Tough fishing in the Waitahanui, Hinemaiaia and Tauranga Taupo rivers at the moment, we need some rain! So I thought I might wright a bit of an article for you on Rip fishing as if you are smart this is where you will be parking your butt over the next 48 hours.
I was taught the skill of wet lining from my Dad in the Waitahanui river, fishing Delatours and the Bridge pool. Back then it was the only style practiced and if you were lucky enough you would fish with the local hero’s, the Walls and Norcrofts. These guy’s could fish! I still remember my first Waitahanui Trout, a good Hen taken in the Groin Pool on a Green Rabbit. My Dad was fishing the Rip and had sent me to “play” on the straight within sight of him. This poor fish must have been the unluckiest Trout in Taupo as it was HAULED onto the bank with very little finesse or skill.Â I proudly carried it all over the river for the nextÂ few hours. I was hooked, instant addiction, IÂ became a sponge for knowledgeÂ on the topic and would spend hours a day dreaming of my next trip down to the famous Waitahanui River. I was seven!
It didn’t take long before I ventured out into the Rip. For all you readers who don’t know what a rip is, it is where the River enters the lake, forming a rippled effect on the surface. My first few attempts where not perfect by any means, I remember being told to “piss off” at one stage asÂ my casting was somewhatÂ unco-ordinated. back then we wore rubber waders and if you went in with those on it was a sure thing you were going to drown. Now days with Neoprene all you would have to worry about is hypothermia. Drop your rod and paddle to the side of the current, you will not drown!!!
For me the big draw card to Rip fishing is the direct contact you have with your fly. When a Trout hits it is automatically transfered to your rod, instant adrenaline rush! You can be miles away relaxing into the moment and then WHAM you have an angry 5 pound Jack on the end of your line, doing it’s best to make the middle of the lake in record time. For me this is the essence of fly fishing and the one thing that keeps me coming back for more.
Attitudes have changed somewhat in the rips. By far the majority of fisherman are friendly and will happily extend some knowledge onto you. If you don’t have a great cast on you then try and stand more into the current, letting the flow take your line out. Slashing the water surface is still the number one NO NO in rip fishing. Don’t try to out cast yourself, letting the fish come to you is the best option.
I am always being asked what line to use in the rips. There are so many choices out there for anglers. Shooting heads, full sinking lines, intermediate lines and floating lines. My advice is to have a fast sinking line, whether it is a shooting head or full line, (your choice) and a good floating line. With these two lines you can cover all types of rips using different flies. Even in rocky rips like the Hinemaiaia you can use a fast sinker as long as you use a Booby or Heave and Leave style fly. A short trace of Mono filliament will have your fly sitting just off the bottom right where you need it. A floating line will enable you to fish shallow to medium depth water with standard flies like Woolly buggers and smelt flies. If you fish water like Waipahi then a floating line and short trace is essential.Â I use an intermediate line when I am fishing standard flies in the main current and need to get down to the middle water. A fast sinker is to fast and a floater won’t get you down. A good option in this case is to carry the Sinking leaders from Rio, (they are under my test drive page) these are easy to clip onto a floating line and automatically transfer it into a fast sink tip or intermediate tip.
The change of light both ends of the day are best but funny enough the middle of the day also has a bite time. I have many times stepped into the Waitahanui rip at 12.00 pm to have it all to myself and had fantastic fishing for well over an hour. Then for some reason it just goes quiet! Well there ya go I hope this answers a few questions or at least spurs you into giving this form of fishing a go. At best you will have some excellent sport and at worst a relaxing hour listening to the sound of the river push past you into the lake .