Rotorua Fly Fishing Report - 23rd March 2012

By Rene Vaz 03/23/2012

Lake Okareka provided some much needed positive reinforcement for anglers over the past week as great conditioned rainbows were caught from the shore at Boyes Beach. While some of the fish caught had been eating smelt, the vast majority had been feeding on freshwater snails and fairly large ones at that. All fish caught had beautiful orange flesh, so nice in fact that they could have passed for farmed salmon and used for sashimi. Both damsel and dragonflies were busy laying the last few eggs of the season with a few being taken by trout as they touched the surface. The nor-east wind on Sunday provided the best conditions for fishing at this beach as well as from the DoC camp further along Mitchell Road.

The wind didn’t make for easy fishing at Rangiuru Bay at Lake Tarawera but was quite helpful around Stony Point as it created a current line and a bit of a backwater towards the boat ramp where the occasional fish could be seen taking smelt off the surface as well as bees and wasps. Fishing after dark should be fairly successful at Stony Point if the nor-east wind returns anytime soon.

Fish continue to be caught at Lake Rerewhakaaitu, even with the lack of easy access to shoreline fishing. Casting over the weed bed from a drifting boat has been successful when using size 10 or 12 smelt patterns or any sized snail pattern. When fishing snails it is best to allow this pattern to drift in the current as they don’t have any way of propelling themselves along and go wherever the current takes them. The large amount of rain that we got in the early part of the week will only make matters more challenging if trying to fish from the shore but it is still well worth the attempt as fish cruise over the weed beds close into shore. Dragonflies are still hatching and flying around on a lee-shore so try using a dragonfly nymph, especially when there are reed beds within easy casting distance.

Lake Ngapouri is fishing well from around the boat ramp, which is really the only easily accessible part of the lake from the shore. There is room for two or three rods only, less if there is a strong south-westerly wind. Size 6 black or olive woolly buggers seem to fish best in this lake, though large nymphs also fish well when set about 30cm under the surface.

Lake Okataina continues to provide some great fishing with rainbows around the 2.5 to 4.6 kilo mark being caught. Most have been caught from boats but there is always the chance of picking up good sized fish from the shore, even with the lake level so high. The main challenge is finding somewhere where there is enough room to get a decent back cast in, though casting along the shore is an option.

Brown trout continue to be caught in Rotorua Lake’s tributaries, with the Ngongotaha and Utuhina being the stand-out fisheries at the moment. Once the flooding subsides and there is a huge amount of water coming down the stream at the moment, there should be plenty of reasonable sized rainbows spawning in the Utuhina and Ngongotaha streams as some are certain to run the river with the extra water.

A few large rainbows have been spotted feeding freely in Okere Falls Arm over the past weekend with some even attempting to take swallows in mid-air when they are flying close to the surface. Most of the rainbows being caught in this area are around the one to one and a half kilo mark, but even so put up a good fight in the strong current. Size eight grey ghost and size six pearl bodied ginger micks have caught fish, though I suspect that an olive woolly bugger will do just as well. Spin fishing with unscented soft baits has been successful from the area around the control gates and has resulted in catching larger fish than fly fishing has. Cicadas are still singing away as the air temperature is still above 18 degrees and mayflies can be seen floating on the surface of the water throughout the day. Fishing this area is best done early morning or late in the afternoon when the pressure from the rafting company’s has eased.