New Trout Season Starts 1 October 2022 By Tom Fraser

The days are getting longer and it’s not long until we kick off another freshwater season. Nights spent huddled around the fire reliving last season’s memories while the southerly roars outside are almost at an end. As winter stretches into spring and trips to tackle stores increase, it’s time to prepare for October 1.

Late winter and September in particular, is a good time to pursue an option that surprisingly few anglers take advantage of. It is an option that will benefit you, come the new season. This is the ideal time of the year to explore new water. How often do we or our friends say something to the effect of, “I wish I’d fished X River last season…” Well, now is the perfect time to check them out.

Few things are more appealing than walking a river or around a high country lake or tarn, simply getting acquainted with the water, and where potential hot spots are. Likewise, it will mean that come the following season you will spend less time trying to even find the water, that in the past you have only heard about. As the snow and ice recede, the opportunities to get out and about rapidly increase.

Some past experiences keep me from saying that the worst day in the backcountry is better than the best day in the city. However, a fine spring day spent in the mountains is something to remember. Just recently, my father and I and our lab pup left a miserable foggy Christchurch morning to find the high country bathed in glorious sunlight. Lake Marymere trout fishing.

We spent a memorable day walking and exploring some new water, and know that this will be of great advantage in the future. Never one to leave my camera at home, it was also a good opportunity for some wildlife photography, with an abundance of mallards, scaups, parries and hares about. The memory of that day is even stronger now because our return to town was met by the same depressing fog that we had been lucky enough to escape.

My mountain bike gets a good workout in winter and spring, as it’s often the most practical way to see new water or re-visit favourite spots. I have spent several days this winter with friends on bikes and in the snow and ice. It is good fun as well as a good way to get fit! If time allows, a weekend away will see you cover a surprisingly large area.

Visit the local library and look at topographical maps of an area you wish to explore and then head in that direction. I have done this on numerous weekends this past winter, grabbed my pack and rifle and walked a number of rivers. If you’re a hunter, it’s also a great opportunity to bag a deer or chamois, as they start to move around and enjoy the new spring growth.

As well as doing some exploratory trips, now is the time to do other preparatory work before October 1. It is a good opportunity to introduce yourself to the farmers, across whose land you may wish to travel. Similarly, drop a note of thanks to those whose generosity allowed you to access your favourite spots. If possible, even offer a free day’s labour, with lambing underway it may be gratefully accepted. Common courtesy goes a long way!

Every angler spends a large amount of time checking and re-checking gear at this time of the year. Rods are assembled and reels are attached. Before long we find ourselves in the backyard or local park, becoming re-acquainted with the sweet harmony between rod, reel and line. It’s not long before we wish the yard was larger. Purchase your new trout season fishing licence during September and be ready for a whole year of excitement. Keep a diary of every fishing trip, even if you just jot down a few details along with the date. As the years go by you will build up a considerable store of valuable knowledge.

So while you sit in the warmth and listen to one of winter’s last southerly blasts outside, give some thought to how you can provide yourself with more opportunities come October 1. Do some exploring. It’s interesting and ultimately it’s rewarding. The beginning of the new trout season is always a time of hope and expectation.

You can if you wish purchase your Fish & Game NZ freshwater fishing online.

This post was last modified on 15/03/2024 12:27 am

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