I had some personal stuff go down before Christmas and unfortunately it affected my ability to write I do apologize, as I should not have let it go this long, many of you are long time readers and rely on these types of reports to keep you going. I was asked in one email just recently if the Locals at the Waitahanui had finally got me with a rock!
So what has been happening out on the water?
Summer has been wet, really wet! (What!!! – Shane should visit parched Turangi more often) This is great for the farmers and for the fire situation around the Central North, however at times it has proven a problem to get onto water that wasn’t up in volume somewhat. At one stage a few weeks back I had to get into the top part of a river system to avoid the extra flow the night before’s rain had created, if you didn’t have the ability to do that then it was a fish-less day!! The last two summers have been dry and hot from early January on wards. However apart from complaining about high water levels, the rain, (and then hot hot Sun) has made for a bumper Cicada season. The ground temperature has stayed warm from November onward with no frosts, the rain has softened the ground for the Cicadas to get free of and Viola, one of the best Cicada seasons I have ever paid attention to. These big green (blind) morsels for my trout, have been flying around and bumping into me in their millions, for a good month now. I have just spent two nights in the back of beyond fishing a magic River System, they were deafening at times and the trout had obviously been hitting these, as I took over 40 fish for 10 hours fishing. The trout are now fully honed into anything hitting the water surface and because of that I am having a blast everywhere on big happy dry’s.
This particular style of fly fishing seems to be the one most anglers leave till last in their Fly Fishing Carers. Many believe it to be the hardest and I have certainly heard it refereed to as the purist form of fly fishing. I believe it to be the “easiest” form out there to cast, because of the lack of weight required to cast. This means even a beginner can pick up 15 feet of main line from the water, without struggling like they would with weighted Nymphs. As long as you pause at 2.00 o’clock on your back cast to let the line straighten out and load the rod, then casting and placement become much easier than with Nymphs and an indicator. Using a Mono tapered leader is highly recommended for clean presentation and distance when casting. I hear all these horror stories of needing 15 to 17 foot leaders, (mainly from the South island) OMG what a horrendous mission. To be fair some of those fish down there are monstrous and have probably seen their fair share of dry flies go above them, so maybe it is necessary. However up North our fish are obviously way more relaxed and I use a max length of leader, being 8 to 10 feet long. This means I can “slap” it down on the water and get the attention of the trout. Nothing better than seeing a trout rise up and engulf a dry. Instant adrenaline rush!!
The good old Nymphing rig is still working however. The guy I fished with this week when I went back country, used a standard nymphing rig and he pulled trout from water I had just drifted my dry over. If I am fishing by myself and really taking my time on the pools and runs, then I will swap my rig over from a dry to a nymphing rig on the deep water, especially if there is structure for the trout to hide behind. Many times all that is needed, is for a 3 foot dropper to be applied to the dry and whack, you are in. The trout obviously wasn’t feeding from the surface but was happy to rise up for a slightly weighted nymph. The point is, sometimes using both methods can be lethal. It also makes you feel very pro deceiving a trout that otherwise would not have been caught
So whats up with the rivers.
I may not have fished the Waitahanui too many times over the past 6 months but I have followed the reports and many of my fishing friends still go in there on a regular basis. it had a slow start to the Brown trout runs this year but now has numbers in there. have a look at the lower section with Polaroids on and spot the rainbows as well. the Rip has looked super strong at times and is flowing in a good direction. There are a few recovering fish hanging around the rips over the start of summer and I saw a few being landed at the Waitahanui in this time. I don’t think there is any reason to flinch at the skinny, silver little buggers that “have” come out, as the smelting season was great. This hopefully just means there were more recovering fish in the system, (due to a great last winter) and these guys were just needing a good feed. From Now until the end of March is when I will be looking for size and condition increases, for the running trout, just around the corner. The Rips can be a great tool in deciding what the forthcoming season will be like.
The Hinemaiaia had a terrible, upper opening day, once again!! All the water that used to hold recovering, (and still spawning ) trout, was pretty barren. This is due to it being fished throughout the season. How many 1000’s of trout wont get back into the lake because of this situation. This can’t go on guys without it declining at some stage.
I haven’t dragged my butt up the Tauranga Taupo as promised, this Summer. However I do believe today may be the day. I bought my girls a 8 foot 6, 5# from Rod and Tackle the other day and they are cracking their necks to have a flick. There are certain little runs on the TT that will hold trout in all sizes and lets face it, a moth would give this Rod a bend in it. We had some rain last week and it will have pushed a few fish into it. I intend to take our time looking and maybe use a dropper just behind the Dry. The head of the runs will hopefully hold a few.
I have spent some time down on the Tongariro. Personally I have been a bit disappointed over the number of fish in the lower section, even though at times it has held them. Hopefully it is just a late start. I did speak to couple of neat guys on the Hydro the other day. One of the boys was landing a really fat silver fish and so I walked down to say hello. They had been having a blast over the week with quite a few landed. The Tongariro has certainly had its busy days with anglers, getting a spot by yourself was difficult at times.
I have been asked now many times what I think about the silver Carp farm going ahead in Taupo. My main concern is the “Lack of Brains” many high ranking individuals who make these decisions, have! They should be sacked immediately. This is all over money, not the welfare of the New Zealand fishery. Did we not learn that introducing trout killed off a food supply, how many times have we heard that saying? The carp will get released, (somehow) into the lake and if it happens over summer when the water is warmer, they will breed and or acclimatize over the cooling period and then become established. Every country in the world who have this fish, are spending Millions in research to eradicate it. it has devastated waterways around the world, and DOC allow it to go ahead. Wouldn’t want to be you if something goes wrong and Taupo suffers because of it.
My plan for this season is to get you the most up to date reports I can. I have the tech now. I will be running a regular guiding discount for a full day, on any Taupo river, as of the beginning of March. This will be a week day, probably a Friday. I will confirm the price shortly. I look forward to bringing you regular updates about the fishery in 2016.