Reel Life November 2022

  • Nelson/Marlborough
  • 16/11/2022

Reel Life November 2022


DOC have advised Fish & Game that the Roaring Lion Hut is going to be painted around the first weekend in December.

The exact dates will be published as an Important Notice to Visitors on the DOC website.

If you’re thinking about heading into the Roaring Lion in the near future, check the DOC website first:

This is also a great reminder that if you are visiting any Conservation land, whether it is for a multi-day trip or otherwise, consult the DOC website.

They are generally very good at informing users about activities or circumstances which may affect your access or otherwise through their ‘alerts’ feature, which is in red at the top of any page which has important information attached to it.

Above Right: take a look at the DOC ‘alerts’ feature on their website before any trip into Conservation Land.


Well-known fly fishing guide and local guru Tony Entwistle is in the game of helping anglers up their game.

He has been running a number of River Skills clinics this season which have been very popular and has some great clinics and field trips coming up, including:

  • First Steps – A one-day classroom-based introductory course covering the basics of fly fishing. 18 December
  • Trout tactics – St Arnaud Field Trip - A three-day field trip for anglers wanting to build upon their existing skills.
  • Euro nymphing clinic - Join Johnny Gummer for two days refining the practical on-river tactics and skills of Euro-nymphing.
  • Trout tactics – Murchison Field Trip - A three-day field trip for anglers wanting to build upon their existing skills.

He also provides one-on-one fly casting tuition, which would be a great way to quickly learn one of the hurdles that come with flyfishing – learning to cast.

To get in touch with Tony or book one of his great upcoming courses, visit his website:


Staff have commenced the drift dive season and have completed the Motupiko, Goulter and Lee rivers (at the time of writing).

The Motupiko was showing signs of winter flood events and was fairly average over both sites, with the lower site (above Quinney’s Bush campground) very poor.

Feedback from anglers in recent years suggested that fish numbers in the Goulter would be relatively low, and our drift dive confirmed this.

Three sites were surveyed, and while fish were present at all sites, numbers were much lower than in previous dives, and the staff consensus was that there would have to be a significant improvement in fish numbers to regain favour with anglers.

On a brighter note, the usually ordinary Lee dive held more fish than what would have been expected.

We now have a good dataset for the Lee, which may be useful when the new dam is completed.

In the coming months, we will be floating plenty more rivers across the region, so stay in touch for more updates over the course of the season.

Motupiko above Quinneys

The Motupiko dive was poor at both sites this year.


The fish growth rate at the hatchery remains slow this season so far, so we have not been able to undertake as many fish releases as we would usually have.

The good news for anglers is that we still have the same number of fish growing, so we will be making up for the lost time when the fish reach the 1kg+ threshold.


As you know, the Pelorus catchment was hammered in the August flood this year.

We will be drift diving these rivers in January; however, we always value feedback from anglers about how the fishing is, particularly post large-scale flood events.

To let us know how the fishing has been, email Jacob Lucas here.

Tight Lines

Jacob Lucas, Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game.

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