Well we are in the final two recognized months of the Taupo Winter season. Overall the season has been up from previous years with the vast majority of Trout in good condition and slightly up in their weight. This was my biggest concern as if they aren’t getting good tucker out in the lake then there is certainly a huge problem. This doesn’t seem to be the case . I am looking forward to catching a few of those released trout in the next few years and hopefully DOC will carry this on until numbers are high again. In my opinion we are still down in trout numbers somewhat.
I have been hanging out for a good Westerly Blow for months now, so that the Waitahanui River could fire. As it was the trout were trickling in but in no way would you call them running. Tuesday saw the Westerly come in and immediately the trout followed. I expected a few more in the river and they seemed to disappear pretty damn fast too once in the river but they are in there. Some of these fish are in pretty good shape too. A long standing client, (and now friend) of mine dropped off a few trout for smoking this week from the Nui and they were all fat red fleshed healthy specimens, it was really good to see. On Tuesday I was up early and shot into the cliff pool area. I hooked up into a very nice 4 pound Hen, walked it down to the landing area in front of the pines and while surfing it up onto the bank managed to snap my 6# half a foot above the first join. Teach me to use a twig on the Nui. Grumbling away to myself I went back to the same piece of water and with considerable effort lobbed out my Glowie again. That cast saw me hooked up onto the Jack that was following the hen around. I then went home
The Hinemaiaia has had a fantastic Season and was , (still is) the river to be on. I’ve tried not to say too much about the Hine as I know a few people who fish this religiously and when they give me the reports they ask me not to tell. It is sort of like a kid in a candy shop looking and not being able to buy. The runs through the Hine have started to slow down now however. The rip is the worst I have seen it for years. Its like a delta. Certainly a floating line is needed there. Next year will be interesting on the Hine as it will be three years that the upper section has been opened.
I didn’t do as much on the Tauranga Taupo as I would have liked. When I did want to fish it either my knee was playing up or there were a billion cars in the car park. I believe it has had some decent runs however the times I have fished it, I thought it was not so hot!! It has certainly had some catastrophic floods go through in the previous years and this will affect the spawning beds.
The Waimarino. This is being poached heavily. Fish numbers were down in a HUGE way, add to that the whole river got turned over and the end result is a really bad season. For me the Waimarino was a disaster this year There are one or two pools worth a look but in general it was very disappointing. The trout I did take from here were in excellent condition.
The Waiotaka. I have a few friends that tackle this trickle of a stream and they have had some good days on here. It isn’t for everyone and the style of fishing needed is different than most other streams/ rivers in Taupo.
I fished the Tongariro last Friday with a friend. We did the Red Hut beat up to Cliff pool. I had heard that most of the Trout were sitting in and around the town pools but wanted to get away from the general crowds and I love fishing Cliff pool, so that was the plan. Yeah it was the wrong plan. There were very few trout up there. Alex and I fished Boulder reach HARD, (two others on the true left as well) and never got a touch. Cliff pool is a mess!!! the big flood this year changed the angle of entry for the pool and it is now a big swirling mess. It is shallow as hell in the tail and we never saw a trout in there. I picked up one smallish spawned out Jack in the pool above, (can’t remember name sorry) and that was it. My knee played up on the way back and so we left it at a half day outing. There are certainly numbers of trout in the Tongariro. They have had some decent runs go through over the past month. The Bridge pool has been getting a flogging!! I went down there a few weeks ago to drop some trout off to a couple of clients and on passing the Bridgel there were 18 people fishing that area. Gaaaahhhhh is all I can say to that. Is that what it is all about huh guys, each to their own however. That is until I take you somewhere no other angler has been for ages and then you will appreciated what trout fishing is all about!
So for me the Winter guiding season has been a non event because of my knee. However I have been out there doing it myself, in preparation for summer. I have caught some excellent trout this season and because the trout are healthy and in general, have been all season, I have high confidence that next year will be just that little bit better. Add to this, DOC are getting their act together on some issues and I can see things improving within our fabulous fishery.
Tight lines all.