The New Zealand fly fishing season is fast approaching, and with a little over two months to go to the opening it is already looking promising. A recent report has come in from one of the guides who works the rivers of the central South Island.
He says, “The signs look good for a bumper mast year again this year. In a mast year beech forests (native New Zealand beech) produce a higher than normal amount of seeds. The seeds provide 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 hungry 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 the 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 beech forest of West Coast and Canterbury High Country streams and waters.”
Whilst the phenomenon generally occurs every 4-5 years, 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 and anglers are the only ones to gain from this phenomenon as any increase in pests such as mice or rats has a detrimental effect on the local wildlife. Neither 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 the native birds are flightless and nest on the ground and 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.
With the possibility of another mouse year and the chance of catching that fish of a lifetime, now is the time to book your New Zealand adventure.
New Zealand; How, Where and Why? Read more HERE.
For more information on New Zealand fishing and non-fishing packages please contact Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.