Get to Know Me
The world of leisurely enjoying fly fishing isn’t an easy one. It’s a near full-time commitment requiring personal sacrifice and a dedication to casting and catching trout. First of all there is the buying all the gear, purchasing and scavaging fly tying supplies, making heaps of flies and then there is the walking along wilderness rivers and streams looking for trout. Maurice's flyfishing began to form his incredible fly-fishing ethic at a not-so-young age, spending time outside work hours (while travelling for work) and on the weekends travelling to various destinations in pursuit of the ultimate goal: to maximise the enjoyment as a leisure Fly Fisherman.
He sat in the office and dreamed away
About the chance to go fishing every day
And to make the big decisions – what fly to try
As the elusive trout slowly drifted by.
Dreaming of a windless day and an easy cast
While imitating a nymph or a cicada floating past
The trout running at the fly and setting the hook
Just as it does on Youtube or in the fishing book.
Of long days on the river, without a care
With fishing buddies the pleasure to share
Of perfect riffles, drop offs and pools
And fish that don’t make us look like fools.
Of life changing experiences, the 10lb trout
Is what life is really all about!
To learn how to cast look at some of these You Tubes:
Tight Lines-Learning to Fly Cast Part 1 - YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLfJBTctA4Q
Tight Lines-Learning to Fly Cast Part 2 - YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AcG4XkgG9c
Tight Lines-Learning to Fly Cast Part 3 - YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eSKa6Pt3R0
To learn how to tie flies look here:
Hair and Copper Pheasant Tail Prince Nymph Green caddis White caddis
Glo bug Green woolly bugger Blood worm Dragon fly Damsel fly
Heave and leave Booby fly Lumo Doll fly Tongariro bomb Yarn indicator
My preference is upstream nymphing: using a three piece, six weight fly rod with a six weight weight-forward floating flyline; a seven weight weight-forward floating flyline for more distance and a five weight weight-forward floating flyline when casting into the wind. Depending on the river water depth and current, a rod length to a rod and a half length of 8lb fluro carbon nylon to the heavy fly (truck) followed by another metre of 8lb or 6lb fluro carbon nylon to a bottom fly (trailer). A smallish yarn indicator at the join of the flyline to the nylon and we are ready.
Other fly fishing clubs
Wellington . http://www.wellingtonflyfishers.org.nz/
Napier . http://www.sporty.co.nz/nfac
Auckland . http://aucklandfreshwateranglers.org.nz/
Fish and Game for Regulations and Access maps
Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations & Access | Hawke's Bay
For other locations look up www.nzfishing.com.
Please note all fresh water fishing in New Zealand needs a fishing license and felt sole boots are banned.
Go to Fish and Game website for a license and for Taupo area go to DOC website
Also not all rivers have the Queen's chain.
New Zealand Flies by season
January The main New Zealand summer holidays and so the country is relatively crowded and fishing will become a bit trickier. This is a good month for a float trip before rivers reach their lowest levels and a time to try and fish more remote waters - best month for helicopter fly-outs using big dries for both browns and rainbows. Back country streams at this time of year become more accommodating and a good guide is extremely valuable at this time of year. The country is still on holidays and waters are often disturbed. (NZ appears closed for about 3 weeks after Christmas Day).
February The most popular month for North American fly fishermen to visit New Zealand. Generally the weather is hot and settled. Streams are at their lowest, wading is easy and the trout most visible. However these conditions demand careful stalking and a delicate presentation with small nymphs and dries. Fish are becoming selective. A good month for camping out or an overnight helicopter trip to access gentle gradient streams in farmlands. Good evening hatch.
Weather still warm and settled in the north island but becoming cooler in the south. Mountain streams still fishing well for browns with dries. Trout are in peak condition and so a good month for trophies.
Retain the selection, but scale down by adding:
Hare and copper size 12, 14; Pheasant tail size 16; Willow grub size 14, 16 to imitate the grub falling off willow tree
Hopper imitations to imitate cicadas; sedge pattern size 14.
Lake fishing Lake Otamangakau
Bloodworms Dragonfly nymph Damsel fly
The start of autumn and the last month of fishing in most districts. Some frosts. Usually the driest month of the year and so river levels very low. Excellent dry fly fishing for browns on many streams with big attractor patterns during the middle of the day.
It is cooling down bringing crispness to early mornings and evenings.
Scale up in size slightly
Size 12 in pheasant tail nymphs.
Dry flies in sizes 10 & 12 with a touch of "attractor" colour such as a red bodied humpy is a worthwhile consideration for this month.
This is the time for catching a trophy rainbow either in the Rotorua Lakes or the tributary streams of Lake Taupo.
June The start of winter with snow in all inland areas. Some lakes and their tributaries remain open in both the north and south island.
July - August Mid-winter with most days cold, but clear.
Start of river mouth fishing into Lake Taupo; good fishing with fast sinking lines; shooting heads. Evening fishing
Heave and leave fly Booby fly Lumo Doll fly or squid fly
The quietest time of the year for fishing, although the Tongariro is generally producing results. Also fishing Lake Tutira, Napier.
September till November.
For the hardy angler the Tongariro River offers some of the best fly fishing of the year for spawning rainbows. Fishing is with very heavy nymph rigs or sinking lines with egg and streamer patterns.
Tongariro bomb (heavy fly) Glo bug Green or white caddis
Olive or black Woolly bugger Red or Green Rabbits
Spring weather throughout New Zealand, but still cool. Opening of fishing season for streams and rivers in most districts. The last runs of spawning rainbows in tributaries. The best time of year to fish for trout can depend on a number of factors, but generally, it’s the spring. A combination of rising temperatures and a sudden abundance of food make spring a great time for trout to actively feed. And when they’re actively feeding, they’re prime targets for lures, baits, and flies. Streams with resident browns becoming very active. Excellent fly fishing with weighted nymphs in most mountain streams. When choosing flies look to large patterns the fish will be hungry from the winter and as the waters warm they will become more active.
Stonefly size 8; Copper John on back country streams size 8 and 10. Prince nymph sizes 10, 12 and 14.
Hare and copper size 8, 10; Green caddis size 10, 12
In lakes use a small Hamills killer lure size 8 or Kilwell No 1 or no 2. as a dragonfly nymph imitation
Royal Wulff size 10, 12; Humpy size 10, 12,
Sedge (elk caddis or turkey sedge) size 12 for fishing at dusk.
The start of summer weather, with very long days but often a little windy. Very good dry fly hatches, particularly in the evening on both the North and South Islands. The trout are generally very aggressive to artificials and many guides believe this is the best fishing month of the year for browns. Pressure on the river will still be relatively light and mayflies are hatching. Usually a superb month, right up to Christmas when entire NZ goes on 3 week holidays. Dry and dropper, more and more pure dry fly and terrestrials
To October's selection add:
Pheasant tail size 10, 12, 14 also use flash Pheasant tails – same size.
Humpy (green to imitate the green beetle, brown to imitate the brown beetle size 12, 14;
Coch-y-bondu size 12 is also a handy beetle imitation. The Adams. Twilight Beauty, are good mayfly imitations . preferably in size 12, 14, 16.
Places I have been fishing
Like many other anglers I started off with the local rivers, moved up to fish the Turangi area and now obtain more enjoyment from isolated rivers and streams. Here, if I meet another angler it is too crowded.
Have a look at this webcam
The Rangitikei River is one of New Zealand's longest rivers, 185 kilometres long. Its headwaters are to the southeast of Lake Taupo in the Kaimanawa Ranges.
The Rangitikei River flows from the Kaimanawa Forest Park through the bush clad hills in the upper reaches and over more accessible open land through the middle reaches (though some areas are also restricted by steep gorges) and then finally becoming a slower moving large river before entering the Tasman Sea west of Palmerston North.
While there are trout throughout the entire river system, the Rangitikei River is best known for the superb fishing that it offers in the remote wilderness section of its headwaters.
The headwaters provide top-quality fly fishing water for double figure fish (i.e. over 10 pounds or 4.5 kg) in crystal clear water that seldom discolours even after heavy rain.
The middle section is generally more accessible although in some areas the river flows through steep gorges, making access very difficult.
The lower section, though mostly easily accessible, is of less interest to the angler as it is slower moving and generally carries some colour
My first fishing of the new season
Hen, about weight 4lb length 52cm Jack, about weight 4 1/4lb length 54cm
Some where far, far away.
This started as a question – “Where to go fishing late November 2019?”
You may ask why go fishing to which an angler’s response is often “why not!”. Another question is why late November, well the answer was early to mid-November I was undertaking a survey of the Waipawa River – well it was meant to be fishing, but out of 28 sighted only one was hooked up and then, that one was released as too small for a keeper.
So where – the Rangitikei River, Manganui-a-te-O, Mohaka, Lake Tutira or the lakes around Turangi?
All these locations are within a normal 4 hour drive away from the Kapiti Coast, so say four nights’ accommodation for three days fishing.
After some inquiries an Airbnb was found in Taihape, so the Rangitikei became the selected river.
All right arrive after 3pm and leave by 11am on date of departure – linen, towels and breakfast supplied – sounds good for me!
Off I drove and while waiting for access at the accommodation destination along comes a local Taihape Guide and we start talking, as we do – angler to angler. He then offers to take me out for an evening dry fly session on the Hautape River.
My mind was set on first going to Springvale – one day upstream and another day downstream and later trying to remember how to get to the Mangahone Valley bridge. This guide suggested I go out to the Mangahone by going past the River Valley lodge.
Well, when you get to Moawhango settlement you have come to the wrong place. So I continued to Springvale and found restricted access – or rather a sign from the local farmer informing anglers there is no access from 1 October downstream, due to the lambing season. The drive along Moawhango Valley Road was interesting, but not planned for, but it took me into the direction I was seeking- towards and past the River Valley Road. It was about 11am when I finally arrived at the intended destination and after about 110 kms.
Here the grass along the river is a mere waist to chest high and an excellent way to work up a sweat early or even late morning.
The results were interesting as I found what looked like some fast flowing water and started casting. After some casts hooking the tall grass behind me I started to land a fly on the water. Standing in the same spot for 35 minutes is for those who are determined and/or stubborn or some other words I can’t seem to spell without explanation marks.
Well, it paid off.
So, was I the angler that stood on the same spot – no, not , I was the angler than stood in this same spot for longer – 55 minutes from first cast to first hook up!
Well, the journey was worth it! The trip to Taihape was done in about 2 ½ hours and each day this angler returned to this same pool and each day hooked into two good trout before midday. The last day was special – four before 11:30am – kept the best two and then after some refreshments to cool me down it was returning home on Friday morning – for the next few days/weeks = clean the car, wash the clothes and soon the household chores of mowing the lawn, weeding the garden and trimming the hedges became important if I was to go out anywhere before Christmas. “YES, YES, YES!!! Please can I go again?”
Have a good Christmas from Maurice and Santa!
Have a look at this webcam
Upstream from Dannevirke
The Manawatu River above Dannevirke is relatively small and easily wadeable. The water quality is good and it holds a good population of reasonable sized brown trout. The Manawatu River mostly runs across farmland but there are many sections with willow trees lining both banks. The river is a series of pools and long runs and fish can often be spotted in the relatively clean water. It is ideal dry fly and nymph water although there is plenty for the spin fisherman as well.
Between Oringi and Dannevirke
In the middle reaches the Manawatu River is larger and has a series of deep pools with long shingly runs. The water quality is not as good as in the upper reaches and fish can be difficult to spot. This is not to say it is not excellent fly fishing water. However, most fish are caught blind. The fish population in this section is very high and there is often an excellent rise on warm summer's evenings.
Downstream from Oringi
This section of Manawatu River downstream from Oringi to the mouth at Foxton Beach is of less interest to the angler as the water is much larger and often coloured. While it has less interest to the fly fisherman, it does provide good spinner water.
The Ruamahanga River offers a wide variety of fishing from top-quality wilderness fishing in the headwaters to trolling for trout in the tidal reaches before it enters the sea. Along its course it offers fishing that suits all angling methods and has something for all skill levels.
Below the Waingawa River confluence to Martinborough.
The middle reaches hold large stocks of fish and is the most popular section of the river to fish. Although the river is much larger here it remains wadeable in many places. This section of the river is a series of pools, riffles and long runs that flow over a gravel bed. As the river increases in size, some large backwaters are formed which usually hold a number of cruising trout that will tempt (and frustrate) anglers. During the summer there are prolific hatches of mayfly and trout rising readily to take them, especially during the warmer evenings.
Access is easy as the river meanders over relatively open land.
Check out these two websites for daily reports:
and for a local webcam have a look at:
The Tongariro is a versatile river offering stalking of large brown trout in the lower reaches during the warmer months, fly fishing at the delta, river-run rainbows and browns in the winter and spring, and an excellent evening rise in summer. Although there is good fishing throughout the year, it is the migratory runs of fish upstream in late winter and spring (September-November) that attract most anglers.
The Pools of the Tongariro
These are divided into named Lower Pools (below SH1 bridge); the named Middle (or Town) Pools and the named Upper Pools. Please observe access to Blue Pool is now restricted.
The river is a mixture of deep pools, long runs and boisterous rapids. During the popular early spring fishing season, most anglers prefer to fish the pools and runs where fish often rest as they move upstream to reach the spawning beds. While the major pools and sections of the river are named, these can change quickly after a flood causing maps to become out of date.
(1) Follow behind the angler going up (nymphing) stream and also follow behind the angler going downstream (wet lining) and
(2) Ask before entering a pool when another angler is already occupying the pool.
Check out these two websites for daily reports:
This section of the river, which is above the SH1 bridge and up to the Cliff Pool, is the most popular and easy to fish. Wading is safe, the banks are mosly clear for casting and it's usually easy to cross (though the many underwater obstructions can snag sunk flies). The best months are between the end of August and the end of November after rain and as the river begins to clear. Most fish hide or lie deep in pools, though some may be spotted and fished to. Both nymph and lure (wetfly) fishing are productive. The Tauranga-Taupo has a large watersheds.
Waimarino River mouth
After driving north from Turangi look for a narrow vehicle track on the left (lakeside) with a sign, from SH1, just before a small bridge. Take this vehicle track to the lake and carry around the lake edge till you come to the river mouth.
Be careful as you wade out as there is a steep drop-off where the Waimarino River flows into Lake Taupo.
Big O or Lake Otamangakau
Lake Otamangakau, or Lake O as it is more widely known, is the second most fished lake in the Taupo district, and is renowned for producing very big fish.
Its reputation as a true trophy fishery has declined in recent years, as the numbers of fish over 10 pounds in weight being caught in the lake has dropped away. It is still a prolific fishery for large fish in the 7-8 pound range, and fish numbers have increased dramatically over the last decade so the lake provides spectacular fishing at times.
How to fish
The fishing options on Lake Otamangakau are varied, and available from 1 October to 31 May.
For the boat based angler, techniques like harling, trolling, nymphing and wet fly will get you to the fish consistently, and for the shore based angler nymphing and wet fly will work well.
The summer dry fly fishing on the lake can be spectacular at times too, either from boat or shore.
Where to fish
In general, shore based options on Lake O are limited, unless you have a boat to move from shore to shore.
If you do not have a boat, there is good shore based fishing on Lake Te Whaiau upstream of the road bridge on the access road, or in the Lake O inlet canal downstream of the bridge. There is also shore based fishing around the boat ramps, or along the edge of the north arm of the lake, accessed from rough tracks on the northwest side of the lake.
In general, shore based options on Lake Kuratau are limited, unless you have a boat to move from shore to shore. If you do not have a boat, there is good shore based fishing around the boat ramp. On low lake levels it is sometimes possible to wade out to the island. Up-lake from the island are numerous hidden drowned tree stumps and branches, often sticking out of the water, so be very cautious with inflatable boats.
For the boat fishermen, options are very open. From the boat you can target the many weed beds and channels, concentrating efforts on the edges of the weed and the deeper water with nymphs, dry or streamer patterns. Anglers can also access the hard to reach shorelines, and stalk cruising fish in the shallows with the same techniques. This is a very visual and challenging approach, and is a great test of your skills.
The Mohaka River originates from the Kaimanawa Ranges and flows out to sea between Napier and Wairoa. Stretching through vast areas of the East Coast, the Mohaka makes itself readily available to any angler that is after that fishing experience. As the Mohaka flows from mountain to sea, the variety of angling the river can provide is impressive. You could start at the Mohaka township and fish the river mouth, where sea runs can be caught feeding on whitebait in November, from there you could drive to fish any access point from State Highway 2 to 5 and experience the challenge of fishing deep pools and powerful currents, finally you could then drive, or even put the tramping boots on to reach those pristine and remote upper reaches that are renowned for trophy sized fish. It is these upper reaches along with the challenging middle sections of the Mohaka that has given it such a big name here in New Zealand and even across the globe.
Good access is available along Waitara Rd (to the end at Te Pohue) on the Napier-Taupo Highway. Along this road look at Jock Sutton Rd and Aurora Rd to the camping site/old gold mine. It draws anglers from all over as they try their luck for a Mohaka trophy. Many guides operate on the Mohaka providing anglers with an experienced hand at catching a fish. Some guides and adventure operators also offer the chance to access fishing spots that no other can through the use of inflatable rafts and even helicopter. These methods enable anglers access to areas of the river that otherwise would be difficult and sometimes impossible to reach, giving anglers that increased opportunity at a trophy sized fish.
He returns to the Mohaka River in 2018
After quite a few months off fishing I answered a call from the fishing gods; “ you need to go to Mohaka”, “you need to go fishing”, “you need to go now”. Soon accommodation at “Time Out” was arranged, pending work was delayed and bags packed with food and nourishments packed away for about 3-4 days fishing.
A roaring fire greeted me on my arrival, the fridge and TV operations were explained, so on Wednesday morning I set out along Waitara Rd to fish the Mohaka. Recall I mentioned this was my first trip for quite a while and my casting was not quite useless, but not far from useless. Many of my skills were old and rusty! This did not help by these special Mohaka plants that jump to behind you, and should you ever drop the back cast they reach up and grab the fly and nylon. So by now my leader was reduced to a mere 8cm – not really long enough for a heavy fly and dropper! A re-tie was in order.
It is always so pleasant to have an angler watch you untangle yourself and then says “what happened?” I am pretty sure I know what happened, and so he can also see, and can’t you see, are my immediate thoughts – but I’ll be polite, and ask him where he has fished. This person emerged from a nearby campervan. This was down at Glen Falls and now having found it has been fished steadily for the last 3-4 days we joined forces and explored down towards Aurora Rd. The AWD was needed to circumvent some deep ruts in the road and through the ford. Here some persons, maybe Fish and Game had recently widened the track to the river so it is now nearly three persons wide. Thanks, it looks like this track widening was only cutback within the last week. Then up river a small way, but now there are fences over what was the road track. This AWD makes new tracks so we soon arrived at the normal parking spot, under the top tree. Down the track and into green, what, how, where did this green water come from, as it was clear at Glen Falls. Probably related to some AWD driver driving through a ford which had mud on both sides of this stream. Those dreaded Mohaka plants caught my new fishing friend’s flies and nylon quite often playing havoc with any attempt for a forward long cast. Despite this he still manged the first hook up. My casting this first day slowly, and I mean real slowly, improved only slightly. Soon we were having fun and after a quick coffee and lunch off to another spot. Here the pool was longer than the memory recalls. Soon it was 4pm so off to the accommodation, got the fire going and watched the news with a precooked Chinese stir fry accompanied by some strong red juice. Next day was soupy. Low cloud covered the State Highway road, the Waitara Rd and it was not till I had passed Jock Sutton Road turn-off and was heading back down to Aurora Rd did the low cloud disperse. My casting arm was now in better form and casts were seen to be landing 2/3 across the stream with no Mohaka plants grabbing my fly. Soon with those small orange tungsten beads I landed my first of the day. Just 15 minutes later another hook up but a self-release this time. These enjoyable moments seem to just pass away as soon two hours had passed and I did so want to try up river, along McVicars Rd. For all those with new breathable or neoprene waders who want to break them in with a few blackberry holes I would suggest taking the track to the pool downstream to where the old viaduct was. Here I am sure I spooked a good looking trout then thought about this and came to the conclusion it was not me at all! The trout has spotted the bottom fly attached to the fly rod, and this fly can cause pain and even sometimes death; this is what spooked the trout. Again light started to fade and whoops it is nearing five pm so back home for food, drink and sleep. Alas, on Friday the weather was to turn to custard; so having farewelled the host the evening before I was able to get away early for the 4 ½ hour drive home. Yeah, by the time I was driving through Shannon, headlights were on, wipers were on, demisters were on, and it was teeming down. I’ll be back again, with others to fish the Mohaka and stay at Time Out…by the way for those who have forgotten take a note of Robbie 021 618-114 and you will probably get to meet Marilyn, and Dan the rafting man!
Tukituki River area
The dry fly fishing on the Tukituki River is a major attraction during the heat of summer, as many hatches such as caddis bring on strong rises, especially early morning and late evening. Many of the spring creeks feeding the river also give great dry fly opportunities through most of the summer.
Upstream of state highway 50 the Tukutuki River is closed during the winter season but can provide some excellent angling during the summer months. The Tukituki River is generally quite small with crystal clear water in these upper reaches and can provide some challenging fishing in the small pools. Fish can be found right into the Ruahine Ranges, so some wilderness fishing can be experienced in the upper reaches of this river. The most popular methods for the Tukituki River are dry fly and nymph fishing, however wet line is just as successful, especially during winter and when river levels are high
Caution: During 2015-2018 has been suffering from Algal bloom especially during summers.
Also please note NO motorised boats allowed on this lake.
This picturesque lake of around 178ha has very easy access, is pleasant to fish, and is generally quite productive.
The lake is stocked with Tarawera sourced fish annually and these fish grow quickly during the summer and provide excellent sport to both shore based and rowboat trolling anglers. With these releases there are now a number of tagged fish in the lake, so to find out details of your fish and to enter the draw for a free license for the following season contact your local fish and game office or use the following form to send the information via post. We encourage you to do this as this information helps us manage the fisheries as best as we can.If you catch a tagged fish, please complete this form and send it to your regional Fish & Game office.State Highway 2 runs alongside the western side of the lake which is approximately 40minutes from Napier. There is a causeway at the southern end between Tutira and Waikopiro which both provide parking and great shore based fishing. There are also a number of access points along the western shoreline off the highway which are sign posted, making access to the lake easy.When trolling the lake from row-boat or kayak spinners such as Toby’s and Z spinners in copper, silver or yellow and green finishes work well. When fly fishing, flies such as Hamill’s Killer, Red Setter, Mrs Simpson and Parson’s Glory work well as do nymph patters using Halve back, Pheasant tail, Hare and copper and Glo bugs.
Access is on private land so permission is needed BEFORE fishing.
A sign is at the Domain, but mobile cellphone signal may not exist.
The Manganuioteao River is situated north of Raetihi in the Ruapehu district of the central North Island. It rises on the western flows of Mt Ruapehu and flows through native forest and farmland to its confluence with the Whanganui River 13 kilometres above Pipiriki.
The Manganuioteao River boasts high water quality (from snow melt and glacial runoff), plentiful insect life, good cover from large boulders overhanging bush, deep pools and papa ledges. The sequence of pools, runs and rapids gives anglers a diversity of fishable water to choose from.
Pools are productive early in the season, while the rapids and runs fish best later on.
Because the number of anglers here is low by national standards, good fishing areas are always available in very scenic surroundings.
The Tutaekuri River like most of the regions rivers, predominately holds more rainbow trout than brown trout, however spring is a great time to target the big brownies around the river mouth, as they will be feeding on whitebait around this time. From the river mouth upstream to the expressway bridge, the Tutaekuri River is single channeled and deep making for good wetline fishing. The Tutaekuri River upstream from the bridge is braided and often changes course, making it sometimes difficult to know where to fish, creating challenging but rewarding angling.
From Dartmoor to above the Managtutu confluence the Tutaekuri River is less braided, as it is confined between high terraces creating more pools and shallow runs, making spot fishing a lot easier.
The upper reaches can be quite demanding as the Tutaekuri River navigates between steep ranges and around large boulders, but the rewards to be found for the adventurous angler are great. Fishing ends on the Tutaekuri River above the Lawrence Hut with waterfalls being the end for both fish and angler.
Whakapapa and Whanganui Rivers
Between Taumarunui and Kakahi there are numerous good fishing pools. Access can be gained from Taumarunui, or via the villages of Mahoe (Mahoe Rd), Piriaka (from the power station), Manunui (Mahoe Rd), and Kakahi (Ako Street) and from the end of Te Rena Road by crossing the Whakapapa River and taking the short path across the Whakapapa Island. Access to the upper reaches within the Tongariro National Park is via old logging roads from State Highway 47, a good topographical map or local knowledge is required.
One of New Zealand’s finest trout fisheries but certainly not for the faint hearted as the Whakapapa alternates between turbulent rapid, deep pools and long boulder runs.
Access to the lower reaches can be obtained from the end of Te Rena Road via the village of Kakahi.
Access to the middle reaches can be obtained from Owhango, south of Taumarunui, where a good gravel road leads to a bridge across the river. Just before the bridge a short road on the right leads to a fence line along which a path gives excellent access to the river.
Access to the upper reaches can be gained from SH 4 across private farmland (landowner permission is required), or from the access road to the Tongariro Power Scheme intake structure via SH 47 (National Park – Turangi).
Rotorua lakes - Lake Aniwhenua
Lake Aniwhenua is mostly very shallow (with an average depth of 2.5 m); the only exception is the deeper section that follows the old riverbed. It is a long narrow lake running from south to north. The eastern shoreline is open farmland, and the western shoreline is mostly scrub covered or regenerating bushland.
Lake Aniwhenua offers great fishing all year round. Late autumn through to spring often sees superb fishing with winter fishing particularly good for brown trout. Summer fishing is also excellent as the warmer waters promote prolific damsel and midge hatches. Fly fishing is the most common method using using lightly weighted nymphs or wet flies. Fishing along the edges of the old riverbed can be very successful. In summer there can be a good rise to hatching insects as well as fish taking wind-blown insects that have landed on the lake. Mostly however fish respond to nymphs.
The Ruakituri River is an isolated river that rises in the remote Ureweras and drains the Huiarau Range. It flows for many kilometres through rugged bush before it tumbles 100 metres over the Waitangi Falls.
Above the falls, access is limited to those well-equipped trampers who have not only local knowledge but also sufficient experience to cope with rapid changes in weather conditions.
Below the falls, the Ruakituri River tumbles down terraces of bedrock, between steep, bushflanked valley walls until fingers of farmland meet it at the top end of Papuni Station. The farm is on Papuni Road, which is reached by turning right off Ruakituri Road, just before the Erepiti Gorge.
From the road end, there is a track up to the Waitangi Falls, but it is too far to fish above the falls for a day fisherman. From the falls down, the Ruakituri River is strewn with colossal boulders; brought down by the regular 'flash floods' the Ruakituri trout have to endure. There is a huge variety of water, ranging from strenuous rapids, to deep slow pools flanked by sentinel boulders, to riffly runs that just have to hold fish. It is no place for fine leaders and delicate techniques. Anything less than a 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) leader is pointless as the strong Ruakituri trout make use of their angler-unfriendly environment. Brown and rainbow are found in equal proportion, depending only on the type of water fished. The size of fish can be daunting. They average 2 kg (4.4 lb) and there are plenty of 5 kg (11 lb) fish in residence.
" A little Swiss fellow"
How’s Turangi fishing this season so far? Well here’s a little tail (tale) of what we’ve been doing early this season!
It was prior to Easter (This YEAR) we left for four days fishing. This was before all the Easter bunnies come with their 4WD’s and populate the rivers and river mouths. If my memory serves me right, there is usually a fishing competition around Turangi around Easter and another about Anzac Day. So we went before hand…not that this makes any difference, eh?
Hans and Maurice took to fishing the mouth of the Waimarino as this uses less energy, and why walk all the way upstream when the fish have not really gone up yet. Hang on a mo’ there were some fishing reports of good runs up the TT prior to Easter; why we were told the previous week there were a hundred in the TT below the bridge, just the week prior. Yeah…then why was that fisherman fishing some where else? (Now let’s try that line again because I seem to hear it quite often.)
So what was the fishing like….if you like to stand side on and cast into the wind try the Waimarino on a North-westerly and preserver as this DOES bring the fish in…they start to come in just after you have left the drop-off for a nature stopover in the bushes.
Any way we had a few fish and today (Thursday 5th April) was our last morning before we were to leave at noon to home…
One of our step-ladder-men had landed three prior to 8am – Ron, that is- as Johnny, we believe has a job.. The waves started to calm down and with only a ripple breaking the surface the conditions were improving. Well, at least we could cast out and not have the line only go out past the shooting head. NOW the action started!1
Tight went the line, but it would not come up.. No this is not a snag Hans says, as the snags are by Jo…we left him to catch the snags and he was doing quite well that morning with five brought in and three lost leaders..
So what is this Hans is thinking??
This monster from the deep went towards the west side of the lake deep down and out went the line to the backing…. A good fish says Hans!!
With some slack taken up, the rod up high and was bending over like a U shape.
More tight line and out this fish took the fly and soon the line was well under control. Anyone would think this chap had been fishing before!
Well finally this fish was worn out and was in the shallows….here it is belly up! It looks a good fish…it looks a big fish and as it is dragged….yes it was dragged…onto the beach it was seen to be a little fella… The weigh net was taken out and here we had a 11 ½ lb rainbow trout which was at least eight inches wide – the wide of a hand extended. And about 28 inches or so long… The only comment was that it may not fit in the boot, but we managed to shove it in and off to the Turangi smokehouse it went.
Rumour has it the little Swiss fella has scoffed it down already ! All he was after was a brownie!!!!
"T'was a windy day"
Yes, this was the summer that the weather person would rather forget about! 30 centre metres of snow in mid to late January and winds up to 180km an hour on some parts of Wellington.
But what about our trout, you may ask? Yes; those fragile, sought after fish often surrounded by water, but they have some tails (tales) to tell. The days earlier were warm and the level of rivers on the east was dropping; all that was left were some deeper pools to protect these trout from the harsh warm elements. Then along came the wind and rain.
Well, maybe they are like young children who love the water, but do not like it when the water warms up. They seek cooler areas. The air temperature was a good 4 degrees cooler than the water, so what did these enterprising trout do? They jumped into the air to cool down, of course, what else would you expect!
Thus; it was a windy and very wet day when M and A went for a walk along their favourite trout stream. Now was the O….river or the R…stream, or the T.....river; the writer may have forgotten with his aging years. No matter, this was a day he recalls in the year 2017 when fly fishing took on a new dimension.
Here were these trout literally flying out of the water and the wind was bring them higher than ever seen before. A quick dash home; a few calls to close fishing buddies and away we walked, as fast as we could to the spot near the airport.
M was reminded of a time, a year or so ago; when fishing a small stream up near the Wairakei Conference Centre Golf Course. On this day the wind was also severe, but there were many trout in this stream. Carefully a fly was placed in a prime spot and yes, a take and a quick lift with the rod and the trout was flicked out the water. So much enthusiasm saw the trout sail over M’s head and land in the long grass adjacent to the Golf Course. Leaving the fly rod upright next to a bush of bushes, M went in search of his hooked, but now lost trout. This took about twenty minutes and during this time three golfers came to ask what he was doing. “Fishing for trout, in the long grass, of course” was M’s reply. Well, after finding his trout M returned to fishing for another 45 minutes. On his return to the station wagon he noticed three other golfing tourists (country of origin was evident by the accents) looking in the long grass with their golf clubs in a caddie bag. “What’s up?” M asked these tourists. The almost unanimous reply was that they heard someone around the bend close to the river has found a trout in the long grass, so we are looking to see if any are still here, was the reply. With that M responded “Sorry, I wouldn’t know anything about that at all” and slowly walked off to his vehicle.
So, today was another of those really wet and windy days. Remember the stream we are now talking about is not far from the airport. Soon the stream was plugged and a lake was formed. This shallow lake stretched for nearly a mile across the shallow land. The mystery was “What fly to select for this style of fly-fishing?” There were suggestions of using a flying-fox, but no one had any available. M and A had now been joined by N who mentioned the fly selected needed to have wings, and yes, it was summer time according to the calendar. N suggested a moth type of fly and yes, a tiger moth sounded ideal! Whoops, none available so a quick phone call to T who they all knew had a tiger moth. N had a slight hearing problem, what with the static and noise with the communicated message and could only decipher..” Trout…flying…bring tiger moth…”
Well, you can guess what happened as the picture tells the story!
So what's happening? Opening day on Tutaekuri River!
The dawn is slowly sneaking over the hills, yet it seems we have been here for ages. The sunrise filled the air with layers of filtered sunshine as it started to peek through the tall surrounding trees. Here, was the sunshine providing some warmness coming to the earth, warming the bushes and these four men sitting on a rock, previously in the semi-darkness of a pre-dawn. Drinking from hot flasks of coffee and exchanging answers to all of life’s mysteries, these four middle-aged to middle-aged-plus men, had been only waiting for a mere 45 minutes for the dawn to come. If our wife’s could see us now, acting like small boys with a new toy! The sun was giving light to the river which swept pass them, groaning and gushing as it swept over some rather large boulders on its way to join another river, about a further ten k’s downstream. Fly rods were being inspected yet again for flies; small indicators were checked, coffee cups were quickly placed in back packs so “LET THE FISHING BEGIN!”
Anticipation had been ripe and building to this crescendo for the last four months. That was when this accommodation booking was made and trip planned – to be first on this river for Opening Day – 1 October 2013. We came a day early, on the 30 September, full of anticipation in the afternoon; but kept the fly rods at bay while we walked the streams and river to be fished over the next four days. Did the partake of the first night dull our senses?
Not one of us had fished this river before – where were the lies, how crossable was this river? What flies to use? What length leader and how heavy should the flies be?
A few false casts and then the first cast of the day, just when there was enough light, to see the indicator as it drifted halfway down this large pool. Here on the first cast and a mere six metres away the line started moving rapidly upstream to another angler. Well, fancy that! But hang on, that’s what we are here for, I remembered! Do I wind up excess fly-line onto the reel or play this trout with loose line hanging down? Why not see how this works out! Some fly-line is hanging loose, as some other fly-line is quickly and cautiously wound onto the reel. The trout does an about turn, and heads towards me, then over to the opposite shore and then back towards me. Quickly more fly-line is wound in, but some left to allow for a “run”. In thinking this the trout does exactly that – a long run- this time downstream to the another angler. Whoops, one look at him and the trout turns again and seeks to swim upstream..yuk..not another angler, turns again, so heads towards me. The net had been quickly unclipped from the back of my vest, plunged into the stream, collected some small rocks, (to allow the net to open up). Yes, Yes, Yes..this first trout of the trip/new season was netted and landed!
Lifting the net –with the stones emptied out, the rainbow trout weighed a mere 4 ½lb. But what condition it was in! About seven inches deep and fat as.. Yes, to be returned now, for only to kill a trout later in the day. Would this be the first of many? What more triumphs and exciting catches were in store for our next four days. Do we have to get back to our jobs after this trip is over? Is heaven to be blessed with such fighting trout? Are there fishing streams in heaven filled with fighting trout.
As an angler there is almost a religious observation to take some days off for Opening Day of the new season. This can be arranged annual leave, unpaid leave, sick leave or funeral leave to visit a recently passed away aunty. Gosh, would you believe that most of my 16 aunties do pass away about this time, now only seven aunties remaining!
Us anglers are a privileged bred of persons, who not only have an opportunity to catch trout at a low cost compared to other countries; but also to enjoy the back country environment!
Where can you go for free, and view spectacular scenery; rare protected birds such as the Blue Duck, be close to wild goats, wild rabbits, the company of calves following as you walk through a paddock and the eyes of Jersey bulls as you walk more carefully around the perimeter of this another paddock? Even a nest of peacocks flying away from their tree nest, as well as pheasants freely walking knowing they will not soon become plucked for their tail feathers. Best of all following a farmer walk a bull along these back country roads ..at bull pace, of course! What! You can get all this and even go trout fishing!! How fortunate can an angler be, fishing in this New Zealand back country!
So why the Manganui-O-Te-Ao – Well, why not? Soon accommodation was found and being the school holidays I managed to find a small cottage down Pipiriki Rd. The weather did NOT look promising with showers predicted for most of my four night stay. Driving up on Saturday the rain that started at just north of Taihape and only paused to let me unpack at the accommodation. Just enough time to visit the land owner (thanks to my accommodation provider) whose land I was allowed to walk over for the next day’s fishing. Yes, I was offered several spots and the river was looking a dark green colour…good, so far!
Saturday and Opening Day and the dawn came! But this angler merely turned over for an extra nap, as it was raining most of the night and still raining this morning, well after daylight. With a quickly prepared breakfast, a prepared lunch and flask for coffee and a cold drink all was ready, whoops, I nearly forgot the fly-rod set-up. Geared up with 8lb nylon and an orange tungsten bomb I also attached a size 14 rainbow tungsten grub hook, as a bottom fly, about a metre below the bomb. I was hopefully now ready for the onslaught! The green river had changed to a medium brown, so the pools were unfishable, so the rapids and small runs became the areas of attraction for my concentration. Twenty minutes later, after traversing up and down the ridge, walking clear of local stock, I arrived on the river. Ah, ha; coffee time first! Freshly ground coffee beans, with boiling water through an espresso maker had filled up the flask, so with whipped cream added to this, I did enjoy this first cuppa of the day! (Surely this is par, as normal, for each angler?)
It only took another 25 minutes before a fresh 2 lb rainbow was landed and released. That was it for the day! After visiting the Ruatiti Domain and finding seven groups already camping there, some light-hearted attempt was made to fish for trout. Soon off home to my accommodation, as tomorrow is another day!
Yes, tomorrow came today, so today became yesterday; as there was a repeat of rain overnight and yes, the angler turned over after the dawn for some more beauty sleep. Really how does sleep keep you beautiful, when there is fly fishing to be done? The mind has yet to unravel the mysteries of this! Now are we agreed it is Sunday, so down to the same access, but no luck so up to see the landowner for permission to go downstream. Granted! By now time was passing on so about 11:30am, and still no coffee drink yet. Did it seem a keenness of fly fishing took precedent over a cuppa for a time? By noon now and standing knee deep in the even browner water, in the middle of some rapids, he was geared up to cast these multi-coloured bright flies to whatever was lurking in this brown water. Yes, you may ask yourself, a cuppa was partaken just before noon – with same trimmings as before!
Cast up, mend and get that drift right downstream; but what, the flyline kept on going in differing directions – across the water, back up towards me, and even downstream with some pressure on the flyline. A mere six trout caught in this first hour, and before lunch as well… Could this be the coffee, or the whipped cream!! Must be the brown water!
After lunch there were intervals of sunshine between and with the downpours! Home boy, re-stock and tomorrow is still another day. Well, what can I say about Monday other than the fireplace in the accommodation and drying rack was in full use.
There are some anglers who would be put off by some rain and others of a “keen” nature who defy getting soaked to the skin, despite having no success. So maybe a talk with the locals, for perhaps a return trip. These locals not only mentioned some private access (the Queen’s chain does not prevail around here – prior permission is always required).
You can always gain that local knowledge to add to the experience of any trout fishing trip.
Post CoVid-19 Virus
Today, we are down to Level two…we have to keep one metre apart at all times. Well, that’s fine as if I see another angler on this river it becomes busy; three anglers and it becomes congested. So where am I? Am I on a widely known Fish and Game Access, am I on DOC land, or am I on private access land?
The river is waffling past, with a small regular current, as it ripples down across the “rapids” and flows rhythmically into a long flowing pool. There must be trout hiding under some of these pan-sized boulders scattered along this “run”. On the edges of this river is loose shingle where anglers must tread carefully so as not to spook the water.
As I walk forward my brain starts fast thinking – now, where would I be if I were a trout? As a trout I would tend to be lazy, (yes, I can empathise with that), lie somewhere where food comes drifting past my nose, have some cover from these near six foot humans, that carry nine foot sticks with some line attached to these long sticks! Most of these humans tend to walk heavily towards where they think I may be, but yes with my super sensitive fish ears I often hear them coming! I’ll just hide three rocks downstream from where these noisy footsteps are coming from.
My false casting is to get the distance so I can have a long drift, aiming from the top rock, with some rock just out of the water, to the series of three rocks together, at right angles to the shore, just about 20 metres downstream from where I am standing. The fly and indicator land gently on the water using my faithful airflow bandit flyline; with a quick twitch they are now facing downstream. Why, the flyline only drifts a mere 10 metres till it is pulled tight! My orange tungsten bead combination with pheasant tail fly worked!!
I try to pull the flyline in, but no, it wants to move upstream. Let’s try some side strain, and yes, this trout seems well hooked and still keeps moving upstream. My cranky knees and jerky movements do nothing to assure me I will be able to land this trout. My boots slip on some weed underwater, but I maintain my balance and have kept the rod high and taut. Now as a big boy, I am embarrassed as my pants are wet, actually from my waist down I’m soaking, as I fell over! Still holding this flyline firm, I start to pull in some flyline, winding some spare line onto my reel.
My heart is pounding and I’m taking shorts breaths…a heart attack, no, just the symptoms of an angler with a good fish on the line! Walking backwards, I also stumble over my feet, but keep the fly rod high and firm. I’m getting control of this trout with more flyline being wound onto the fly reel. My right arm goes over my shoulder to grab my net, and gently this is placed in the river, close to the shore.
Flash, goes a camera by another person near the shore…what is this for and why?
Several months later I receive a photo – I am immortalised in bronze, just as I was, back on the first day after the Corona Virus-19 Level Two in New Zealand allowed for some trout fishing on the Maunganui O Te O river.
The weather looked to remain fine as we left to fish this lake we had both read about, Lake Otamangakau. Yes, we had viewed the weather forecast and asked DOC when there would be a webcam for this lake soon. ..maybe later this century??? All was looking good, and with the lake level low we could always walk the edges and fish inside the weed beds for these cruising rainbows and the cruising browns. (at 611.86) http://www.genesisenergy.co.nz/genesis/generation/rivers-lakes-and rainfal/graph/graph_home.cfm?image=Lake%20Otamangakau%20at%20Dam®ion=Tongariro&measurement=%20lake-level
The old Subaru almost drives there by itself, it knows the route so well to Turangi. Set it to about the correct speed, into Auto Select/Cruise Control,, while slowing down for some of the towns on the way we arrived at Jim’s house within about 3 ½ hours. (from Paraparaumu, that is; not Wellington. Feeling vipped up, we left the house about 8:00am and were on the edges of the Big O ½ hour later.
Now it normally takes about one full hour to gear up for the inflatable pontoon and accessories. Extract all the gear from the boot, place the frame with the clips together; inflate the two pontoons; attach the straps onto the pontoon with the frame; attach the spare rod holder, tie on the anchor rope, include the two small straps for securing the other rod to the frame. Also needed is to include the freshly brewed coffee into a flask, include the can of whipped cream to go with the coffee, have a bottle of frozen iced tea and a former ice cream container containing a hamburger, some biscuits and fruit. Whoops, we also need the oars and the net and wearing good sandals we launched into the weed cordon. Finally, after donning the necessary sunglasses, applying suntan lotion and sunhat we are off. Don’t forget the portable fish finder.
First port of call was the inlet canal, then it became up the Northern arm, then a lunch stop. After lunch, some open water, back to close by the island, then drifting close by the weed beds.-away from the weed beds, and back again. Moments of using a drogue with a slight ripple on the water and longer moments (well, actually more like hours than minutes) anchored in the calm mirror-like reflections of the lake.
Was I to use a floating line, and if I was, what fly shall I use? I’m told by some shops in Turangi to have a rod and a half leader to the first fly then a weighted one after that. A local guide known as Ken H, together with a fellow local known as “Loouie” mentioned a nine foot leader and followed by a four foot trace, when fishing the inlet canal. I chose next the open water where the water temperature seems cooler and the lake deeper; I ventured, as here there was some movement of ripples of fins as they swam just under the surface. Perhaps a sinking line Type 3 or shall I try the newish Type 5 with a sinking belly of five inches a second and the tip a mere three inches a second. Each sinking line was exposed for about an hour each in this open deeper water. Sometimes an unweighted woolly bugger, sometimes another damsel on a Yorkshire caddis hook, a worm on a swimming hook and an unweighted black glo bug.
What is this? –How about an old glo bug with black permanent marker or black nail polish with some rubber legs for a snail imitation- yes this works wonders on brownies when left for them to seek out – NO movement by the angler except for that final twitch).
The coffee flask had been emptied during the day, often trying the “coffee-catch a trout method”, but to no avail.
For those to which this is unknown, you carefully place the rod in use across your lap; next bring out the coffee glass, pour the hot coffee into this glass, and top up with whipped cream. Here is how it works, you are slowly savouring the fresh coffee through the whipped cream and SUDDENLY the fly line goes tight!! DECISION, DECISION-TIME…finish the coffee and let go the fly- line or give away the coffee and proceed to land the trout. Please don’t waste the coffee- place the glass in the side pocket to enjoy later. AND/OR the “colour re-arrangement” – a helpful shore angler yells out “Use black!” A quick glance in the fly-box reveals only brown /green woolly buggers “D_ _ _” you say, ah, heh maybe I’ll use my coloured permanent markers.
You immediately colour one chosen woolly bugger black, while your fishing mates starts to grin ear to ear.
The fly-line is cast away and yes a “take”…You now smile ear-to-ear to a somewhat now dejected, fishing companion. Did I hear some murmurings of a particular colourful language??
What more can I say except there is no mention of the rats, eels, rabbits, geese, swans or other creatures that may or may not reside around the Big O. Let’s keep rats away by taking away all our rubbish. Rabbits have been seen-why on my last trip I counted more rabbits than trout being landed. If you want to enjoy fishing the Big O take whatever nonsense is iterated above, but more importantly fish it when the lake level is in the region 611.10 to 611.80. You will have more success!!
Don’t forget the coffee, whipped cream, coffee glass and permanent markers for that special day!!
"The Rangitikei River"
Remember to bring your sunscreen Maurice said. What else do I need? …”only an ability to drink red!” he replied. So we were off to the Rangitikei and that’s how the weekend began with a relaxed bottle of red wine.
The early morning mists and views were awesome and soon the sun began to beat down. So Maurice had already been right about the sunscreen but would his promise of fish hold true…..
My first fish was a fine silvery four inch trout. However, as a beginner I was well pleased I had managed to cast and make contact with anything fishy at all. What happened a few minutes later certainly hooked me for life. My fly line was suddenly out straight with a pulsating trout on the end, jumping high above the water and pulling like a steam train. It was only approximately one pound in weight but certainly fought like no other trout of equal size that I had encountered.
But before I could land it, the fish had shed the hook and was gone. My disappointment was doubled when almost exactly the same thing happened five casts later. I don’t think it was the same fish, but you never know. How could I stay hold of these fighting demons long enough to show Maurice and my other fellow anglers that all their help and advice had delivered something worthwhile?
Half an hour later I hooked into a better fish and was determined to land this one. Again it was a very uneven fight – I had a very nice rod made of flexible modern material, designed over many years to tire fish out. But the fight was again tremendous and unevenly matched as the fish seemed to have the strength of three horses!! I was certainly dragged several paces downstream with the tussle.
Luckily Noel, who I am indebted to, was nearby with a net (something which I don’t have yet), so it was only with his help that my dreams for the day came true and a fine jack of over two pounds was on the bank at last.
During the afternoon we fished a tributary of the Rangitikei which was equally picturesque and certainly looked fishy as well. Noel had taken a few fish and when I arrived at his beat he said “just cast over to that rock over there”. With slight disbelief, but impressed with his knowledge of the swim I did as instructed and…bang, on my first cast another good hit straightened my line. I had quickly been rewarded with another sporty trout of about half a pound.
The flies that were successful that day were hare and copper and a Maurice special, designed on the basis of previous insect studying trip to the Rangitikei….you will have to ask him!
I had been equipped with very experienced guides and a lot of luck on my part I think. But that day was certainly one to remember for me.
We finished the day in the only possible manner with several bottles of golden liquid together with a consensus view that the Rangitikei can certainly offer some sporty fishing- it certainly did not matter that we did not fill our freezers.
David (Last seen looking to buy a net!)
Opening day Tutaekuri River revisited 2018
(26 September 2018) Fishing new waters
It’s coming up to Opening Day and “fishing” leave has been approved for a few days fishing some new waters.
Now, where would I like to go, and where have I been, and will I choose new water or the old familiar water?
The choices are ample – local rivers like the Wainuomata River; upstream of the Otaki River, forget the Waikanae River. A bit further afield – the Waipawa River, the Makuri River, parts of the Tutaekuri River, the Manganui-O-Tea-O River, the Pohangina River or even the Big O and others I forget to mention.
Also where will I stay – why now, there are avenues available for self or shared accommodation, not only at Camping grounds, Back packers, but also in Airbnb, Holiday Houses, Book a Bach and other web sites.
The weather forecast is helpful as how often have I booked accommodation for Opening Day and changed because the heaven’s opened up! Now I use the Weather City, and another international web site https://www.yr.no/place/New_Zealand/ as well as our New Zealand Met Service.
Don’t forget to contact the local Fish and Game offices to get an update of recent fishing reports, as well as dropping a line to a local club to seek a local, who can fish with you, show you the spots and give some company and safety sake! Check out River Levels, Flows and Turbidity if you can gather all this information for where you are going. Why, now there are also many webcams to see the colour of the water. Great using all this technology now available!
Decision time; do I flick a coin, roll a dice or make this into a “Training Conference”, thus constituting a work excuse. I recall when anglers talk, they “confer” with each other, and when learning new waters and fishing techniques – it is a learning experience – hence “training”. Satisfied I am now going away for “work” purposes I start to put my thinking/fishing cap on and decide where to go.
A few years back a group of us booked a holiday house alongside the Tutaekuri River, and fished the Tutaekuri River, getting up to the Twin Lakes, also known as the Kuripapango Lakes for brook trout. Finally a decision – I’ve found accommodation at Puketapu, which opens up the Tutaekuri River. Plan B – if it rains – I’ll fish the Lake Tutira, as I’m told this is fishing really well over the last few weeks. I just hope my new neoprene waders arrive before I leave. Let’s just say the previous waders leaked in an uncomfortable spot – between the legs, and no amount of aquaseal was able to fix these leaks.
As I write this I receive an email from a local living around Puketapu – see how easy this is!! And yes, we are meeting up on the Sunday to plan an early start on Monday 1 October.
Let’s have a look at this area!
So what happened?
Yes, we want the truth, not some fishy story with about 25% truth! Well, it was like this!!
The weather kept fine for us, it was after a recent flush and we had a ball! Do you want to hear anymore? Of course you do, so read on.
The light was emerging from below the horizon as I ate a full breakfast and prepared a lunch worthy of an angler who was all prepared to catch and release a dozen fish on this opening day – corn patties, freshly perked coffee with the whipped cream and cold water.
It was nearing 8:00 am when we arrived on the water, just getting some sunshine on the water, and before any fishing started we took about ten minutes studying the water for possible lies. At this time of day they could be anywhere from mid-stream to the back eddies and drop offs, which they favour when the weather warms up. For a few minutes using the yellow tinted polarised sunglasses to start with, we spotted four trout just this side of mid-stream upstream, in running water. Our clothes blended into the colour of the riverbed, but we are crouched down, behind a bush to minimize any spooking of the trout. Looking just over the bush were two more trout, close to the edge. What a challenge first thing in the morning! .. . I’ve heard the expression “ A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, so what are two in the bush worth – a trout in the hand, or a handful?”
Now, some skill is called for so dapping came into play, a rod over the bush, with a nymph and no indicator. Now we have two grown men falling over themselves with one holding a nine foot fly rod with the line spinning away across the pool, fast. Gravity came into play with the smaller angler falling into the stream (or was he shoved) and the other trying to contain the pressure on the fly reel. Along the river I went after passing the flyrod to the Craig. Why should I get wet when Craig was already wet? “Up and at ’em” was Craig’s comment. Did he keep the fish and land it? To appease the fishing gods this first trout of the day was returned after a quick photo. Now time for coffee!! Or better still some fisherman’s antifreeze – starts with “w”, has an “h”, a “k” and a “y” in this drink. We did have some coffee as well! We did not want to be caught DUI when angling! .. Off with any non – quick drying clothes, into a spare plastic bag, and soon Craig was ready to carry on wearing all that he needed to be decent- yes; pants and shirt – all and only quick-dry clothes.
The sun came out drying these clothes and I am certain that this dunking added to his success, as he managed to land 15 trout during the course of this opening day to my mere nine trout. What amazed me after recalling the day’s events was we must have changed flies about six or seven times to match what we thought the trout were taking – and all this seemed to work. Especially changing the flies on the changes of light during the day – 8:00am; 11:00am 1:00pm and 4:00pm and finally 5:00pm. Back to the car by about 5:30pm and a quick change into spare disposable overalls and using a towel any damp areas were quickly dried out. While Craig changed his clothes I returned half the river gravel back that had accumulated in my boots. Lesson here = wear gaiters to avoid small stones in boots. What a day!
Back to our accommodation and some brown milk followed by an Italian meal with red juice sure made for a contended sleep. Tomorrow is yet another day!
Fine weather, but rivers are dirty…What to do?
This dilemma faces many fly fishermen. NO! We do NOT want to mow the lawn – it was done last week: NO! We do NOT want to wash the car..it was washed three months ago! The car is not really dirty yet, it needs to go fishing in some back country roads and only then MAY need washing!
The house is clean inside; the grounds are tidy outside, I’m sick of tying flies, as I’m sure I’ve got enough!!
How about some DIY fishing projects?
Now you are talking my language, but what sort of DIY projects can we do? I know personally, my wife takes away a power tool for each birthday! (maybe you need to think of my DIY skills in relation to this).
Yet, I could still make a fly drying rock for my fishing room or shelves for my SUV to store my gear in.
First, you may have to carefully negotiate the home situation to get that “my fishing room”. This has many names such as a “Man Cave” and has also been called a “Ladies Larder” if she no longer wants that room. It is in such a room that the fly fisherman stores the eight fly rods, the 12 fly reels, the 15 reels of nylon, the 2 dozen indicators, the fly tying vice and lamp; the fly tying supplies and the wardrobe contains the four fishing vests, the fishing shirts and trousers, and the thick fishing socks. As well there will be two or three sun hats, neoprene gloves, summer fishing gloves; the day backpack and bags for fishing clothes together with the sleeping bag used for fishing. There could be more stuff but I’ve just had a glimpse at my fishing room and there is still more stuff..even a bed to sleep in, so when we have to get real early to go fishing we need not disturb the rest of the household. Now that we have discussed the need for a “fishing room” it is up to each serious angler to negotiate to own one.
Now onto the second DIY project – the fly drying rack – the first project was to acquire a “fishing room”.
Total cost about $35, plus a beer/wine or two or three.
.Items needed: .1. One used or unused real estate sign or similar material from a stationery store size about 700mm (30 inches) x 300mm (20 inches)..under $20 from most nearby stationery store..(Warehouse Stationery) 2. Window weather seal…about $6 for 9 metres 5mm x 5mm (prefer white)…(Mitre10) 3. Tools – scissors or cutting tool; (from the kitchen) Marking pens ($2 shop) Ruler for measuring and pencil
1. Measure the width and divide the board into columns – I have used nine columns.
2. Cut weather seal for vertical equal length of strips.
3. Remove one side of strip and place onto board ensuring the vertical columns are consistently spaced.
4. Between each vertical column cut weather strips – I have 12 rows for each column.
5. Remove one side of strip and place onto board ensuring the horizontal columns are consistent.
6. Leave to dry for a while – about two beers or half a bottle of wine..say 2-3 hours.
7. Extract those damp flies from all your fly boxes and place on the foam.
Now you can see what flies you have, and more importantly what flies you do not have; so go ahead and make more flies to fill in the board. Ensure you are not looking outside as you may see the lawn needs mowing or the car needs cleaning; so have this on a desk or table in the fishing room against the wall. This can take the next 2-3 days by which time the rivers may start to clear.
Next project: Creating shelves for my SUV to store my gear in..”made in a mere three hours”
Cost about $4. After out fishing with Harry, a fellow club member, I was shown a compartment in the back of his vehicle where fishing gear can be stored. What a great idea, so a quick search on the internet provided some photos to view and get some ideas from.
So I sketched out a plan with four drawers covering an area 970mm (38 inches) by 800mm (31 inches).
Here, there would be one drawer for fly rods in their holders; a second drawer for the fly lines; a third drawer for fly boxes and a fourth drawer for accessories like scissors, clippers and other necessary equipment like nylon and indicators.
Not each drawer needs to be the same depth, as the only full length drawer would be for the fly rods – four piece rods are usually about 750mm long in the holders.
As wisdom took effect it was warm that afternoon when I was measuring what timber/plywood was needed and it looked like three sheets of plywood 1200mm x 600mm at about $9.50 a sheet may be all that is needed. Plus a packet of tacks and some glue.
Estimated cost about $45.
Then a pause while a beer/wine was consumed, then another, as the first glass evaporated too quickly on this warm afternoon.
Then some snacks, of course.
Two hours later while discussing the major issues facing the world, I had a realisation! A brain-wave or a hot flash!!
Well, a close person of the opposite sex, my wife, reminded me of my not-so-good DIY skills and the poor state of our tools in the tool-shed. Alas, what to do? Buy new tools; get this made by a tradesman or what else?
I looked in our garage where we often keep old cardboard boxes for the first 12 months of use and saw many, many cardboard boxes on the garage fridge. Yes, there was a long one from the electric motor I had bought and one from the panel heater we bought over the last winter; there were also some small balsa boxes that dear sister in law had once sent Christmas flowers in.
(The box lasted longer than the plants). Estimate cost about $4 for the brown wrapping tape.
Out came the cutting knife – no, not the best kitchen knife – it was the second best kitchen knife- and some brown wide packaging tape. The ex-box of the electric motor had an opening at the top, but the box length was too long. This was easily cut to size and the top enveloped over the other part to give the correct length with access by just undoing the top flap. The ex-box of the panel heater took more surgery as this was cut in half to give a lid that lifted up, giving access to see what fly box or fly reels I needed to select. The brown tape was around some edges for strength and durability.
The balsa box was handy to hold the nylon and indicators in some already made pockets with a separate tiny box to hold the scissors and clippers in. Another box was found being an ex NZ Post box into which was placed other items such as fish bags and a towel. A final polystyrene narrow box was found as a fish holder. in the circumstance that sometime in the future when I catch a fish I have a place to keep them. This box could hold about 2-3 fish of about 3lb to 4lb (my favourite size) so I have great expectations I need to have a larger box for the larger fish.
Finally the heavy duty rubber cargo mat was placed over the top and hey presto, now I have most of my gear now stored in my SUV.
It may need something strong to keep the cardboard box from being squashed so a few sheets of plywood were acquired.
Will I ever get around to making a permanent wooden structure? I’m not sure as I’ll need at least a few years to test how these cardboard boxes arrangement works. After all, Pak N Save use cardboard boxes for shelving, so all I’m doing is combining different ideas. Should you take on any of these projects I am unwilling to be involved in project one, but can offer advice in person when we meet or by email on projects two or three! Maurice Broome email@example.com
We met, we fished together, we will fish again!
We both met at a recent, well not quite so recent Wellington Club meeting – one angler not fished for two years and the another angler eager to get out fishing, as he was going to miss Opening day.
What missing Opening Day – this is compulsory, a traditional day for all eager anglers to comply with – an annual pilgrimage day – an annual leave day, a sickie day, attending Aunty Daisy’s funeral (for the tenth time), except when wife wants to go travelling – well then all fishing plans are not put off – merely accumulated and remembered for the next available fishing trip.
The accommodation was soon booked at Patangata, the Hastings Anglers Club lodge. While considering staying for a few nights it was soon apparent membership as well to the Hastings Club could be a future advantage. Here, we had several bunks rooms available with hot showers, a large kitchen, a TV for TV3 and TV3 and TV3. And yes, there was a lounge fireplace – actually quite cosy for a few nights! Even an outdoor area for wet gear, just in case you may need it!
Day 1 Tuesday. It all started about 8:30am when we left Waikanae and Paraparaumu and drove up to our accommodation.
It wasn’t a long time after we had unpacked, had lunch and were on our way again –having a look downstream on the Tukituki River, to places recommended by other Hasting Club members. The seasonal changes had changed the riverbed from what was a good long run, over lighter riverbed, followed by a drop-off now became a wide expanse of riffling water. Down by the cliff, where members from other fishing clubs also favour, was consistently not fish hooking up water either. We were still keen to get into some good holding water for trout as Wednesday weather was forecast to be lots of rain.
Day 2 Wednesday. A reasonable early start had us walking along the gravel bed from Walkers Road by about 8:30am. Yes, try this back water first on the Waipawa and then down to the confluence with the Tukituki River. Let’s just say we had a pleasant morning casting away. Upstream meant not moving the car so we were up for a late morning walk. That’s exactly what this was – a late morning walk after an early morning walk and not even a trout sighted yet!
“How about we go upstream? ” a good suggestion.
Driving to areas unknown and looking for fishing access points without the access map seemed ok and soon . parking just off the road, we walked down to the Waipawa River. Well, well, well..let’s just say that between us both we got into a hook up and landed trout! Here the sun was shining and we were out of the wind. Down towards our accommodation with a stop-over at the bridge over the Tukituki. Here the wind was blowing upstream with some good effort, the river was still clear but the “ducking” casting technique was used. You know what this is cast behind and “duck” at the fly sours near your head as you seek to avoid being hooked by the fly being blown forward and upstream. About 25 minutes of this was too much as there was a call from the accommodation – it was after one/wine o’clock, like about four hours after wine o’clock so time to end casting for the day.
Day 3 Thursday Remember I mentioned that Wednesday was to be lots of rain, well we are sure it all came down last night!
Where to go?? A quick drive over the bridge and looking down dashed any hopes of fishing the Tukituki River – it was light brown and high – in flood! A quick drive to Walkers Road quickly showed the colour was replicated for this was also a light brown and in flood. After some quick thinking we were soon on our way up to Lake Tutira- a small morning drive of about 1 ½ hours from the Lodge. The Ngaruroro River was resembling what we had seen this morning in other rivers and we were surprised when crossing the Tutaekuri River was flowing clear. “What the ….is happening here, don’t they have the same catchment areas?” Not bothering to stop to consult a map we headed into Taradale and drove towards this river. Alas, the memory had faded from a few years back as we were soon driving AWAY from the river. So when you are lost, and only then do you consult a map! Not too further on we u-turned and drove towards the river and found an access walkway. Here we continued with our casting practise over this river in what seemed good trout holding water. Then up and “let’s get to this Lake Tutira!” It was lunchtime when we arrived and overcast conditions. After donning our rain jackets it came out warm with a lovely afternoon watching the fish jump completely out of the water and trout cruising by. Did we hook up or land any? The attention, they say is with the detail and floating lines with glo bugs worked the best that afternoon.
Day 4 Friday Was this to be our last day? The local rivers were well in flood; we had fished Lake Tutira so what to do?? It was pouring with rain overnight and still this morning, and did our wives want us home a full day early? Surely not!! So back to Lake Tutira! Neither roadworks nor fog diminished our hopes as this was our last chance – to be home for our evening meal we planned to leave no later than 3:00 pm-home was about three drive hours away. Yes, here it was raining as well! So like mad dogs and Englishmen we geared up and walked out to the lake in this continuous rain. Where was everyone else, because yesterday we had about six anglers together and four –let’s call then admirers- as an audience. Here we saw fewer ripples, but there were fish here and as one drenched angler left for a hot drink and food about 10:00am the other stayed on for another cast!
We all know this means another 20 to 30 minutes at the earliest. After a few false tugs there was a hook up and yes landed!
So it all comes to a good end!
Enjoy your fishing Michael and Maurice.
Fishing with a Switch Rod
How I learnt to cast with a “10 foot two handed Switch Rod”
Now I own a Switch Rod I felt it was necessary to learn how to use this.
I purchased a 10 foot, 9-10 weight Switch Rod Aventik IM12 Nano Carbon
My first port of information was to see if we had any notes of our website or any other club’s website. None that I could find!
Next, I have a search on the internet whilst paying attention to “YouTube” clips. It was only when I went into “Images” and started searching did I find some useful information. The web sites and links are provided below.
The disadvantage of a switch is the way you have to hold your rod while retrieving flies. You will tuck the rod under your armpit and strip up on top of the cork; you are a little less connected to your flies and fly line than with a single hander.
You will get used to it though and after a while not be able to tell a difference. To change old habits took a while and this took several days.
So how have I been going – (1) the first lesson was a change in technique in holding the flyrod – As a photo shows the right hand is near the top of the upper handle and the left hand holding the bottom handle – for right-handed casters.
Just getting used to this took a while - I walked around our home and outside just holding this bottom part, just to get used to the feel. No flyline, just walking around the house with a quarter of a fly rod, as women and men do! Why not try it??
(2) Next to see what fly-lines work best, rather than buying new fly-lines, when I’m not really sure this is the best Switch Rod for me.
I choose some of my existing lines of shooting heads with a nine and ten weight and different lengths of shooting heads. The grass reserve opposite our house provided an ideal casting area. This has now been renamed “The flyline casting reserve”. (Please note this is not to be used for golf practise, as just beyond the trees is the Kapiti Expressway and combined walk/cycle way and golf balls could have the potential as a traffic hazard- then we may have problems with NZTA, oh dear, oh dear). What are the chances of getting this reserve officially renamed and signage paid by our Kapiti District Council? (Dreams are cheap).
Back to casting results – after about 40 minutes, with 15 minutes untangling one backing line tangle, I had tested five shooting heads with the overhead cast.
I find much of this “grain” and “grams” quite confusing so tried out what I calculated as follows:
Flyline My results
10 weight 48 feet with black backing; 540 grainsgood
9 weight shooting Head 330 grains under powered
10 weight 30 feetwith white backing 470 grainsfelt it needed more shooting head/weight
Masterline 10 weight UFS 849 grain (seems like 13 weight) 43 metres seemed too heavy and cumbersome
9 weight shooting head 30 metres with multicolour backing (got knotted) adequate.
Remember this was tried over a grass reserve and I know for real, over water casting can differ quite a lot.
Tomorrow I’m going to try “Switch casting” over grass, quite difficult, so will have to apply this on a lake.
Tomorrow came so I tried what has been called the “Switch cast”. I could try to describe this but prefer to let you view and read what other experts suggest.
1. Easy Switch casting for Big distance.
2. Place the line out in front of you with a small overhead cast;
3. Holding the line with the right hand on the large/upper handle-this keeps the tension on the line;
4. Line can be held in left hand –at the base handle or right hand on the upper handle;
5. Bring the line back and then cast forward = no back false casts;
With backing line at my feet this should give up to about 80 foot cast;
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxxeAhaFauc HD - Switch Rod Snap-T Casting Have the fly-rod level with the water,
Pick up and lay down flyline; “Reach” pointed in the direction of the cast; Then snap lift the rod then with the top hand do a forward stroke; This forms a “D-loop” and allows a long cast with the “anchor point” or where the flyline touches the water is beside me.
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rClhwSp3T2g ORVIS - Spey Casting - Roll And Switch Casting
No need to keep right arm stretched out as this can cause strain on the arm and shoulder. When bringing the rod back for the “D cast” lift the rod and then tuck the bottom handle into my belly. When bringing the rod back use the rod is vertical and then cast what can be called “splash and go”.
4. https://www.minturnanglers.com/switch-casting-instructions/ Switch Style:
Switch style incorporates rods and lines that can be used to cast over the top, under the tip, with one or two hands.
The basic switch cast is what is referred to as a “touch and go cast.”
The basic switch cast is important to learn before you can move any farther.
Steps of a Switch Cast
1. Raise the rod to shoulder level in order to lift line of the water.
2. Make a back cast with the top loop of the line traveling under the rod tip.
3. The goal is to place an anchor down smoothly (the anchor is the tip of the fly line and leader landing on the water) with the tip of the line pointed towards the direction you are casting.
4. Once the anchor is down, everything proceeds in the same way as your normal fly cast with a stop of the rod on the forward and back cast, rod tip traveling on the same plane throughout the cast. .
5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=608toKFIexE Spey Casting With Jon - Switch Cast.
Cast the line down to where it came from;
Use the “dish technique” to lift the rod slowly to the direction you want to cast; This will create the “D” cast;
The right hand grip on the rod is near the top of the upper handle; Lift-Dish-Deliver
Any positive comments will be welcomed; negative comments will be suitable filed!
Since writing this I have bought another Switch Rod 3/4 weight Aventik.
To accompany this I have bought a Switch 4 weight flyline which can also be used as a single handed casting and a large Arbour 3/.4 weight reel. This was inexpensive and gives me an opportunity to learn casting with Switch rod. My research has found you can use a reel and normal flyline two weights above the switch rod weight or buy a large arbour reel and switch flyline to match the rod. Also the Switch flyline is thicker so a large Arbour reel would be recommended.
When making the small D in a roll cast try bringing the rod back further, so only about one to two feet are on the water and shoot this forward. This is part of the cast for a Switch rod. So there is much to learn but the end result is that you should be able to cast longer distances with no false casting.
Any interested person can contact me, below.
Poem to Corona 19 Virus Isolation
The angler sits at home, during the lockdown
He dreams of casting a fly along a stream
These dreams are far away, as he sits at home.
The fly box is full with newly tied flies
The flylines are clean from recently been washed.
Alas, we start with level four lockdown
“Stay at Home” and “Keep in your Bubble” we are constantly told.
Will Level three allow for an escape?
Only our politicians will make this decision.
Can the angler plan the next trip?
Where would this be - local or far away rivers?
The angler still only sits and ponders
The angler reviews his past diary and notes; he waits!
The old fishing magazines get a reread
The libraries e-books become a reminder
Remember the days of casting away?
The lawns are mowed, the garden is weeded, and the bushes are trimmed;
The angler seeks adventure further afield;
The manager wants to send him away
Only our politicians will make this decision.
The angler just sits and dreams of trout passing by.
Each day the fishing report websites are visited
The Webcams are showing good conditions
There are regular freshes from recent rains
The river and lake levels are daily monitored
The angler still only sits and ponders
Behold a picture emerges of a trout laded stream
Early in the morning these trout are close to shore
A cast is a mere six feet distance
By noon six good trout have been caught and released
Later in the day the mayflies are rising, so a dry fly is used
They suck down each fly as it lands on the water.
Behold he woke up as it was a mere dream.
These dreams are far away, as he sits at home.
The angler still only sits and ponders
When, oh when, can the angler get away
Only our politicians will make this decision.
Level two comes and all action is immediate
Accommodation is swiftly arranged and access confirmed;
The angler drives away to far forgotten dreams
He arrives to a warm welcome and soon departs for the river.
Peace to the world, his dream has come true!
Our politicians have spoken, so hark what they say
Soon we are coming up to Mother's Day
Two days later the anglers are released
Thus making angler's wives much pleased.
During the COVID-19 in New Zealand
Murmurs from below the water line
Hi, my name is “Jack” and my partner is often referred to as “Hen”.
Often in our lives we get pieces of lead or coloured heavy Christmas decorations thrown into the water, near to where we are lying. My dad tells me that this happens almost every second day and becomes more troublesome on weekends. Sometimes these shiny objects move at a rapid pace and at one time we used to chase them, but now dad is gone I leave them alone to move about the water with utter abandonment!
Well, well, well; the 26 March 2020 came along and nothing has happened! No pieces of lead or even disguised hooks looking like poorly imitation insects have been thrown into the water and sailing past our noses. Wow! Now we can have a meal in peace! How many others like to start a meal then to have foreign items thrown at them from the banks of a stream or river ..not ME, anyway! Or even while you are having a drink with a meal? I’ve spotted some juicy stick caddis and some mayflies which look so yummy! Gulp, gulp. Gulp!..Sorry, but I know I should not talk or type with a mouthful!
Now it has been only four days since we last heard or saw a foreign matter being thrown in our direction and you ought to see my bro’…he is getting fat and boy is he putting on weight! I’m not allowed to comment on sis – she may be putting on weight, but let’s blame this on getting preggy!
Me bro and I heard on the “moving current line” (the Bush telegram on land is called the “moving current line” under the surface of the water) that we may have a real long time “free” to eat and eat and swim around and play for nearly four entire weeks! We can move to our favourite playgrounds and even venture away from our local area. No bubbles apply! And no enforcement police around either. We often like to play tag or even hide and seek. Sometime I hide behind a particular large boulder in the river or stream and get distracted by food that goes sailing past me. That’s when others see me and often an array of these foreign items come hurtling towards me.
The only worry we have is that as we are eating and putting on weight we may become lazy. Another fear we have is that those objects being thrown into the water may look more real and actually appear like food!
So what to do? We can eat as much as we like but soon our local area will be devoid of natural food so we may have to move around to new waters. Alas, there seems to be low water so what to do – move around in shallow water and get all yucky with weed, or keep near our favourite runs of oxygenated water and pools. Maybe time will tell; as why should we give away our new hiding places now.
The rains are coming, more water = more aquatic life = more food!
As they say – bye for now – catch you on the water. Maybe you won’t see me later!
Signed by a young looking trout! And some of my family below:
Let us get into mid-week fishing!!
So a new initiative of the Wellington Fly Fisher’s Club – “mid-week fishing”. Here the venues selected normally have more comfort than weekend trips, as these mid-week trips are aiming for accommodation: where linen and towels are supplied; each angler has a separate bedroom; it is self-contained; there is off street parking; and there is a common area for “socialising” and preferable access to private access fishing water, at a more leisurely pace. Our stay would often be five nights, giving us eager anglers a day to get to our accommodation and after a fresh sleep on the last night, a day to come home after four full days fishing. This gives the trip back to conjure up the stories to brag about when we meet our spouses, partners, mates and friends. But prepayment before the trip is required.
Our first trip away was to a back country river onto exclusive water, accessible only as guests of this accommodation. Here we are off to Manganui O Te Ao. What have we got ourselves in for? The leisurely walk along the track (proved to be up a typical steep hill and steeper down the other side), through some native bush took a mere 60 minutes: Here we came to 2km of privately accessible water. Who’s we? Well, there was Maurice, Lindsay, Michael and Saint John.
As we set out on Day 1, about 7:30am our backpacks were full of a lunch, some coffee, some water, some snacks; but more importantly many, many flies and some spare reels, with a camera by one or two of us, as we also carried wading sticks.
Now a choice of gear up - heavy flies followed by a smaller weighted end fly; heavy flies with a beaded end fly and heavy flies with an unweighted end fly. Let’s try each of these, for say an hour each; and then another cuppa as we discuss the results. The water was running a dark brown after rain the previous night and continuous rain over the weekend.
It wasn’t till nearly two hours later that we compared notes and results as we were watching each other.
Soon we were all using 8lb nylon with small indicators, copper johns behind a weighted fly; and our casting techniques were getting better with much practise! Enough of Day 1, other than to say most of us did not venture over the hill for this fishing spot again, during this trip.
Day 2 Down to the Ruatiti Domain and the river was showing boulders we could not see yesterday. Yesterday, this was a brown, raging torrent, now lower water, but clearing, and much lower – like about two feet lower! Two anglers at the top and two from the bottom of the Domain and by lunchtime we met up; but not before some trout were hooked and released. Two anglers had success - one had photo evidence and the other no proof other than some yelling for attention and a photographer!
Day 3 took us onto some privately accessible land, and after some bush bashing down a wrong path, we found a good size pool in Oliver’s Reserve. Here we could see another pool further downstream over the bridge, and we all battled the wind which seemed keep to prevent any upstream casting. It was with one of these anglers downstream the roles of angler and trout were reversed - one angler became half submerged in the water and a trout came out of the water. Now three anglers had success. Another access was found at the end the road- down Syms Road, so this was our planned destination for our last day.
Day 4 This mere drive of about 11 km only took 30 minutes but the bird and natural wild like was prolific – wild goats and farmed sheep and lambs on the road, male and female pheasants, parakeets, of course the dreaded magpies, some hawks and at the end of this road we were rewarded with a king fisher. Finally, our fourth member (no names, just member number four) was successful in hooking into trout.
So what did we learn? Besides enjoying the beautiful surroundings, the mountain walk up and down a hill, the bush bashing, the dipping, and the comradeship of our group fishing overall was rather disappointing with very few trout even sighted. But this is what fishing is about and the hosts have mentioned it is often more available during January to March as most use is during the ski season - so we shall return – Thanks to Craig and Kellyanne. More photos on the weblink (ex Dropbox). https://www.dropbox.com/sh/66fc69cj9igg9pu/AAACS10uKo85GuLIImE1XBd0a?dl=0
Keep Safe, keep fishing Maurice
The tooth fairy is alive and well!
Are you really sure about this? Yes, Yes, I am!!
You have heard the story about inside the lift there was a tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and an honest lawyer. How many people inside the lift? None, as they don't exist.
Well, here is an update.
Instead of meeting up with a fellow angler yesterday, I had to go to the dentist for a tooth extraction.
It is true what they say; getting money from an accountant is like getting a tooth extracted!!
Well, the tooth came home, placed under a pillow and behold something strange happened! . Was there a coin (sorry we don't use coins now,) was there a credit card or a debit card or a prezzy card...no, there was a note. Not money, but better...It said I can go fishing again next month.
NOW. I am a firm believer in the tooth fairy!!! Again, some truth and wisdom from an angler!
Here was I thinking, having been prompted, what would I like for Father’s Day?
No more underwear, no more handkerchiefs, no more gaudy ties, not after-shave again, no more fishing gear, no more fishing clothes; so bingo…a bolt of lightning came and the answer became apparent “Go fishing to new waters, with a fishing guide!”
And so, it started. First of all, what is new water?
I admit I have fished the local rivers, some of the North Island eastern rivers, some of the North Island central rivers, so how about I look at the North Island western rivers? That is the Taranaki region, around Mount Taranaki. Besides the Manganui O te Ao, I admit I knew nothing of the Taranaki rivers, other than the name of Stoney River. In fact I cannot recall a club meeting where anyone has admitted to fishing these rivers, nor do I know any club members that have fished these rivers.
First an internet search of professional guides and information from some fishing websites of fishing around New Plymouth region. While out fishing my wife can visit our grandson and visit the Pukekura Park in New Plymouth. It did not take long for me to quickly arrange a fishing guide, a booking for the cattery and accommodation for us both. This accommodation was a mere eight minute walk from my son’s residence, but also looked out over the Waiwhakaiho River from our accommodation. What more could an angler ask for?
The day started the fishing guide, (Adam Priest) collecting me at 7:30am all set for a full day from 7:30am to 5:00pm. Our plan was to start on some secret spots, (rivers names which seem to have been erased from my memory, as I write this). Surrounding Mount Taranaki and Egmont National Park and its catchment is over 40 waterways containing fishable water. It has been quoted: "Off the radar is still an accurate description for the Taranaki trout fishing. Target the stocked lakes with the family or explore the maze of streams which are easily accessed and closely located to each other. Catch and release is highly recommend in all of Taranaki's smaller fisheries to help sustain the finite fish populations and quality technical sight fishing that is on offer."
Ah, you may ask, what gear and what flies were used?
I took along my 6 weight 4 piece, Sage 9 foot, and my 5 weight 3 piece, Scott 8 foot 6 inches. I now am using a 5 weight floating DRI Airflo Hero line, seconded by a 6 weight floating AirFlo DRI Bandit camo on both the Sage and the Scott fly rods, with almost equal results.
We drove south somewhere. (that is all I am allowed to say) and ended up opening many framers’ tape gates.
This was a stream, not a river calling for careful casting to these spookish brownies.
What an enjoyable day this turned out to be! To retain the utopia attitude I was wondering if I could fish outside our accommodation, trying down the Waiwhakaiho River, while my wife went into town. (No more discussion on that topic).
The next day, by myself, onto Lake Mangamahoe. I have been here before, but always with a strong wind preventing those long casts that are needed. Here I used some of my own flies – small woolly buggers, or could be called a damsel nymph on a slow intermediate sinking line. These worked well and about half a dozen smallish trout were returned to grow bigger for next year.
Anyway I’ll be back for a repeat, probably trying down the Waiwhakaiho River, Lake Mangamahoe again, or even Plantation Road.
Meanwhile keep safe, keep fishing Maurice
Anglers I have fished often with
Together we fished for about 20 years and enjoyed the
Waimarino River mouth and the Mohaka River
We fished together for about 10 years fishing the Mohaka River
and Rangitikei River quite often together and the Ruatikuri River
We often fished the Big O and also the local rivers
such as the Rangitikei and Manawatu Rivers.
Often we fish the lakes of Big O , Lake Kuratau and Lake Tutira
with Alan's Zodiac and Maurice's pontoon
John especially enjoyed the back country fishing experiences.
When we went to the Tongariro River it was over a few days with no trout under 5lb.
What a memorable trip.. Your friendship will be missed.
Michael met up at the Wellington Fly-fishers Club and now
we have been to Hawkes Bay on the Waipawa River also to Lake Tutira,
a day trip to the Rangitikei River and also the river mouths around Turangi.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Grant, another member of the Wellington Fly Fishers Club came along for a mid-week fishing trip and keeps coming along and enjoying himself with the group.
Taranaki Professional Fishing Guide
+64 275 038 335
Wellington Fly Fishers Club
Thank you to my many helpers - Strato; Chris; Gordon and others over my 25 year plus years of membership.
Check out the "Capital Trout Centre" pond mainly for children between 2 and 11 years. Significant funding from the Wellington Fish & Game Council is supplemented by donations from the parents of participating children and other groups who use the Centre.
Children wishing to attend Open Days are required to obtain fishing licences (free) from three outlets in the Wellington area and must be aged from 2 years old up to 11 years old.
Steves Fishing Shop Ghuznee Street
Hutt Valley Hunting & Fishing Alicetown
FishScene Ltd, 1c Taurima St, Hataitai Village, Wellington
For other enquiries please contact Strato Cotsilinis - email
Hastings Anglers Club
If you want to learn how to fish the Hawkes Bay rivers join this club.
There is club owned accommodation at reduced rates to members at Patangata, on the banks of the Tukituki River.
Other rivers nearby are the Waipawa River, the Tutaekuri River and even a few lakes with the major lake being Lake Tutira.
Some fish caught
Places I have stayed at
Taumaruni Grandpa's Place
Back packers Turangi - no longer available
Ian's place Turangi
Auckland Fly Fishing Club Accommodation Turangi Tokaanu Lodge Motel
Hastings Club Accommodation Patangata
Taihape Accommodation - Magpie Manor Airbnb
Makakahi Accommodation Manganui-o-te Ao
16 January 2021 My favoured fly-fishing outfit in NZ$ (These are my favoured items, you will probably have different tastes.. Well, that’s good).
Most common flies (see fishing website).
Waders – neoprene waders currently using Riverworks Permatough waders was $349, now $199
Waders Breathables currently using Stream Logic (from Taupo Fish and Tackle) cost about $150 [same factory as Orvis].
Thigh waders usually about $75 on TradeMe.
Wading boots currently using Aquax Kenai Vibram boot size 12 about $225
Gaiters/Gravel guards, with zip and clip onto laces on boots.
Ankle dive boots..with a sole for walking in lake and/or with inflatable pontoon wearing breathable waders about $20 TradeMe
Fly Fishing Vest currently using Aventik fishing vest from AliExpress about NZ$60 or AirFlo about $120
Light rainproof wading jacket currently using Columbia rain nylon jacket est about $80
Wading jacket for lake fishing currently using Redington breathable wading jacket est about $250
Sunhat with rear flap currently using was available from warehouse cost about $15
Rainhat with drop-able flap Was bought from Alice Springs, Australia.
Neoprene socks..to provide cushion effect , when walking over rocks in and out of rivers/streams; about $18 TradeMe
Gloves currently using Gortex from AliExpress about NZ$8 a pair; also on TradeMe
Clip –on polarised sunglasses –
* black or blue for driving and late evening [into setting sun] large lake fishing available on TradeMe
* green for sunny days
* yellow/green for overcast days, low light condition; currently using was available from AliExpress
Fish carry bags
Scissors, on cord around neck. currently using was available from warehouse cost about $15
Neck scarf about $25 TradeMe
Wading stick (in backpack) currently using from TradeMe “I love fishing” about $60 delivered.
3. Fishing equipment
(a) Fly Rods currently using Also own
Sage 6 weight 4 piece 9 foot Switch 3-4 weight flyrod spare 5-6 weight flyrod
Scott 5 weight three piece 8 foot 6 inches spare 6 weight rod
Genesis 9 weight four piece 9 foot 6 inches Switch 8-9 weight flyrod
(b) Flyline currently using Also own
WF floating 5 weight Airflo DRI Hero Shooting heads for small lakes various sinking rate flylines for small lakes
WF floating 6 weight Airflo DRI Bandit Cameo Bobby catcher for large lakes WF Floating 9 weight for Tongariro River
(c) Fly reels currently using Also own
AirFlo Cassette Reels for 5-6 weight rods Abu Garcia Fly Max (really good now vintage reels) for river mouth fly fishing
8lb fluorocarbon ) currently using from TradeMe “trout4” about $12 for 50 metres
10lb fluorocarbon )
Yarn large for Tongariro River ) often available on TradeMe
Yarn small for streams )
(f) Backpack with contents Capacity: about 30L (24L main compartment,5L front pocket) currently about $25 Wish
Camera + bag Plastic lunch container Pliers Torch on cord around neck Warehouse $20
Coffee flask Cookies First aid bandages Wading stick
Water drink bottle Muesli bars Fish bag
4. Fly boxes
Heavy flies bombs/medium to heavy flies
Light flies and small weighted flies
Lake flies – green flies
Lake flies – black flies
Emergers and small wets flies
Boobies/large glo bugs
Blood worms/medium size glo bugs for river
(see fishing website) and stripping basket (about $20 plus)
Fluorocarbon nylon Neck scarf Torch on string around neck. Stripping basket
Neoprene waders Breathable waders Wading boots