Low numbers in Taupo

The Taupo district, like everywhere else in New Zealand, has not been spared the rain and foul weather over the summer.

In fact we haven’t had a summer.

All the rivers have been in flood or in a state of high water from December onwards.

This has meant a total emptying out of all the rivers with very few trout entering them.

To be totally honest, it has been a disastrous start to 2018.

When it comes to the good old Waitahanui, the river, as many of you will know, stays clear when most others run high from the rain.

This is due to the fact it is spring fed and only has two tributaries (one of these is right near the entrance to the lake).

However, it has coloured up twice since December and is running at winter levels.

Normally it gets a good run of rainbows over summer.

These fish enjoy the cold oxygenated water and great insect life to feed on.

Low numbersThis year they have not entered in any numbers and the Rainbow fishing has been hard.

The Brown trout have just started to show up in the river system and they are overdue.

It does mean, however, that you should be hooking browns in the river all the way into July and they do add something special to the catch.

A friend of mine flew a drone over the river mouth the other day and they are stacking up like sardines in a can out there.

Hopefully, by the end of March, we will get one or two good runs of rainbows, signalling the start of the winter runs.

These can be big fish and are in there early to sort out their territory.

The Hinemaiaia was in full spate 14 days ago and has only now come back down to normal summer flows.

They release water from the dam when we get rain like that and the river can really rage for some time.

This will have emptied all the trout that had gone in there over summer to feed on the huge insect hatches this small stream  offers at this time of the year.

In the past I have had fantastic fishing in the evening on the Hine with a size 14 Royal Wolff and my 5# Rod.

Have a look up from the river mouth for the browns that stack up there! The Hinemaiaia gets a right flogging over winter as one or two of the guides in the area hit it hard continuously with clients.

As a guide myself, I understand the importance of getting clients trout but when those anglers come back time and time again, bringing their friends, the river gets a beating and I am waiting for this fishery to take a massive dive in fish numbers.

Trying to get the DOC to reduce the winter fishing limit back down to the State Highway One bridge is like smacking my head on a brick wall.

They can’t see the damage this will do to the fishery.

Like all rivers, the Tauranga Taupo has been up in volume many times over summer.

In fact, it almost broke the record for high water at one stage, going well over two meters.

I had a really good look there recently as the river was dropping.

Some of the pools from last year have been flattened and are six inches deep, while other parts of the river have opened up and will hold trout over winter.

I love the TT over the summer months and although the trout can be a bit spooky, it is good fun spotting them and casting over the top.

But it’s a different beast this summer.

The tracks have had to be recut numerous times as they get closer to the pine trees on the True Left.

I am looking forward to fishing the Tauranga Taupo over the winter months, as I believe the fish fight the hardest from this piece of water and the runs and pools are divine to cast into.

Mighty TongariroAs for the Mighty Tongariro, all I can say about this river is damn! There were fish everywhere over December - you couldn’t miss.

In fact, I had my best day ever on this river in late December, and I lost count of the hook ups.

Most of the fish were fresh silver run fatties.

Then we had a flood that shot the level up to 700 M3/sec, (normal flow is 25 M3/sec) and boom - all the trout disappeared overnight.

Standing on the Major Jones bridge the sound of the boulders smashing down the river was scary to behold and it is no wonder the trout high tailed it back out to the lake.

The browns have just started to show up but not in any great numbers yet.

I have fished this river a few times since the flood and have really struggled to hook up! Out on the lake I have had some good reports from the lake itself, and with all the rivers being empty I would like to think they are all out there getting ready to run over winter.

All the methods seem to be taking fish, and if you can find where the smelt are, then you are sure to have fun.

That seems to be the key at the moment.

I am very sorry for the negative report - I would have loved to have given you positive news, however that is fishing.

Hopefully we will have a brilliant winter, on the back of an excellent one last year.

This will kick-off very soon, and by the time I report for this magazine again, I hope to have a more positive outlook.

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nzTight lines and be safe on the water.


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