Winter is traditionally a quiet time for trout
fishing on the Taranaki ringplain, as most waters are closed for
the trout spawning season. But fishing is still available in a number
of local lakes and the lower reaches of a selection of coastal rivers
Lake Ratapiko: One
of the most productive winter fisheries is Lake Ratapiko, a 21-hectare
hydro reservoir located 9 km along Tariki Road off SH3, mid-way
between Inglewood and Stratford. Lake Ratapiko contains hatchery
rainbow trout up to 2.7 kg, with wild browns up to 2 kg and perch
up to 1.5kg also present. Spin and bait fishing methods are popular,
although wet-fly fishing will also take fish. Trout cruising the
lake edge can also be targeted with damselfly, waterboatman or snail
imitations. The lake margins adjacent to Tariki Road can be reached
via the water ski and powerboat access points. Permission to fish
other parts of the lake margin should be sought from the local landowners.
Mangamahoe is another productive fishery located on SH3 between
New Plymouth and Inglewood. The lake is fly-fishing only with fly
rod, fly reel and fly line and the use of size 8 -12 Rabbit, Red
Setter or Hamill’s killer type wet flies, or small waterboatman
or snail imitations can produce good conditioned brown and rainbow
trout up to 2kg. Booby-type flies fished on a short trace and sinking
line can also be productive. Please note that the lake inlet is
closed to winter fishing
For New Plymouth anglers, the Waiwhakaiho
River can be fished from the sea up to the end of the gravel
track originating at the right-hand end of Rimu Stream. This provides
4km of fishable water with easy access and some large pools. Mainly
brown trout are present, with the occasional rainbow and it’s
a good place to spend and hour or two fishing without having to
travel out of the city.
Lake Ngangana: Lying
next to the Taranaki Kart Club track at the end of Joll Street,
Waitara, Lake Ngangana provides fishing for medium-sized rainbow
trout in scenic surroundings. There is a walking track round the
lake giving access to a number of fishing sites and there is always
a sheltered spot out of the wind. The adjacent Waitara River downstream
from the Manganui river confluence is also open during winter and
spin fishing on an incoming tide or when the river clears during
low flow periods can produce good brown trout up to 2kg. Waitara
River access is best from Mamaku Road on the western side of the
Opunake Lake can
be reached by a short walk down a track on the Opunake side of the
Surf Highway 45 Bridge, or via Domett or Layard Streets in Opunake.
The lake provides some good fishing for brown and rainbow trout,
as does the adjacent Waiaua River downstream of the weir. The lower
reaches of several coastal ringplain rivers, including the Kaupokonui
and Waingongoro, are also open to winter season angling below the
Surf Highway 45 bridges.
Patea River: Although
River below Patea dam carries a high sediment load following
rainfall, excellent conditioned brown trout up to trophy size are
present and the river is well worth a visit during low flow periods.
The lower Patea is reached via Ball Road, which runs off SH3 just
north of Kakaramea. There is plenty of fishable water between McColl’s
bridge and the dam face.
Lake Namunamu: For
Wanganui anglers, Lake
Namunamu located 14km west of Hunterville on the Turakina Valley
Road is well worth a visit. The 13-hectare lake is sheltered from
the wind and is stocked with rainbow trout that grow to around 2kg.
A couple of dinghies are provided, but anglers must ensure they
bring their own life jackets. Most fish are caught by harling a
wetfly (Hamills Killer, Woolly Bugger, Parsons Glory) on a sinking
line. Park by the access sign and take the farm track.
Wiritoa contains both rainbow trout and perch, with popular
fishing spots located at the water ski clubrooms and Scoutland’s
Lake Pauri contains
a good population of perch, a white-fleshed good eating species
that can grow to 2kg.
mainstem (excluding tributaries) downstream of the Orautoha Stream
confluence is open to winter season angling and the use of a Tongariro-style
two-nymph rig incorporating #14-16 hare and copper or halfback type
nymphs should bring success. Access is via Ohura Road (turn left
4km north of Raetihi) and Ruatiti Road. A free camping area is available
at Ruatiti domain (take plenty of warm gear) and a large sign at
the domain gives details of which landowner to ask for access.
River (excluding tributaries) downstream of the SH49 “golf
course” Bridge is also open during winter with the reach upstream
and downstream of the Pakihi Road Bridge worth a look on a fine
winter’s day. As for the Manganuioteao River, please obtain
permission from the landholders and avoid disturbing stock.
The Tokiahuru and Waitaiki
Streams, out near Karioi, are open downstream of the SH49
bridges. These spring-fed streams remain fishable when other waters
are dirty from rain and they contain high-density populations of
small rainbow trout, with a few larger brown and rainbow trout also
present. The Tokiahuru is a fast flowing stream and care must be
taken when crossing. The lower Tokiahuru can be accessed from Whangaehu
Valley Road or Oruakukuru Road.