While winter fishing focus often turns to the Taupo Region and the Tongariro River, there are plenty of other alternative venues which stay open all year round that can offer the hardy winter angler with plenty of action. And while you may have seen several members of the NZ Fly Fishing Team in action around Turangi at the Sporting Life Winter Fly Fest last weekend, this weekend gone they were out practicing as a unit for the upcoming World Fly Fishing Championships to be held in Tasmania. The focus was on the Waikato Hydro lakes, in particular Lake Maraetai which holds a population of both brown and rainbow trout with numbers more in favour of the browns which is exactly the preparation they need for the Tasmanian highland lakes.
Last December the team headed to Tasmania to reccy the venues in anticipation of what to expect this December in the actual event. What they found is up high on the plateau they can expect anything from wind chill in the minus, snow and then followed by 28ºc and sunny the next day. With that in mind this weekend was almost perfect prep, with heavy rain and freezing temps, which isn’t the most comfortable day loch style drifting in boats.
While Saturday produced more numbers of fish, Sunday mornings wind chill was bitter and really put the fish down. With a few fish falling prey to slowly retrieved streamers that were hung deep. Most of the team were using Airflo Di5 or Di3 Sweep lines with a team of streamers similar to the Yoshi Bugger, FOB Woolly Bugger Black, Little Bugger Orange and the GTB Slim Shady from the Manic Fly Collection. The lads are fishing rigs of three flies spread over a 14-16 foot leader, all tied on Trout Hunter 8-10 pound fluoro.