Ruahihi Canal nightime trout

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    Posted: 30 Oct 2022 at 10:20pm
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Hi guys and girls,

I've recently moved to Tauranga and really want to learn how to catch trout in the Ruahihi Canal near McLarens Falls.

I'm caught many fish flyfishing in the Tauranga-Taupo and Hinemaiaia rivers, but the Ruahihi is proving difficult.

With work/kids, my only opportunities are at nighttime after the kids are in bed (8pm-ish).

The one early morning opportunity I got, I had a massive rainbow smash my veltic spinner and break it off at first strike (note to self: loosen the drag!). This gave me heart that I could trigger a bite during daylight hours.

But after multiple night time (pitch darkness) attempts from the Gunga Lane end I haven't been able to trigger even a nibble. I've tried:
- lumo paddletails
- veltic spinners
- wooly buggers (black with lumo tail streaks)

I'm using an 8lb fluorocarbon leader (2m long) with a softbait/spinning rod. Varying techniques i.e. fast/slow/stuttered retrieve. No love from the fishies though.

Can anyone offer any tips for night fishing on the Ruahihi Canal? I don't know what I'm doing wrong...
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Uncle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2022 at 9:49am
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Hi James
It's been a few years since I fished the Ruahihi canal so things may have changed.
Eastern Region F & G release substantial numbers of fish into the lake & canal every year so there are plenty to be had.
As the weather warm up, early evening ( dusk),on a calm night, the brown beetles hatch from the gaps between the tiles.
Also most other flying insects emerge so there can be a prolific hatch.
I'd think fishing deep, under the  rising fish with soft plastics & spinners would be a bit like pushing **** uphill with a fork, lol.

If your Taupo fly fishing gear is reasonably light ( #6 or less) maybe try a dry fly approach.

During the day, walking upstream, you will see many fish within a couple of meters of the bank.
They are catchable but require a stealthy approach as casting from the top of the tiles means the fish's peripheral vision will be keeping an eye on you.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Scarletmanuka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2022 at 10:34am
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Awesome thanks Uncle, great insight. I have the right gear for dry fly fishing so will give it a crack next time I get an opportunity.

Much appreciated!

Will report back with any trout I manage to land.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Downtown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2022 at 10:53am
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Hi,

I've done a fair bit of fishing there over the last few years, mostly early morning but do the odd arvo into nighttime sessions. I feel it is really one of those places where you need to put in the time to get the results. The flow can be pretty quick so up your jighead weight and fish as close to the bottom as possible and fish as slow as you can with paddle tails. Wolly buggers with split shot go well so i started tying wooly bugger variations on jigheads which go pretty nicely. The lake is nice to fish too.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Reel Deal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2022 at 5:36pm
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that looks deadly Downtown!

The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Scarletmanuka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2022 at 9:33am
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Some nice fish there Downtown - and that's a tidy Woolly Bugger. Great advice, thanks. It'll likely be a few weeks until I'm able to head up there, but when I do I'll try yours and Uncle's tactics and will report back with any successes.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Mossy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 2022 at 8:16pm
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It's been a couple of years now, but I used to fish the canal reasonably frequently, usually in Winter and always at the evening change of light. Most fish were caught just after dark.

I only ever used imitation baby brown trout paddletail softies painted with a UV pen on a 5g jig head, cast from an ultralight spinning setup. I'd typically cast as far as I could to the other side of the canal, let it sink for a few seconds then do a twitchy retrieve at various slowish speeds. 

My normal possie would be on the left bank, just downstream of the artificial spawning redd, only a few hundred metres from the entrance gate. Most takes from memory were practically at my feet, or sometimes just a metre or two from shore.

I've caught some lovely fish there - mostly browns - with the biggest being an 8lb hog rainbow.

It's an awesome spot on a still evening and I usually call it quits when I can hear rats scurrying about the bushes. I'm a bit rat-phobic.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Scarletmanuka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2022 at 12:53pm
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Thanks Mossy, that's some awesome, specific information that I can try. Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Scarletmanuka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 2022 at 3:53pm
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Hi all,

Thanks again for all your advice...

I’ve managed to be pretty successful in my evening trips up to the Ruahihi Canal. I’ve experimented with all sorts of lure/flies/softbaits and have now caught 4 trout – most smallish, but one decent Brown of approx 4.5lbs.

Given I’m fishing as the sun sets, in limited light, with murky-ish water (given the HUGE amount of rain we’ve had recently) I’ve found darker colours that create quite a bit of disturbance in the water to be successful. Slow, twitchy retrieves seem to be the ticket.

 

I’ve caught my fish on 1) a gold Rapala bibbed minnow 2) a olive/brown Tokoroa Chicken 3) a Black Magic Spinmax lure – Rainbow colourings and 4) my own homemade Wooly Bugger with a lumo bead on a 1/20oz jighead.

I’ll keep experimenting with different techniques and will let you know how I get on.

Thanks so much for your awesome advice! You’ve helped me get amongst the fish!

Cheers,

James



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Uncle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 2022 at 4:01pm
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Seeing the pic of Mossey's "hog" rainbow reminded me that Eastern Fish & Game released some big buggars that they didn't have room for at the hatchery.
I can't remember the numbers but there were plenty of them.
I think that would have been about 3 years ago.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Scarletmanuka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 2022 at 5:15pm
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Sounds good...I took my daughter for a bike ride along the canal a few weekends ago and there were some MASSIVE specimens cruising in the shallow edges of the canal
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