Rotorua Fly Fishing Report - 8th March 2012
Catching the tail of the weather bomb didn’t do much damage around the area but it did drop Lake Rotorua’s water temperature by three degrees, and has dropped almost every day since then marking the end of the sad summer fishing. In saying that, there have been a few small runs of rainbows into the Utuhina, Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams at times over the past week, though they have not been hanging around in the lower to middle to upper reaches of the Ngongotaha or Waiteti. Most of the rainbows have been caught on egg patterns as there are fish spawning in the Ngongotaha and Waiteti, grey ghost streamer patterns has also been successful. Brown trout are still being caught in reasonable numbers in the Ngongotaha, with most fish being in excellent condition. Nymphs such as hare and copper and flash backs, along with damsel or dragonfly imitations have been successful during the day.
The upper Waiteti is holding a few fish, though the numbers vary almost daily. Rain will almost certainly bring more rainbows into this stream should we get some anytime soon.
A few spawning fish are appearing in the Utuhina Stream and though it remains to be seen if these are the start of the winter spawning run, there is some hope for good fishing.
Cicadas are still singing and imitations of these insects should be used, especially in runs and riffles where either the fish or the bottom can’t easily be seen. The presentation of cicada imitations is unlike most dry flies in that having them splat on the water near an over-hanging tree or bush rather than drift down onto the surface will get a rise. Just remember to count to three before striking at the fish otherwise you will pull the fly out of the fish’s mouth.
Rainbows that are being caught in Lake Rotoiti are in spectacular condition which bodes well for the winter spawning runs. There may not be as many fish as one would like but all are likely to be in as good a condition as they are now, if not better by then. On relatively calm days is well worth your while to walk the shoreline of the area known for generations as the Dump on the way to Hinehopu. A pair of polaroid glasses are required as is a keen eye. Look for moving fish or large areas of silver sand or rocks on the lake bottom as it is there that the hens have chosen to lay their eggs and have started to prepare their redd. If there are large areas of sand between any rocky areas all you will likely see are fish that are moving between them, if they are there. The Transformer and Café streams are both worth checking out early in the Autumn as rainbows have been known to came in during March.
Ruato Bay is another spot that may come on early this year as Lake Rotoiti is not as hot as it normally is for this time of the year. With the moon coming onto full, stand well back off the lake edge and look for any surface movement, no matter how small, near either of the two stream mouths. Two other spots worth checking out at Ruato are at the left and right-hand ends of the bay. Spawning fish have been seen from the road at the left -hand end and there are virtually always spawning fish at the right-hand end close into the willows. Fish often come in close to the shore at both of these spots even when there aren’t any at the stream mouths.
The high water level in Rerewhakaaitu has not put anglers off fishing there, though most fish being caught have been reasonably small all have been in good condition. I doubt that the lake level will drop much prior to the winter rains so shore based angling will continue to be hard, due to access challenges. Fly or spin fishing from either an anchored or drifting boat/float tube is likely to be the best way to fish the shoreline this winter as trout will continue to use existing spawning grounds that are currently inaccessible.
Lake Rotoma is another lake that has a very high water level and this lake will almost certainly not lower between now and the winter rain. Casting to spawning fish at the traditional spawning spots, prior to them closing for the winter, will be one of the biggest challenges that anglers face on this lake.
Keep an eye on Lake Rotoehu’s water temperature as well because, with this lake being shallow, it will drop in temperature very quickly over the next few weeks.