Upper Waitaki Lakes

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    Over the Christmas/New Year break I spent some time fishing around the Twizel area and in particular in Lake Ruataniwha.

    The fishing was a little poor at times (probably caused by the cold fronts going past) but when the weather cleared it was good.

    The fish I caught were in exceptional condition although not that large and they sure tasted great both smoked and cooked on the bbq.

    I had a funny experience…

    I had spent the morning tramping up and down a particular piece of shoreline scaring trout and in general picking the wrong nymph or fly, it was just one of those mornings and to make matters worse it seemed like every person in NZ



    You get all the out-of-town holiday makers at this time of year. In a few weeks you’ll have the whole lake to yourself. It is surprising how many people in New Zealand own boats that only get their hulls wet for a couple of weeks at Christmas time. For the remainder of the year it just takes up space beside the house! I reckon that jet skis are even worst. You would think someone would come up with a good design for mufflers that could be fitted to them.

    I’ll give you a couple of funny but TRUE stories. One day I was waist deep in Lake Kaniere on the West Coast of the South Island trying to interest a fish in a nymph or a streamer. The place was deserted – not a soul in sight! There had been a few good swirls out in front of me but so far no takers. Kaniere mostly has bush down to the shoreline and so there aren’t many good spots to wade out but I had managed to find one. As I pondered yet another change of fly a boat approached at speed. To be fair the skipper did slow his flash new fiberglass 20 footer to an idle as he approached. Surprisingly he kept coming right up to me. “What is this all about?” I wondered. “How’s the fishing?” he inquired, peering down from above. I don’t know if it was my nostrils filling with oily smoke from his big two stroke outboard, or my pent up frustration at have not caught a fish, but I regret to this day the rudeness of my reply!

    I have had similar experiences in the Marlborough Sounds during the Christmas holidays. You just get into a good spot to catch a snapper. The berley is doing its work. You and your mate are being careful not to drop anything on the bottom of the 12 foot tinnie least it spook the weary snapper. The next thing a boat load of idiots come racing up to inquire about the fishing around here. Trying to wave them away is fruitless. They simply wave back and keep coming!

    Many inexperienced boaties will crowd an angler fishing from shore, or an anchored boat, without even realizing they are doing anything wrong. Depending on your work commitments, it is a good idea to avoid holidays and weekends if you can. Yellowfin :D


    hi yellowfin whats your luck been like at kaniere, i


    Hi Dave,

    I must admit to having only fished Lake Kaniere on two occasions. Both trips to the lake, were from Hokitika, and were of short duration, accompanied by my, then, young family. Each time I was without a boat. So I haven’t been able to give it a decent enough bash to be able to comment really! I’m sure that your prospects from a boat, either trolling or casting, would be much better as access around the shoreline is quite difficult. Looking today at my fishing guidebooks collection the authors don’t seem to recommend Lake Kaniere.


    It wasn’t all bad… The boaties, the dodgy weather and the crowds.

    First fish for the trip, not overly large but it was in great condition :D

    Smoked up a treat and tasted great too.



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