I trust you all had a great, safe Christmas and a happy New Year. I also hope you managed some fishing over the festive season.
There have been plenty of anglers out and about and when the lake has been calm enough to fish, boaties have been given it heaps. The Brown trout have started to move, however not in the numbers I would have expected. Time will tell on this and it can happen pretty quick. One moment the rivers seem bare, then the next day it’s loaded. They are like Rainbows and will move in as a “run” when the conditions have been favorable. I have had some unbelievable fishing trips when it comes to Brown trout in Taupo. Sometimes it is a hit a cast in the rips, when both Browns and Rainbows are present. At times they hang off the back but will move in as a group, the action can be ridiculous. At other times a good long cast with a Black Woolly Bugger will see you hooked into an 8 pound bunch of solidness and grunt. Having one of these peel line off, is what most anglers yearn for. If you are lucky enough to encounter a fresh Run into the rivers and they are taking, (whether by Dry, Nymph or Wet Fly) then you will understand what this experience is like, on the yippy Scale! I’m always excited to see a Brown Trout on the end of my line, they are different in all aspects of the Rainbow. If you are ever going to take a Brown Trout then please choose wisely. Their flesh is not as firm as the Rainbows and unless they are fat and healthy, (almost Silver) then taking them can be a risk when it comes to eating them. I have heard the saying many times, Brown Trout taste horrible, Its probably because it wasn’t a good eating fish to start with! However when you get a good Brown Trout, then the flesh is really nice and a slow smoking can make it delicious. The secret is not getting carried away with the moment, but choosing the right fish!
I fished the Waitahanui a few times over the week and found it to have a lack of good trout throughout. There are plenty of Small trout in the system and these are very obliging to taking a Dry off the surface. I walked a section with my Daughter and had plenty of fun hooking 1 pounders. We would have caught more, however my goal was to get Alana fishing using a dry and so applying a dropper would have been a bit mean. However when it was “Daddy’s” turn,I put one on with a small Tungsten and picked up fish consistently. That is until I was forced to give the rod back I walked to the limit pool with a friend yesterday and saw nothing above Gordon Williams. I was quite surprised with that, maybe I didn’t look hard enough, its pretty “Bushy” in there. There was plenty of flow coming down, as the hills had good rain Saturday and Sunday. The River is in awesome condition and has been fun to fish. The numbers of good trout in the Waitahanui can change quickly, so keeping an eye on this over summer is a good option.
I have fished the Tongariro twice since Christmas day and both times it had good numbers of trout in there. The last time I went down the end of Grace Rd. Wow that part of the river has changed, again, Sob sob! It had a recreational release, last Sunday and im looking forward to having a fish in it again soon. Its pick of the week for the rivers that’s for sure. I have some droppers that I can’t wait to give a try for the Tongariro and the only way to know for sure, is to try them myself. Hey its a dirty job but I’ll grin and bear it. However a nice spell of fine weather wouldn’t go a miss now. You farmers have had your share by now I want heat and fine days, you can have the rain back in April.
Talking of the weather it has really kept myself and Alex on our toes. If its not the rain blowing whole sections of NZ out, it the hideous #$%@ wind and more than often it both at once. These back Country rivers can be a fly fisherman’s happy dream, come true but they need heat and Sunshine. Me personally I hate the wind. With rain you can get in quick and fish a section of river before it becomes unfishable or even choose a spring fed river, less likely to colour up. With Wind however there is very little escape, there is nothing more frustrating than having your cast blow back onto you while attempting to lay out a good cast. It can ruin a day even before it starts. So once our New Zealand climate decides to get into Summer mode, the fishing will be awesome. I should have been out today but the river I wanted to fish is a bit sketchy when reading the flow charts. So I will have a “catch up on things day”, (like Fishing Reports), re group, then hit them hard when the weather behaves itself. At least the Cicadas are still chirping happily, I like cicadas.
The trout coming out of the lake are in great condition. I have been smoking a few for clients, word got out and it kept me busy for a few days, (while the weather lasted). Some of these trout were solid four pounders with great flesh. They really release their oils when smoked correctly and are wonderful to eat and cook with. I firmly believe the trout coming out of the lake over Summer are a direct representation of the Winter Run, so things are looking positive for that part of the fishery.
Be Safe, happy fishing. Tight lines all