We’re rapidly approaching the start of another fabulous fly fishing season here in New Zealand. With just over two months to go it’s already looking promising.
We’ve had this report in from one of our guides who works the rivers of the central South Island.
He’s heard from a few sources that, “The signs look good for a bumper mast year again this year. In a mast year beech forests (native New Zealand beech, that is) produce a higher than normal amount of seeds. Beech seed provides good food for mice so they can breed prolifically. Mice and rats looking for food sources or potential mates cross rivers and lakes at night, falling prey to waiting trout. This phenomenon normally occurs in 4-5 year cycles. Local anglers are already reporting seeing larger than normal quantities of pollen, which is an indicator of a good beech mast. Many are also reporting seeing substantial quantities of beech seed falling on the banks of our local rivers.
“Nothing gets anglers more enthused than the prediction of a bumper beech mast. Next season is shaping up to make that a reality for anglers who enjoy fishing for the aggressive, mouse-fat trout that the bumper mast creates. Trout typically increase in size by 20 to 30 per cent when feeding on mice. During a mast season there are some very large double figure trophy trout in the rivers and streams of the West Coast and Canterbury High Country beech forests.”
Interestingly, two of the last three years have also seen a high mast count in the New Zealand bush, creating trout of extraordinary sizes. Unfortunately, trout fishermen are the only ones to gain from this phenomenon as any increase in pests such as mice or rats only has a detrimental effect on the local wildlife. Neither rats nor mice are native to New Zealand and their liking for eggs and young birds has a devastating effect on the local native birdlife. A number of New Zealand’s native birds are flightless and nest on the ground. Others nest happily in low trees, having evolved through millennia of living in a country with no predatory animals. So, in the long run, the trout are doing us all a favour by eating these millions of mice.
So, with the possibility of another bumper year in the trout fishing arena in New Zealand we suggest you get your lodges and guides booked now.
(C) by Sue Farley 2016 New Zealand Fishing Lodges