Rotorua Fly Fishing report - 23rd December 2011
The constantly strong south earlier in the week, coupled with cold rain did nothing to encourage many anglers to go fishing. The few boat based anglers that did venture out had trouble finding a large enough sheltered area to try trolling or harling in. An almost two degree drop in the water temperature of Lake Rotorua allowed the few fish that were basking in the cooler temperatures off the mouths of Hamurana and the Awahou to return to deeper water in their hunt for food. Prior to the cold snap there were fish rising to caddis and green beetle off both of these mouths, though both insect species outnumbered the fish by a very large margin. The majority of the fish that usually come into these mouths were out by the drop-off into deeper water, judging by the number of fish being caught by one boat that was trolling off Hamurana.
With a couple of days of hot weather over the past couple of days Lake Rotorua’s surface water temperature hit 21.5 degrees C, though in the depths of the lake the temperature stubbornly refused to get much above 17.8 degrees C. The weather forecast is not the best for Thursday, Friday and Saturday but the lake temperature will continue to rise, albeit slowly.
For those who would like to sharpen up their boat fishing skills, Eastern Fish and Game are holding a free boating seminar at Stony Point, Lake Tarawera on January 7th 2012. The action starts at 10am and will cover topics such as thermoclines, lure selection, trout food and life cycle and the added bonus of learning to bone and cook your fish. The best part of all this is that you don’t need to book, just bring a chair and an open mind.
A good run of fish moved into both the Waiteti and Ngongotaha streams over the weekend, though most moved through the lower reaches fairly quickly. Prior to the Ngongotaha Stream discolouring, some nice brown trout were caught by spinning from the reserve at Streamdale Road. Both veltics and zed spinners seemed to the favoured lures. As usual there was a good run of brown trout into the Ngongotaha and Waiteti Stream mouths in late November with a significant number of these fish being in excess of 4.5 kg. The run of browns will continue into January and most of February so there are still plenty of chances to catch trophy browns in either of these two streams.
A few fish are hanging around the Okere Falls Arm with the drop in water temperature though they are proving a bit of a challenge during the day. With the water being reasonably discoloured the use of olive or brown flies should pick up a trout or two. Using doll flies after dark is an almost sure bet as they can be seen a lot easier as they swing across the reasonably swift current above the control gates. Once the temperature of the water flowing out of lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua consistently reaches 18 degrees C there will be huge numbers of insects hatching in this area. There is enough residual light from the street lights to allow for some great dry fly fishing to be had after dark although most of the fish will be under one kilo in weight. It is still great practice if you haven’t done much dry fly fishing.
Fresh rainbows have moved up into the Utuhina as well, though most of them seem to be small spawning fish. The browns that have moved in are large, in very good condition and quite willing to take a fly most of the time.
Most of the outlying streams have been out of action for a couple of days but have cleared enough to fish. Caddis, mayflies, green and brown beetle and cicada are hatching, providing plenty of options when fishing these streams. Take a selection of dry flies as well as nymphs as well as wet flies to cover any eventuality. A combination of dry fly and a small nymph slung about 30 cm under it is a great way to see what trout are after on any given day from now to the end of summer.
Catch rates have decreased somewhat from Lake Tarawera, though early morning and late afternoon fishing has been better than during the middle part of the day. The fish in this lake are still in top condition and should get even better as the summer progresses.