Proudly brought to you by Craig Smith from Hatch Fishing
At last, spring is here! The fish are becoming more active, with good numbers of hungry browns around the lake margins and the rainbows congregating around river mouths and entering rivers to spawn.
Remember our inflowing rivers are closed until November 1st, but there are a couple that have the first Km or so open all year - the Makarora and the Matukituki. These are a good bet to fish around the mouth of over the next month. Please remember to take great care when wading - the gravel ‘drop off’ is extremely dangerous if you stand too close to the edge, it can collapse very easily.
Up in the Tekapo and Twizel Canals the fishing has been going O.K. The rainbows are moving around and colouring up looking to spawn. Both the Hens and Jacks are poor eating once this happens, so it's probably best to release any that you land until they return to non spawning condition in December. However, the escapee salmon and the resident brown trout (up to about 15lb) are still good eating from now until April.
Please note, a major fishing regulation change: Bag limits in lakes Hawea and Wanaka are now 2 trout maximum per day. No treble hooks are allowed in the backcountry fisheries - this is relevant in the Hunter, Dingle, Young and Wilkin rivers.
I recommend using only single hooks in the lakes as well - with the reduced bag limit, if you want to release a fish with a chance of it surviving, a single hook is much more suited to this.
Enjoy the spring fishing, along with the wild weather that often arrives at the same time!
Pictured above is a nice brown from a recent lake edge trip...
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