A day or so before the rain finally fell this week, catch rates in the Ngongotaha, Waiteti and Utuhina streams improved dramatically. Fish apparently had been queuing up off the mouths of these streams and most made a mad dash for the upper reaches of the aforementioned streams just prior and during the rain. Trolling off the Ngongotaha Stream was very successful for one group of anglers who landed in excess of 10 trout and lost many others in a short space of time. Browns are still in the lower stream but have mainly been caught just on dusk or after dark.
Catch rates were reasonably good at the Landing at lake Tarawera last Saturday night as well, with very good conditioned rainbows being caught from the shore. The Angle Jetty also produced fish as did the Orchard Stream, though a few anglers were out in the water too far at times, which kept the fish away from the drop-off. Fresh rainbows continue to move into the Te Wairoa Stream, there is still over a month to go before the official end of the spawning run, but that is not the end of some very good fishing. As the days get longer, so the lakes start to warm up and there will be some great fishing to be had when the smelt move into spawn.
Blue Lake seems to be the stand-out place to fish at the moment, though it is best for fish it after 10pm or before daylight in the morning if you want to get into the larger fish, some of which have been over the three kilo mark. A few fish can be seen cruising off the beach at the boat ramp during the day, but it is after dark when the fishing improves. A floating line, small doll fly and almost any fly that has marabou tied into it has caught well. The Tarawera end of the lake has not fished as well but is still worth a visit if you are in the area. Casting either a fly or spinner from a boat back to the shore or over the weed bed will catch fish as long as there isn’t a lot of boat traffic on this lake.
The northerly wind over the last few days has made for almost perfect fishing conditions at Boyes Beach at Lake Okareka. Fish have moved in close to the shore and can be caught almost anywhere along the beach, though the stream mouth to the right of the beach has fished best. Small doll flies or flies with a 4 mm soft plastic lumo bead that has been pushed onto the head of a fly has taken fish. It doesn’t seem to matter if the retrieve is slow or short and sharp, rainbows seem to like it.
Nymphing below the control gates on the Kaituna River has been successful for some. It is tight casting there with a blackberry laden and high bank behind but worth the effort. Fishing from the control gates, downstream, was great up until the weekend but has slowed a little since then. The olive woolly bugger still fishes well, especially if there is some orange in the tie. A split shot and fly combo also works well there and is useful when there is limited casting room. Large rainbows have been spotted below the road bridge as well, though access is a challenge there due to the steep banks. With the extra rain the gates were open further than usual and this made for hard fishing due to the extra turbulence. As of today (Thursday) the volume has settled back to near normal and fresh rainbows are moving down into this area again. One angler that I know of had a very enjoyable time hooking large fish at the Trout Pool and another reported bering broken off by a decent fish as well in the same area. Some of the stream mouths where they enter the Kaituna River near Paengaroa have fished well, especially those that are spring fed.
The northerly wind has made Ruato Bay quite murkey and hard to fish but it is worth while doing so after dark in these conditions. Once the wind died off and the lake settled Ruato Bay produced some fine specimens after dark as well as change of light during and after the rainood available fr trout, mainly smelt or fry of last week. This bay can fish well right through into October as there always seems to be plenty of food available in the form of smelt and trout fry and trout can often be seen feeding on the surface mid morning on calm days. A floating line and smelt pattern stripped back quickly can be very effective when these fish are actively feeding.