Home' Fish and Game : August 2015 Contents Nelson/Marlborough Region
Rebecca Squire with a Wairau salmon
on her second ever cast!
S A FOLLOW ON FROM THE HUGELY
popular kid’s fish-out days, Fish & Game
has implemented a new initiative aimed at
parents and caregivers, who had not done
much fishing -- and arming them with the skills to
teach their own kids.
This became apparent from running the kids
fish-out days, where parents are reliant on guides
to assist their children in catching trout, when
it would have been more meaningful to see the
parents themselves involved. And so the ‘Training
the Trainers’ concept was born.
A release of 300 trout (averaging 1kg), as well
as several salmon, was undertaken. The first part
ALMON FISHING SUCCESS LAST SEASON ON
the Wairau was the best in the memory of Fish
& Game staff, where a high level of angler suc-
cess was reported from anglers of all expertise levels.
ment and Rapala lures, including floating ones. The
Rapala CD7 X-rap lure in the rainbow trout pattern
proved very popular to the point of being sold out. In-
terestingly, a large proportion of the salmon harvested
using this technique were caught from shallow rapids.
The traditional method of dragging the bottom of the
deeper pools and runs with a Zed Spinner also worked
well when there was a bit of colour in the water.
At least half a dozen credible local anglers have re-
ported landing between 5-10 salmon from the Wairau
River this season. There are also several anglers ru-
moured to have caught between 10-20 salmon from
the Wairau this year and one local angler claiming to
have landed 53 of which only six were kept. Some of
these anglers have donated salmon heads to the more
than 20 that have been collected this season, via word
FISHING THE BUBBLE AND FLY
Figure 2: Salmon and Salmon Redds seen in the Rainbow Spawning Stream
of the day involved meeting at the river’s edge
to learn about reading water and where to find
fish. The next part was an informal theory based
session on regulations, Code of Conduct, equip-
ment, knots, fishing techniques, and fish han-
dling. The participants -- after setting up their own
fishing rods -- then went to the ponds and caught
their own fish. The final part of the day was for the
caregivers to gut, fillet, and smoke the fish they
had just caught – then, of course, eat them!
The ponds were then opened up to the newly
trained caregivers to bring their family down and
assist their children to catch fish over the follow-
ing week. Instructors were on hand throughout
OR THOSE NEW TO FISHING, OR WANTING A
diversion from lure or flyfishing, try fishing a bub-
ble and fly. It is easy and can be highly productive
if done correctly. The bubble and fly technique is at
home in both river and lake environments, and can
be a valuable weapon in your arsenal when rivers
drop to low levels in the summer and spinning lure-
shy trout become tricky to catch. Trout will often
seek oxygenated-charged ripples during low flows,
where not only there is an increase in vital oxygen,
One reason for this may have been
the prolonged low flows and clear
water, which increased the anglers’
ability to effectively locate and target
fish. Anglers were reporting salmon
to be present in the Wairau all the
way from the Rainbow River conflu-
ence down to the sea in mid-February.
It has also been noted that some
salmon had been exhibiting some
unusual behaviours, including taking
artificial nymphs. A lot of salmon an-
glers enjoyed success on the Wairau
River when it was running low and
clear, using light trout fishing equip-
of mouth, for future otolith analysis.
Salmon spawning foot counts in the Rainbow Val-
ley have confirmed that it has been a phenomenal
run (see Figure 2). Interestingly a small number of
salmon have been observed spawning in parts of the
Rainbow catchment where they have not previously
Following on from the outstanding fundraising
success of the Kaikoura Salmon Enhancement Trust
and Kaikoura Hunting & Fishing, a release of salmon
smolt occurred in July 2015 at Lyell Creek, Kaikoura
and the Upper Clarence catchment, assisted by
North Canterbury and Nelson Marlborough Fish &
Game. The goal of this grass-roots community sup-
ported project is to boost the salmon runs available
to anglers in 2-3 years time.
Training the Trainers
the week in the afternoons to offer assistance, but
were seldom required.
It is expected that more Training the Train-
ers events will be put on for this coming season.
If you are interested in attending these half day
events, email nelsonmarlborough@fishandgame.
org.nz and register your interest.
Feedback from course participants has been
overwhelmingly positive from the events so far.
Nearly all newly trained caregivers subsequently
brought their kids down to the ponds and suc-
ceeded in catching fish. It is hoped that their new
found pleasure in freshwater angling will transfer
through to the joys of fishing in wild rivers.
Nelson Field Officer Lawson Davey during an informal theory-based session
Nelson Field Officers give demonstrations on filleting trout
but a steady stream of insects to gobble down.
• Fish the ripples – concentrate on riffles/runs from
knee deep to waist deep
• Cast up and across, and wind in the slack as the
bubble drifts down
• The length of nylon from the bubble to your fly
should be approximately double the water depth
• Fill the bubble with just enough water for sufficient
casting, but keeping some buoyancy
• Keep your eyes on the bubble
• Often the fish will hook themselves due to the
weight of the bubble, but if you see the bubble
hesitate or duck under the water, strike
• Use flies suitable for the depth of water, i.e ., heavier
flies for faster deeper water, lighter flies for shallow
• For lake environments, concentrate on drop-offs and
weed beds, just cast out and wait, or slowly wind
the bubble in
• Consider using two flies of different colour and size
usually a larger weighted one at the top, and a
smaller fly at the end -- it doubles your chances
• A tip: paint one side of the bubble with bright paint
so it’s easy to see in the water
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