What Rig to use whilst fishing the Taupo Rivers 09/08/2015

Shane French /

August 9, 2015


Hey all.

The number one question I get asked, since I started guiding and writing for Taupo Fishing is, “what rig should I use for Nymphing”. It is a really good question as it can differ from river to river and obviously the water conditions come into play. The whole Nymphing scene has been a constant learning curve for me, I have changed my rig a number of times over the years and although each one has caught fish, I have certainly refined it to the point I am at now. Probably the one constant in all of this is Leader Length. As I generally cast a bit heavier weight than most, my leader length has always been a bit shorter than most other anglers out there. I believe in getting down to the trout, they are not looking up for their food at this time of the year so getting your nymphs into their zone is really important. This has been proven so many times now it is not a theory anymore but proven fact. I will be fishing a deep piece of water and I might have even taken the odd fish while moving up to the head of the pool or run, then nothing! I will add more weight either in a bigger bomb or crimping on split shot and within a few casts, (normally the first) I will be hooked up again. What has happened is that I have dropped down quicker through the water column and placed my Nymphs in the zone of the trout, where as before they were sailing feet over the top of the trout. Lengthening your leader in this case will not work alone, as it is the issue of weight that is needed. There are generally swirls and up drafts withing the water and a lighter rig is affected by these currents, your weight will get down eventually but it will be at the back of the pool or run and not where the trout have now congregated at the front. In general I am using a leader of 9.5 to 10 feet to my dropper. I then have a short tippet to my point fly of about 10 to 11 inches. Again my thought pattern in all of this is to get the Nymphs down to the trout, if I have a point fly 1.5 feet from my dropper it is just never going to be seen by the trout. This particular rig is perfect for the Waitahanui, Hinemaiaia and smaller streams like the Waiotaka and Waimarino. The only rivers that I will lengthen out my rig will be the Tauranga Taupo, (only sometimes) and more generally the Tongariro. For the latter I will definitely go to a 11 foot leader and maybe give a little more distance from the dropper to the point fly. As the drifts are longer this gives the point fly more chance to be seen and it also gives it more action as it drifts down. I was guiding on the Tongariro last week and had a very capable angler that enjoyed throwing weight. We had done very well because of this fact and pulled trout out behind anglers that had lighter rigs. However in this particular pool we hadn’t had a touch, we knew trout had to be in there, it just looked so fishy and lets face it the Tongariro is full of the buggers! We had been using a shorter leader of about 10 feet but we had been compensating for length by using heavy weight, (split shot). We decided however that the Nymphs were probably not staying in the “Zone” long enough before the fly line started dragging them and making them look un natural. So we dropped the weight and increased the leader length to 12 feet and on the first cast hooked and landed a beautiful 4.5 solid Hen. The trout were not at the head of the pool but were in the tail, the extra length of leader gave it more time to sink and then stay in the zone, because we weren’t worried about getting down fast we didn’t have to cast heavy weight. Trying to cast anything above 4.5 ml of Tungsten with a leader longer than 10 feet is a very difficult task for 80% of anglers. I think the main thing you have to remember is that if the water looks good enough to hold trout and you are not hooking up then you should try something different and not just cast the same rig time and time again.

So we had more rain this week and blew most rivers out. They are dropping now and should hold some good trout. I am guiding most of this week and so I will have a better idea by Wednesday.

Steven added a cool little plug in to my web site with the last update he did. At the bottom of this report page is a forum that you can log into. It is very secure. If you have any comments on my posts or just want to voice your opinion on something then make a post, (after logging on) and we can have a chat.

Tight lines all.