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Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region-2017

Published on Friday, February 17, 2017 - 11:00

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Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region – 17-2-2017

This season I have shared with you some photos of activities Fish & Game staff are involved in, for example releasing salmon smolt into an Ashburton River tributary, or brook trout into Lake Emily.

In all fairness though, not so photogenic staff activities make up the bulk of staff time.

So, I haven’t taken any photos of the staff sitting behind computer screens, sending emails, writing reports or meeting with landowners, government agencies and recreational groups to ensure our sports fish and game bird resources are protected and accessible.

This type of work goes on every week without fail so I thought I’d share just one aspects of behind the scenes work we have been involved with in the last six months.

Fish & Game staff are involved with the tenure review process.

My simplified explanation of Tenure review is that it is a process that gives farmers who are leasing government owned land opportunity to buy some of that land and own it freehold.

The rest of the lease area returns to the Crown and can be utilised for recreational public uses, such as DOC managed conservation area, and angler access.

When the farmers and government agencies are discussing their options Fish & Game staff get involved and advocate for ongoing maintenance or enhancement of the existing resources in the area and for enduring legalised access to fish and hunt.  

As an example, often the purchase of land then leads to intensification of farming practices in flat areas around waterways.

In that case we advocate for fences to be installed to prevent stock from trampling spawning ground and damaging riparian areas.

We always look to ensure reasonable access and this may involve us advocating that a farm road be converted and formalised to a legal public road or registered public access easement.

In any case the process can takes years and involved significant amounts of legal work and land surveying. During which time Fish & Game staff need to keep involved to ensure our requests are met.

In the last 6 months we have been involved with three tenure reviews and have advocated for; continued foot and vehicle access to Lake Stream at Glenfalloch Station, formalisation of a new registered public easement to Grays River at Grampian Station and fencing of trout spawning areas in Little Omarama Stream at Twin Peaks station. 

Above Right: David Shefford his Thursday morning salmon.

The Mackenzie Basin high country is photogenic and so are salmon so I’ll share a photo of David Shefford’s salmon he caught in the Pukaki-Ohau Canal on Thursday.

I was up there ranging and focussed on checking anglers fishing the area between the salmon farm on Oahu A Canal and the Ohau A power station Dam wall.

We got the heads-up on Monday that a heap of salmon had escaped from the farm and by Thursday it appeared that the bulk of the fish had been caught, one angler I talked to reckon the fish got out on Friday and that there were plenty of bag limits caught over the weekend. On Thursday there was still a decent catch-rate.

I witnessed five salmon landed in the hour or so that I was there.

It should be busy there this weekend as the remaining fish get snaffled up.

In terms of ranging, these salmon ‘break-outs’ from the farms are of high interest.

Bag limits are achievable in short time when the going is good and we certainly get lots of complaints from angler that they have witnessed anglers exceeding their limit.

Most of these complaints come days after the observation so are little use for rangers.

Left:The upper Ahuriri River near Birchwood, note the milky water colour.

So a message for those concerned that angler aren’t sticking to the rules when the fishing is easy up the canals; give us a call when you hear of a break-out and if you witness an offence give us a call immediately.

Our Temuka office phone number is 03, 61558400.

Ultimately we need to know; the exact offence committed, the physical features of the alleged offender, and car registration, and we may need to get a written statement from you.

We will follow up if possible, we often have staff and honorary rangers about in the high country.

Even if you don’t see an offence we would like to know about the break-outs from the farms so we can have rangers in the area in plain clothes keeping an eye out for anglers breaching the bag limit.

On Thursday I only encountered happy anglers compliant with the rules and I enjoyed interacting with them and clarifying some regulation queries for them.

In saying that a couple didn’t carry their licences with them.

I did however find an angler fishing without a licence at Lake Poaka, so I have some paper work to do and our seized gear cupboard gets fuller.

Last Thursday I was ranging at the upper Ahuriri River, arguably the most scenic valley we have in our region.

I bumped into to small number of anglers, who all presented their non-resident licences.

The water was still cloudy from the slip near Canyon Creek.

This cloudy water from the slip seems to have put a dampener on angler numbers in the valley this year.

If you have fished in the area this season would love to hear from you.

So, Once again a reminder for anglers that over this season Fish & Game are undertaking a survey to find out how satisfied anglers are with their upper Ahuriri River and lagoon fishing experience.

Have you fished there recently? If so, an online version of the survey, can be found on our website by clicking here.

We plan to use this information to maintain the experience anglers have always cherished.

Catch you next week

 

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Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region – 10-2-2017

I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend and got out for a fish.

There were a few salmon anglers about with reasonable river conditions on offer.

I have had first hand reports that salmon were caught at the Rangitata and Orari mouths over the holiday weekend.

Bill Whipp rang the office to mention that there were 6 salmon weighed in at the Rangitata south side weigh-in over the weekend.

You can assume that if Bill weighed them in there they are caught near the mouth on the south side, so what got caught on the north side or upriver over the weekend I couldn’t tell you.

I fished the Orari River mouth on Saturday afternoon.

It sure was pleasant sending my ticer out over the waves on a hot summer’s day, but nothing was caught by the small crowd of 4-6 anglers.

A mate of mine Jeremy had some luck there on Sunday though, catching a 9 pounder.

He watched another one landed that day too.

Above Right: Jeremy and his salmon at the Orari River mouth.

A couple weeks ago I asked for angler feedback regarding sea-run rainbows being caught in the Opihi River or anywhere else in the region.

This question came about as angler Rodger Findlay sent in a photo of his 5lb Opihi River rainbow.

The fish had hard scales falling off to the touch which led him to identify it as a sea-run fish.

He posed the question to readers of this report; have anglers encountered sea-run rainbows in the Opihi before?

Within the Opihi catchment Lake Opuha and its tributaries offer good rainbow fishing but outside of this catching a rainbow is a very rare event.

The few anglers that got in touch with me shared that they have caught or seen one or two rainbows in these parts of the catchment; Opihi upper reaches, Opihi near Raincliff, Te Ngawai River, Opuha River and Opihi lower reaches in summer and in the winter season.

The only angler who thought the rainbow they caught was sea-run, was from the lower reaches in the winter season.

So thanks to Rodger Findlay for sending in his photo of his 5lb Opihi rainbow and sparking the interest of the report readers. It’s fair to say Rodger’s rainbow was a very rare catch.

It has been a wet summer locally, and my mates from the West Coast confirm that the West Coast deserves its reputation of late as the rain has been relentless.

The West Coast rain spills over into the headwater of our rivers and this would explain why the Rangitata River has often been high, discoloured and unfishable this summer.

This also leads to our big hydro lakes like Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau filling up with water.

When the lakes fill up the hopes of Tekapo River anglers rise.

If the lakes get high enough, and the power stations cannot process anymore water, then excess lake water must be spilled down the Tekapo and Pukaki River beds.

The benefit for anglers when this happens is that annoying clumps of didymo get knocked off the rocks in the Tekapo River with the dramatic increase in flows.

For anglers this results in a more pleasant fishing experience and for trout, an increase in available habitat for favoured prey food species.

Last week a Tekapo River angler got in touch with us to see if Genesis Energy had any plans to spill down the river, considering that Lake Tekapo levels were getting quite high.

We got in touch with Genesis and the answer to that question is that as of last Friday the lake would need to rise 1.1 metres before Genesis would spill water down the Tekapo River.

In terms of rain, the Genesis Energy Hydrologist reckoned we would need some significant rainfall events in the headwaters in the near future to achieve that sort of lake level increase.

Genesis will notify Fish & Game if they are planning to spill down the Tekapo River.

In the meantime however The Pukaki River and lower Tekapo River have received spilling water from Lake Pukaki so let’s hope the lower Tekapo River has had plenty of didymo knocked out of it recently.      

Finally in this report, on Thursday the 16th of February the Central South Island Fish & Game Council is holding its bi-monthly Council meeting at 7pm.

Licence holders and members of the public are welcome to attend.

For full details click here.

 

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Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region – 3-2-2017

On Monday and Wednesday this week Hamish Stevens and I took to the skies in a Cessna airplane to monitor populations of game birds, in particular paradise shelduck and black swan.

We covered a fair chunk of the CSI region.

It was pretty evident from the sky that the recent rainfall has affected the condition of some waterways so I can pass on a few point to consider for the coming holiday weekend.

On Monday the Waitaki River was discoloured and high, the mouth positioning hasn’t changed much however.

Let’s hope some of the didymo has been blasted out to sea.

Moving further upstream Lake Waitaki was also discoloured and the lower half of Lake Aviemore was discoloured and both the Aviemore and Waitaki dams were spilling.    

The Otematata River was flowing clear after the recent flood, if anyone fishes the river we would like to hear how the trout have fared after the recent flood event.

The exposed slip near Canyon Creek continues to spill silt into the Ahuriri River affecting water clarity. On Monday I would have said it was just sight fishable in the shallow margins. Above this point the river was clear. We spotted a few fish in the lagoons. 

Lake Pukaki was spilling, resulting in the Lower Tekapo River being high and discoloured. This water then flowed out into Lake Benmore discolouring a large area around the mouth. Let’s hope the high flows knock some of the Didymo out of the lower Tekapo River. Feedback from anglers is that the didymo in the Tekapo River is a nuisance this season.

We didn’t see any schools of Sockeye salmon near the Tekapo mouth but if you ever wanted to catch one their spawning run is about to happen and the aggression that they show at this time of year holds the key to getting one to bite your lure.

February is the only month you have a realistic (and legal) chance to catch one in a river or stream.

Your best chance to catch one in the lakes would be from February to April.

Around the mouths and lower sections of Lake Benmore tributaries are the best place to target them.

Please check your regulation guide to make sure you understand the sockeye salmon regulations correctly.

Click here to link to the online version of the 2016-2017 season regulation book.

The Hakataramea River was still flowing as one stream.

Often by February the river dries up in near Wrights Crossing and the upper and lower reaches become disconnected.

The Waihao Box was open.

Above Right: silty water enters the Ahuriri River near the Canyon Creek confluence.

Our second day in the air was Wednesday and here’s a few more observations.

The Rangitata River mouth was just fishable, clarity-wise, but by the time we flew to the headwaters a 300 cumec fresh of grey silty water was heading towards the Pacific.

With a little rain predicted in the headwaters on Saturday the river will be marginal for fishing this weekend.

The mouth has only changed in shape but not position from the last decent rain event.

The mouth now exits mainly to the north.

The Opihi River mouth was open and has swung to the south, the surf was dirty but at both the Opihi and Rangitata a few anglers fished around the gut.

The Orari mouth looked same old.

Upriver on the Opihi and Opuha around Raincliff and pleasant point the summer algal cover has taken a hold, the fish are still there in reasonable numbers however, but they will be harder to spot on the dark algae.

Lake Emma was windswept and some sediment was stirred up.

Meanwhile the shallows of Lake Heron and Clearwater looked tempting for some sight fishing between gusts.

All in all there was a good amount of water around and we glanced over a life-times worth of fishing adventures in just several hours of flying around.

I kept my lunch in too which is a highlight for me every time we make it back to the airfield.

Left: The Rangitata mouth @ 10am on February 1, 2017.

Feedback from readers has been great over the week regarding Lake Poaka and rainbow trout in the Opihi River. I’ll touch on this at a later stage.

I will however share a photo from Allan Brown of a salmon he caught.

Allan Brown caught a beautiful 12 pound salmon down the Opihi mouth on the 27th of December. Allan said “It put up a good fight”.

I asked Allan if he had had any luck lately, he said he hadn’t and neither had the other he’d been fishing near.

Right: Allan Brown's beautiful 12lb Opihi Salmon.

Have a great Waitangi weekend.

After flying around the region I can reinforce that there is huge amount of options that locals have at their doorsteps.

It might just pay to check the forecast and river flows before you go.

Good luck to those game bird hunters heading out over the next two weekends of the summer special season.

Paradise shelduck numbers look good, and although we don’t count the mallards on these flights there was a nice scattering of them everywhere we flew.

Here’s a link to the game bird hunting regulation guide for those interested in summer season dates and regulations.

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Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region – 27-1-2017

Last weekend most of the region received a nice dousing of rain.

Although we would have hoped for a bit more in places like the upper Opihi, altogether it helped to maintain river flows and provide trout with varied habitat.

Summer fishing conditions will resume shortly.

Two rivers had a good dung out though; according to the Environment Canterbury website the Otematata got as high as 500 cumecs while nearby the Maerewhenua got to 203 cumecs.

My Colleague Hamish was down in the area on Tuesday the 24th.

He said both these rivers have been beat-up by the flood flows with gravel beds turned over, and riparian vegetation smash around.

Chances are a few trout would have perished.

The Otematata River burst its banks and cut into the Boat Harbour Campsite near the Lake.

This resulted in gravel and debris being strewn through the area and caravans being inundated with water.

The Aviemore dam was spilling on Tuesday and both Lake Aviemore and Waitaki were discoloured in parts due to the flood waters.

The Lower Waitaki River was also high and discoloured.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes until the water of the rivers and lakes clears up.

The Waitaki River has been up to 540 cumecs and the Rangitata River had almost 900 cumecs flowing down it too.

Not huge flows for rivers of this size but don’t be surprised if this results in a shift in their mouth locations/orientations.

Above Right: Flood debris stuck on the fence and piles of gravel washed around at the Boat harbour campsite, Otematata.

Last week I told a story about my fishing trip to Lake Poaka which received a bit of interest in the media.

That was the first time I had fished the lake so I’m no local.

If you do fish the lake on a regular basis I would like to hear from you.

In particular can you tell me; how do the surrounding trees which hug the lake shoreline affect your fishing?

I’ve got my opinion on the trees but I’d like to hear yours.

Please email your response to radams@fishandgame.org.nz

Left: An angler fishes Lake Poaka on opening day 2016-2017 season.

Feedback and stories from report readers has been great this season, it certainly helps me to compile interesting newsletters on a regular basis.

It also helps me to get to know the region a bit better.

After all this is only my second fishing season based in CSI.

This week’s story to share comes from Rodger Finlay.

Rodger caught a rainbow trout in the lower Opihi River recently.

Although a rare catch, it is consistent with angling reports from over the years; a small number of rainbow trout get caught there each year.

There are of course rainbows in the catchment, Lake Opuha being the hotspot.

What’s is captivating though is that Rodger reckoned “He was definitely sea-run as hard scales easily fell off his torso to the touch”.

Now many of us will know that no sea-run rainbow fisheries have established in NZ, but to my knowledge there is no definitive reason why they couldn’t as they are physiologically capable of doing so.

Sea-run rainbow are called steelheads in North America and are highly prized by anglers.  

Right: Roger Finlay with his Opihi river rainbow.

I ran the info past my colleague Mark Webb. Mark recalled that historically there is some evidence of some rainbow trout becoming sea-run in New Zealand.

He tagged a rainbow in the lower Waitaki River back in the 1980’s that was later caught in the Kahutara River near Kaikoura, quiet the sea-going journey.

I also talked to a few ‘stalwart’ salmon anglers down the Opihi mouth, none of which had caught a sea-run rainbow in there many years of swinging shiny lures.

So my conclusion; there is a good chance it is a sea-run fish, but there are so few in existence there is no real point setting a goal of catching one.

Hard scales easily falling off in my knowledge doesn’t happen often with rainbow trout. I’ve personally seen it with sea-run brownies though.

This observation doesn’t rule out the possibility that Rodgers fish was a resident river fish that lost scales.        

This fish was released, but if it was killed we could have extracted bones out of its head called otolith.

If we spent a bit of money and payed a scientist, they could burn the otolith with a laser, capture the gas that comes off and measure the levels of certain chemical elements within the gas.

If the gas contains certain ratios of particular elements we know it has lived in sea water for a period.

A closer look at the otolith can even reveal at what age it was when it lived at sea.

This method is commonly used for fish life history research.

I did a bit of this work looking at salmon life history while employed by the West Coast Fish & Game Region.

If you have any stories of sea-run rainbows to share, Opihi or otherwise, Rodger and I would love to hear them.

Flick them to me in an email.

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Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region – 20-1-2017

Young angler Max Rogers got in touch with us to share his awesome fishing story.

The story begins back in the September school holidays when Max and his big brother Johnny helped the Lake Alexandrina Conservation Trust and Fish & Game staff with the trout tagging programme at outlet Creek.

Outlet Creek is close to Tekapo, it runs between Lake MacGregor and Lake Alexandrina.

Above Right: Max Rogers and his first fish.

We filmed a You Tube video on the tagging project and angler diary scheme back in October. To see the project in action Click here

Max was so stoked on the tagging day and thought it was about time he caught a trout himself.

He started saving his money and by the summer holidays he reached his goal of $29.95 and had purchased his first fishing rod.

So, where better to head in the summer but Lake Macgregor, to test out the new rod…

His mum Debbie wasn’t too confident a 6 year old first time angler would be successful straight out of the gates, but she got a nice surprise when Max returned from a trip out in the dinghy with his first fish, a 1.8 pound rainbow trout.

Left: Max Roger helping out at the September 2016 outlet creek tagging day

If that wasn’t special enough, guess what, the fish was tagged!   

A check of the tagging records showed that Max’s fish was tagged in September too, and was one of only 305 fished tagged over the 2016 winter from Lake MacGregor and Alexandrina, what are the chances…

Well done Max, great story, great to hear it tasted yummy too with a drizzle of lemon juice.

A quick reminder to the tagging programme angling diary holders; keep filling in you diaries they are critical to the programme.

Now I have been trout fishing for a bit longer than Max, but I had a ‘first’ of my own the other day, and this one was too good not to share with you.

If you have a light stomach tough luck.

Now you may recall a few weeks back I recommended that if you fished the Twizel River a good idea would be to imitate a juvenile trout as they are abundant and a common food source for big trout…

Well I don’t think you will have a fly that can accurately imitate the prey items that the trout are eating in Lake Poaka, the lake that the Twizel River flows in and out of.

And, if you do, you will have to be a good caster.

Remember, Lake Poaka is restricted to fly fishing only. 

Anyway the story go’s; I was up there recently fishing the lake for the first time.

I spotted a trout looking ‘doggo’ i.e. sitting there spooked/resting.

With dry fly – nymph dropper rigged up, I thought why not have a cast, doubting I could catch it.

However, couple of cast later and the fish sprung to life and devoured my #14 parachute Adams.

I was a bit surprised that my offering had been accepted, but, you never look a gift horse in the mouth, right.

What was more surprising though was what happened next.

While the trout was thrashing around trying to get rid of my fly, a long orangey-pink object was ejected from its mouth.

Now, this was weird, so I had to investigate immediately.

One handed I played the fish and with the other I collected the unidentified object.

The fish gave up after a half decent battle and I was able to reunite the trout with its breakfast and get a photo.

Now the fish wasn’t small, un-weighed, but comfortably 6 pound.

The trout’s breakfast was a half-digested brown trout, head missing along with its skin and guts.

A small amount of skin and the tail were intact which lead me to identify it as a brownie.

The undigested tail end must have been protruding from its mouth.

The fillets were fully intact and of size suitable for a one person meal.

The trout eater was released but a pretty good guess would be that this 60cm battle-axe brownie had eaten a 30cm brownie the day/night before.

Now a few questions have since ran across my mind; why did he take my #14 parachute Adams, could I cast a 30cm long fly on a 6wt rod, and what size trout or salmon does a 40 pound canal resident brown trout eat for a midnight snack?           

Right: My Lake Poaka cannibal brown and his regurgitated breakfast.

If you are heading out fishing this weekend go on Saturday.

Sunday is looking pretty rough and hopefully wet.

We could do with a decent rain to freshen up the rivers.

The rain forecasts can be fickle in this part of the world.

We were expecting a small deluge on Wednesday night this week but it turned out to be pretty minor and only bumped up flow in River like the Te Ngawai River and Bowyers Stream a little bit.

Finally if you want to get in touch with me with any fishing stories or feedback from the CSI region, please send emails to radams@fishandgame.org.nz

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Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region – 13-1-2017

As always, I appreciate feedback and fishy stories via email, from weekly report readers who fish the CSI region.

Lance wrote to me last week with news from Lake Ruataniwha.

I’m guessing this was after great fishing reports were presented from nearby Lakes Aviemore and Benmore.

This is what Lance had to say and the photo he shared with us, thanks Lance.

“Camping with the kids at Ruataniwha. While many travel up and down the canals, and some distance, I've blooded the grandkids on fly fishing with 5 browns the last few days no more than 3 mins from camp.

Best at 6.5lb on a small hare and copper in no more than 150mm water.” 

Above Right: Henry, Harry and Lance with a golden Lake Ruataniwha brown trout.

From first-hand experience I can say that the Opihi River near Temuka is fishing well currently.

I had a couple of evening hours up my sleeve last week so popped down to the river.

I fly fished three pools, focussing on only the best water and the parts where the glare wasn’t preventing me from spotting.

If I had a full sunny day I’d probably spend an hour or two on each pool.

In the first pool I spotted 4 large brown trout, the first, which I thought I had spooked mooched from the edge to the main current.

I plopped a #18 pheasant tail a metre in front of him fishing downstream on a 45 degree angle.

I wasn’t fishing with an indicator so when I guessed he might of taken it I struck and connected.

5 jumps and a tussle later and I had him in the net.

I thought I could catch a fish in better condition so released it.

The next three fish in the pool were feeding actively but they refused my offerings and eventually spooked.

In the next pool I spotted only one fish but the glare was so bad I walked past the best water.

A different story in the next pool however as I spotted at least 6 large brown trout actively feeding, one on the surface the rest grazing the bottom or chasing down prey.

A fat 4 pounder gobbled my #18 pheasant tail and my family and I gobbled a fat 4 pounder over 3 nights.

The image below show; the fly, my fish and the excellent colour flesh.

A gut inspection revealed that the trout had been grazing on snails in large quantities.

It was a great, short, action packed outing.

The river was in good nick where I fished.

I was expecting algal growth to be annoying being summer, with low flows and warm water, but no such issue for me near Temuka.    

Left: fly, fish, flesh.

On the salmon front, we are still awaiting the first decent size run of fish this season in all our popular fisheries.

As of yesterday afternoon the has been 4 salmon weighed-in for January at the Salmon Anglers weigh station at Bill Whipp’s hut on the South side of the Rangitata River.

However, I am unsure how many have been caught on the north side and upriver.

The river was looking great yesterday but a 200 cumec freshe came through late last night (Thursday) so it may be discoloured for the weekend.

We have had first hand reports from a keen eyed angler who works occasionally at the Waitaki Dam; that at least 3 salmon have run the Waitaki River and made it to the dam.

We have also heard a report that a salmon was caught near Duntroon about 10 days ago.

I have heard little news from salmon anglers regarding the Opihi River.

The mouth was blocked for some time but opened up again on Wednesday.   

The weather for the weekend will be affected by a westerly front hitting the main divide.

I reckon it will be mostly sunny with gusty winds in the low country but near the main divide in the backcountry expect rough weather.

Keep this in mind if you are heading to the Ahuriri River as this may result in a high and discoloured river.

Once again a reminder for anglers that over this season Fish & Game are undertaking a survey to find out how satisfied anglers are with their upper Ahuriri River and lagoon fishing experience.

Right: The main lagoon in the upper Ahuriri River valley.

Have you fished there recently?

If so, an online version of the survey, can be found on our website by clicking here. We plan to use this information to maintain the experience anglers have always cherished.

Catch you next week

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Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region – 6-1-2017

If you’re still on holiday, lucky you, have fun.

If you’re back at work, this report may just instil a little jealousy as there is some pretty good fishing on offer currently that I can fill you in on.

It may just bring out the weekend warrior in you.

Last Friday (30 Dec) I was ranging down at Lakes Benmore and Aviemore.

It was Deja vu at for me at Pumpkin Point on Benmore when an anglers’ wife asked me if there were any fish around.

“Of course” was my knee-jerk answer, and then I spotted two cruising through the shade of the overhanging tree about 3 metres in front of us.

A bit of impromptu guiding by me and the angler had his lure running past the fish, but not even a follow.

I consoled the angler mentioning that they were brownies, the most cunning of trout.         

A pair of Temuka anglers were encountered up at the Otamatapaio Station access point.

They were all smiles, reckoning that the fishing at the Ahuriri Arm was better than last year, and the best fish of the of the trip (so far) was a 3.3lb brown.

While ranging around the canals yesterday (4 Jan) I bumped into another angler who had fished the Ahuriri Arm on the 3rd of January.

He had been having a blast on the rainbows but said the browns were a bit fussy.

He landed about 18 and lost about 15.

He said the browns were in the shallows but the rainbow were a bit deeper and harder to spot.

In fact, the best method was to spot a rainbow hitting the surface and then cast about a metre or two in front.

Above Right: Ahuriri Arm fishing at Lake Benmore - it is shallow so small boat or wading access is preferred.  

Lake Aviemore is fishing great too!

The anglers I checked there last Friday hadn’t had any luck and two of them didn’t have a licence either!

Now their rods are locked up in our office as we process the offence.

Left: Great fishing and plump rainbows at Lake Aviemore.

Evidence of the great fishing was emailed to me by an anonymous angler with the subject line “Aviemore fishing well”.

The anonymous angler wouldn’t say where on the lake he caught his rainbow trout but it looks like it was from a boat and he says the fish he caught were between 4 and 6 pound.

The photo here shows the quality of the fish, maybe a cut above Benmore currently.

The canals have been fishing well over the x-mas period, I’d say better than last year.

Yesterday I saw brown, rainbow and salmon in chilly bins.

Some of the rainbows were massive.

One conservative angler at the Ohau B caravan park-up showed me his 15lb rainbow jack, I suggested he ask around to borrow some scales as he’s probably got an 18 pounder, possibly even 20.

Across the canal I caught up with fellow Taranakian Jeff Collins.

The day prior, he had caught a 21 pound rainbow and 5 legal size salmon of which he kept one.

When I checked his licence he agreed to share his mornings catch with us so I took a pic.

Jeff fishes with bait, puts in long days and gets rewarded for his effort.

Right: Jeff Collins with a plump rainbow and salmon.

Still in the Waitaki but on a different note; we have received a report of sea-run salmon catches.

Our third hand info is that four sea-run salmon were caught in the Waitaki River below the SH1 Bridge.

Great news, and If someone wants to back this report up please me with details, how big? How delicious? How’s the trout fishing too? 

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