Reel Life October 2022

  • Nelson/Marlborough
  • 20/10/2022

Reel Life October 2022


The season is off to a good start, with plenty of sun and river flows perfect for fishing during most of the season so far, and we’ve been hearing some decent fishing reports from anglers in parts of the region.

However, we have received little information from the Rai/Pelorus, which was hit with a huge flood in August, so if you have any reports from here (with the exception of a seal in the Upper Rai, which we’ve been informed about), feel free to email Jacob Lucas with an update.

Early indications are the Motueka fishery is in good shape, and we’ve had some great pics come in from the Motueka and its tributaries, showing fish in good condition despite a winter and spring of rain and high flows.

It has been great to see anglers making the most of the sunshine and ideal conditions.

A recent drive through Molesworth, Upper Wairau, and the Motueka saw plenty of anglers out and about.

After a few months cooped up in what were rather bleak conditions, the higher-than-normal October sunshine has been a good incentive to get outdoors and hit the water.

Our drift dive season commences shortly, where we will dive 20+ rivers over the course of the season.

Our dives are always a good way to see how the fishery really is, not only with the trout population but also the state of the river post-flood events.

Above Right: Kaiva Paaka has pulled some great fish out of the Motueka River this season, all caught on the fly on her own.


No Catchem beat marker

The get-out point for the No Catchem beat is indicated by a post on the true left of the river at Woolshed Stream

We have added two new beats to the Upper Wairau beat system, both downstream of Six Mile Creek.

No Catchem Stream to Woolshed Stream (approx 5km) - park at the designated spot, then follow the orange markers down the stream (approx 400m) to the river.

The get-out point is indicated by a post on the true left of the river at Woolshed Stream – see picture.

Woolshed Stream to Six Mile Creek (approx 5km) - park at Woolshed Stream at the sign and follow track markers to the river.

Get out point is at the pool at Six Mile Creek confluence.

Note: Six Mile Creek beat car park has now been moved to the downstream side of the creek.

Thanks to Caitlyn from NMIT for her help!


Lake Argyle flows

Use this as a guide to check whether the lake is fishable.

A reminder to check the river flows wherever you want to fish.

TDC/MDC have up-to-date flows on dozens of rivers throughout the region.

For TDC rivers, check out the website here.

For MDC rivers, check out the website here.

Remember, Lake Argyle is fed by the Branch River, and when it floods, the lake itself becomes dirty.

Make sure you check the Branch flow if in doubt – see picture for indication of when the water is fishable.


This season we are ramping up our compliance work, particularly on our more ‘backcountry’ waters.

If you frequent the Upper Wairau, Travers, Nelson Lakes, Wangapeka, and tributaries of the Buller, there is a reasonable chance you’ll bump into a friendly ranger who may ask you a few questions about your fishing experience.

Remember to carry your licence and have your backcountry endorsement on you too.


Due to fish growth being slower than normal this year, we will be commencing our new season releases a bit later than expected.

Typically, we don’t release fish until they reach about 1kg in size in order to provide better assurance against predation.

We have already put a tanker load of large fish (kept from last year’s stock) into Argyle and Waimea Park just before the new season commenced.

The good news is that we still have over 5000 1kg+ fish going into Lake Argyle, Waimea Park and the Branch Leatham over the course of the season, with the Branch/Leatham heli-release likely in the first week of December, so expect a flurry of activity towards December.

TIght Lines

Jacob Lucas, Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game

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