Brian Willson, professional guide, 021667867, brings us his weekly fly fishing report from Turangi for the Central North Island lakes and rivers.
Hello again fellow fly fishers,
Once again the quality of the fishing and fish does not disappoint this last week in the central plateau. I trust now everybody reading this report have their new fishing licenses and are geared up ready to take on the winter runs we are now experiencing.
Since the last report, there has not been a lot of rain and the fishing slowed down a little bit but we did have a good dousing on Tuesday that freshened all the rivers up a bit.
I elected to have a look at the Hinemaiaia River on Wednesday, just after the rain.
On arrival I found the river to be running at what I would call a low to medium level with a tinge of colour, good conditions. I also found, much to my surprise, not too many anglers.
The day was very pleasant and it wasn’t long before I was hooked up to a reasonable rainbow followed shortly by another. Clear drift eggs were doing the job and as the morning was progressing, the fish were getting bigger. Of course, there is a trade-off when this happens and that is some big fish were starting to get the better of me and finding their freedom.
The Hinemaiaia River reminds me a lot of the Whakapapa River. While the rivers are not similar in nature, the Whakapapa being a big river whilst the Hinemaiaia is considerably smaller, they do both hold large trout that fight hard and when they decide to run, often they cannot be followed so holding on and hoping they behave to a degree becomes the strategy.
I was to lose a couple of fish to snags and another one when the clear drift egg broke off, ( my fault, I didn’t check my line on the previous fish I had landed, a good solid Jack that had had its sharp teeth around my leader. I was too eager to get my line back out there. That’s the joy of fishing. It can trip you up at any moment.
I was having good, consistent action, however, and by the sounds of things, a few anglers (of which had grown in number now), we’re catching a few as well.
The Hinemaiaia is a great river in the winter and is unusual in a lot of ways. For all the years I have been fishing it I have never caught a brownie in it nor have I seen or heard of one caught. I ran into Didymo Dave who is very knowledgeable about this river and put this to him and he informed me that only one brown trout, a hen, has made it to the traps upstream just below the dam in the time he has been monitoring them.
Also, the biggest fish in the traps was about 6 lb. This tells me that several fish must spawn well before the traps because I have caught several trout in this river well in excess of 6 pounds.
I would conclude as browns are quite commonly caught at the mouth of this river in the Autumn, they possibly enter and spawn only a short distance from the mouth before returning to the lake. Rainbows go up a bit further but not all make the traps. This is why it is so important that if you enter this river that you take care not to disturb the spawning redds.
Further south I inspected the Waiotaka River and noted a number of large browns resting underneath the willows. One of the photos shows one of these large browns. Can you see it. The Waiotaka is similar in nature to the Hinemaiaia though smaller but seems to hold its fair share of browns. Why is this?
The Tauranga Taupo River and Tongariro River are both fishing steady and will peak again soon as rain is forecast in the next few days. Exciting fishing to come!
The ILFF shop on Turangi remains busy and I appreciate the custom. We are here to please and give advice when and if needed so don’t hesitate to contact me about anything fishing. I will do my best to accommodate you and assure you will get top-class service.
Until next time,
NZPFGA member. I Love Fly Fishing Turangi Partner Store Location