The last couple of weeks has seen the fishing a little patchy and inconsistent around the region but there have still been some good fish landed. The hardened few that have been putting in the hours have still been rewarded.
The lower Ngongotaha is still producing some really good fish for those who are fishing the bottom pools - the river is closed at present from SH5 up. The big storms that have been coming through every week have seen large numbers of rainbows still entering the river system. This time of year, use heavy flies to get down and prospect the bottom. The fish won’t move far to intercept your offering so make sure that your flies are bouncing across the riverbed and pretty much hitting the fish in the nose where they snap out of aggression towards the flies. When the river is dirty just make sure that your flies are visible. This is where globugs will come into their own, if the river is running low and clear, then use more natural patterns but as we speak the river is still slightly coloured and running high.
Lakes Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina have now closed to boat fishing but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the end of angling on these lakes. While numbers of fish at the release points have tailed off, we have still had fly fishers come through the shop with fish weighing in over 8lb so there are still some boppers to be caught. The change of light in the early morning and then as night closes in, and then all the way through to midnight are the most productive times. During the hours of dark, fish a lumo fly with a woolly bugger 50cm behind it.
Lakes Okeraka and Tikitapu (blue lake) are both fishing well. During these heavy rain downpours, Okeraka has been superb nymph fishing straight off the beach. For some reason the fish come on really good once the heavens open up, so take a good raincoat and your waders with fish up to 5lb not uncommon. Tikitapu is still open to boat fishing and will give the angler an opportunity to target brook trout, which are rare in New Zealand. This lake is heavily used for skiing over the summer months and is empty of boats during winter, so you will get to fish in peace and quiet. Fishing can be very good straight off the beach on both sides of the boat ramp. Otherwise, launch the boat and cover the drop-offs and weedbanks with smelt flies and boobies.
Soft-baits fished from the shoreline on Lake Rotoma is a good option this time of year.
Lake Rerewhakaaitu will be starting to heat up. The rain will be great for this lake as it been very low. Homestead arm and through to Gumboot Point will hold fish well and this are is a natural spawning area for the trout. These areas are accessible by boat and on foot with the next month will see the most fish caught. Some people will heave and leave globugs and boobie flies but we have had great success nymphing around the weed banks through these areas.
Last but not least is Rotoma. This lake is very scenic and the water quality is superb, it has needed the extra rain badly as it has been very low for a year now. Lake Rotoma holds tiger trout and is the only fishery in the country to hold these fish so it is well worth going to have a play. We target them with both fly rod and spin gear with soft-baits. We fly fish and soft-bait using very similar tactics. We fish back into the shoreline landing our flies or soft-baits as close to the raupo and weed beds as possible. Vary the retrieval and depth until you locate where the fish are sitting. If you haven’t had a play on Rotoma get out and explore it, it is a wonderful lake that over the winter months you will probably have to yourself.
Hunting & Fishing Rotorua