October 2017 Fishing Report

Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing
Finally, the lowland rivers are open, which gives us plenty of options for the month of October. While the high country rivers remain closed until November, the rivers that don’t flow into the lakes are mostly open, meaning lowland rivers further East and South of Wanaka offer some great sight fishing when conditions allow.

Currently the flows are high, and the best river fishing is restricted to smaller streams that will clear quickly. Some of rivers such as the Manuherikia have had huge floods over the past winter, and the riverbed is has been stripped out and altered in many places. This will be the case with quite a few Eastern rivers, and hopefully we haven’t lost a generation of juvenile trout. Time will tell.

Down in Southland there will be more options, especially with the side creeks to larger rivers. Many of the fish will drop out during the summer with flows and fishing pressure, so October is an ideal time to explore these.

There is a large number of still waters (dams and ponds) that open this month, and are a good back up when fishing conditions are not ideas for our rivers and streams.

Remember to be polite and courteous when encountering other anglers - stopping and having a chat will diffuse any problems, and you might just learn something from the other party.

One thing to seriously consider this season is upgrading your landing net to a rubber mesh model. It will increase the survival rate of fish you release considerably. The older nets with large mesh holes and coarse nylon string are really punishing on fish, and many of the split fins and cuts that are seen on fish are a result of these old “cheese grater” nets.

Southern Wild has a good selection of rubber mesh nets to suit your budget. They also have replacement netting to retrofit your old net.

Below is a nice October brown.

Enjoy the month ahead!

Tight lines,

Craig Smith 

Registered professional guide NZPFGA
FFF certified casting instructor
Ph +6434438446
M 0276469419

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