The upper sections of the Taupo Tribs opened up on the 1st of Decemeber. I love the Hinemaiaia and so this will be one of my regular haunts for the next few weeks. If you like small weight rods then go in there with a 5# and have a blast with small Naturals, heaps of fun and there are still some very good trout up there.
The Upper Tauranga Taupo is meant to be a beautiful place, (I have not fished there, YET!). You can walk in from Kiko Rd but apparently getting down to the river can be tricky!! Full of fish though and from what I have told of it, well worth the effort.
Rafting the upper Tongariro is a heap of fun as well. There are some very experienced rafting guides available and this is a great way to get into remote fishing areas. For that matter most of the large rivers in the area can be rafted and fished from. I know the Mohaka has some excellent fishing water that can only be accessed by raft. Great present for Christmas from the family, huh.
More back country and the rivers are still a bit high. We keep getting good rain coming in and flushing them. Some of the rivers are doing better food wise than others and this is shown in the condition of trout. I fished a river the other day where the trout had obviously had a very good winter and they were fat, silver and full of fight. Another river that I sometimes fish, the trout were under nourished and didn’t really fight that hard. As I say with the warmer days hopefully the hatches will make them all fat and feisty!!
If you have never given this back country small rod experience a go, then it should be on your tick list. Pound for pound they would waste a Taupo trout fight wise and with so much water available throughout New Zealand, solitude is a big factor enhancing the experience. You can contact me through this web site for more details and package deals.
Of course the Taupo rivers are still flowing and there are fish in all of them. If I am after a trout for the table then this is the place to take one. The odd Brown trout will start to show up around the Waitahanui and Hinemaiaia Rips. Once you hook one of these big bastards on a wet line on a dark night, then you will realise what the “”Big Deal”” is all about.
Smelting should be starting by now, (infact it used to start in late September, October). I haven’t done enough of this but on a hot summers day with a little breeze on the water, wading the shore trailing twenty feet of floating line in #5, with polarized glasses on, can be great fun. You need the line out as when you spot the trout on the surface you simply water load and one false cast in his direction wait a few seconds then strip the line. Watching a trout change direction and head for your fly, FAST, is rather heart stopping!! I had a brilliant day last year near Hatepe. Some of the smelt patterns from Pat Swift are just mind blowing, something with a small amount of purple flash is deadly at times.
God I could go on forever but then I would sound like Ross and have to shoot myself! If you are ever in Turangi and need accommodation then I fully suggest you try the Tongariro River Motel. As much information on the surrounding area as could ever want, clean tidy modern rooms and neat hosts.
Be safe over Christmas and may Santa bring you all the right toys!
Shane and Lesley French