosity of anglers. 

A picnic table at the Rolling Carpark, which has been there for years and used by countless people to sit, rest and eat had a sign saying:

Table donated by LEWIS HOWARD JONES who fished the Wangapeka for many happy years. “Tight Lines”

Thanks to Lewis, wherever he is, for his gift that will span generations.  A welcome place to sit before or at the end of a fishing or hiking trip, in a river that was clearly very special to him, as it is for many others.

Tight lines

Jacob Lucas, Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game

More Posts