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Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 10 October 2014

by Bert Robinson

NIWAs forecast for the coming summer is for similar conditions to last summer which means drought conditions and winds that are not helpful as far as angling is concerned. We can expect the flow from Hamurana to be spread out all over the northern side of the lake (Lake Rotorua), perhaps as far as the Ohau Channel. This will disperse the trout yet again as they will have plenty of cooler water to be in in rather than be concentrated at the stream mouth. Should the forecast be accurate those fishing from boats will do far better than those standing waist deep in water off the mouth of Hamurana Spring. The Awahou is less likely to be affected as there is deeper water close in to the mouth and being much colder water, the flow is likely to drop into the deeper water and be less affected by the wind. Fishing off Mission Bay and the Ohau Channell is likely to be more productive for shore based anglers during the summer.

On the lake side of the Ohau Channel Weir anglers have had quite a bit of success at times, especially during the day, with one angler landing 20 rainbows of various sizes from outside the weir. A few large brown trout have been hooked and lost within the channel. Opening Day was yet another fizzer for most anglers and overall continues to disappoint when compared to historical opening days.

Prior to the onset of the wind, the jetty at Okere Falls has produced some very nice fish. The area between the boom and the control gates has also fished well to nymphing or wet fly fishing. Those spin fishing, using a sinker and fly combo have also done well. With there being juvenile smelt moving down into the arm, grey ghost, silver Dorothy and virtually and woolly bugger pattern has caught fish there.

Few boats have been able to get out onto the three lakes that opened last Wednesday due to the weather conditions, though the weather has eased this week. Most of the trout being caught are still in the shallower water – five to 10 metres of water particularly early morning. Jigging has been successful for some and the use of very small smelt patterns has been the best option. On Lake Rotoiti it seems that anything white has been, by far the most successful colour to use. Catch rates are up on last years survey according to Fish and Game.

Lake Okataina was the standout lake on opening day with catch rates up 30 % on last year. Most anglers were happy with their day on this lake. Early morning fishing was more successful for most.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu has slowed up significantly over the past couple of weeks with shoreline spawning virtually over for this winter. Many of the fish being caught by harling have been in poor condition though this will change fairly quickly as trout feed on smelt and fry.

Lake Okaro continues to produce the occasional fish at the stream mouth and while not large fish they do put up a great fish, often tail walking on the surface of the water. Spin fishing, using blue zed spinners, around the lake edge has been reasonably successful as well and with the walkway there is plenty of access to the beach at the far end of the lake.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 3 October 2014

by Bert Robinson

Opening Day 2014 is over and anglers will be either celebrating or complaining such is human nature. Fish and Game Officers were out and about, mostly stationed at boat ramps, though some were out on the three lakes that open to trout fishing last Wednesday. Licences were be checked and a survey ran with information gathered from anglers as to how their time fishing had been. The information gathered is very important as it gives Fish and Game an update on the state of the fishery and allows for informed decisions throughout the rest of the season. There have been a few changes to the Eastern Region Fish and Game Regulations that anglers need to familiarise themselves with by reading through the appropriate section of the North Island fishing regulation guide. Ignorance of the regulations has never been a valid excuse.

Catch rates have slowed up from below the control gates over the past week, even the rain didn’t improve matters. The good news is that the area above the control gates is now open to fishing and there are some very good fish still spawning between the jetty and the control gate structure. With juvenile smelt being present in this area the use of Grey Ghost, Silver Rabbit, Silver Dorothy and similar wet flies is recommended. There is limited room for nymphing though where you can pursue this form of fishing, the use of egg pattern flies should give positive results. Spin fishing is also both popular and successful above the control gates and the use of bingo, zed and veltic type spinners is recommended. Remember though that the winged spinners such as veltics need to be cast upstream and retrieved NOT down or down and across the current as they twist your monofilament very quickly. The gusty sou-easterlies on Opening Day was more than a challenge for most flingers of the fly and so spin fishing came into its own.

With the large number of boats out on the water catch rates became lighter as the day wore on as the noise from boat engines drove the fish deep into the lake or to somewhere quieter particularly around the White Cliffs area. Many of the good conditioned fish seemed to be caught around the six meter mark and due to the weather conditions, many boats were sheltering in the lee of the White Cliffs under the mountain's shadow for most of the day. The new regime for releasing trout seems to be showing positive results as more fish survive and growth rates improved. Fish and Game report that there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of trout through the Te Wairoa fish trap during this spawning season.

For Lake Rotoiti my pick was directly off Gisborne Point and in water no deeper than five to ten metres of water. This area has fished very well over the past few years up until around 9am or so. Several anglers did fairly well there on opening day. The hole off Hinehopu also produced some good fish early in the morning.

Lake Okataina had plenty of fish showing at the six meter mark on the Fish and Game boat sounder the day before opening. This is not unusual at this time of the year.  Shore based fishing has been challenging but worthwhile pursuing.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 29 Sept 2014

by Bert Robinson

September has always been known as a slow month for catching good conditioned trout. By now most, if not all, of the lake edge and stream spawning fish have done their bit and are feeding voraciously after losing a significant amount of their condition. The tributaries of Lake Rotorua are, and have always been, the exception. With perfect conditions for spawning such as water temperature and gravel size, rainbow trout can spawn all year round, thus giving anglers plenty of opportunities to target good conditioned fish. While the upper reaches of these tributaries are closed to fishing, the lower end, closest to the lake are open all year round. The weather patterns that we have been experiencing continue to bring fresh fish into these streams, most of which swim virtually unmolested by anglers as they journey upstream to spawn. Night fishing on the Ngongotaha is your best bet if you want to catch and release up to 50 fish during an evening’s fishing. Wet lining with a marabou or rabbit fly as part of your terminal tackle has been very successful over the years. While the upper reaches of the three main tributaries don’t open to fishing until December 1st, other streams in the Eastern and Auckland/Waikato regions open on October 1 and provide some of the best early season catch rates of anywhere in New Zealand.

Some very nice brown and rainbow trout have been caught off the mouth of the Ohau Channel over the past few weeks though some anglers have been pushing boundaries when fishing here as they have been allowing their fly to drift well into the closed area.

Apart from the cold snap experienced during last weekend, temperatures have been very mild which has provided the right conditions for aquatic insects to hatch. On calm sunny days insects can be seen breaking through the surface tension of the water, along the length of the Kaituna River, which is usually quickly followed by the arrival of fantails and swallows. Once these birds start darting over the water you can be sure that rising trout are not far behind. One of the really fun ways to fish these conditions is to use a bubble float, a one metre trace and two flies spaced 30cm apart. The top fly is a dry fly, usually a stimulator type, and the lower fly is a size 18, 16 or 14 hare and copper, stone fly nymph or similar. The bubble float is three quarter filled with a water/red food colouring mix. The red allows you to see any change in what the bubble is doing and should a trout take the nymph you can then strike. This system can be used on lakes as well as streams, as long as spin fishing is allowed. When fishing streams by this method is best to cast upstream and wind just fast enough to keep tension on the line as the bubble comes back toward you. Juvenile smelt have appeared in reasonable numbers below the gates over the past week so wet flies in sizes 10 and 12 are likely to stimulate interest from the trout that continually move in and out of the Okere Falls Arm at this time of the year. With Opening Day just a few days away anglers are itching to get onto the water above the control gates as there are good numbers of fish there.

With the strength of the wind that we are experiencing at the moment, I don’t recommend harling on Lake Rotorua but once the weather settles, get out there and get amongst them. Three to five meters of water is where you want to be off the airport through to the Ohau Channel.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 19 Sept 2014

by Bert Robinson

Lake Rerewhakaaitu produced good numbers of fish over the weekend. The domain area fished well from the shore with the strong offshore wind. The brown, rubber legged woolly bugger seemed to catch well over the weekend, particularly as the fish were close into the shore. The other lee-shores at this lake also fished reasonably well as there was plenty of ripple on the water, allowing the fish to feel secure enough to come in close.

Lake Okaro is also producing fish. The stream mouth is the usual starting point, with the boat ramp a close second but there are plenty of other places on this lake to investigate. To the right of the boat ramp there is a strong flow of water that enters the lake when there is a significant amount of rain falling. Fish come right into the dirty water to feed on worms and other terrestrial insects that have been washed down the flow. To the left of the stream mouth a well formed track follows the curve of a long bay that fishes well, especially to the spinning rod.

Lake Ngapouri also fishes well at this time of the year though the wind direction and speed decides whether you can fly fish it or not. Being quite high in elevation and exposed to the south – south-west wind it can be diabolically challenging. Add the restricted shoreline access and it is just about impossible to fly fish in any wind over 15kph.

All three main streams entering Lake Rotorua flooded though to varying degrees. The Ngongotaha was barely fishable Sunday evening, though I could see a few dark shapes moving around the edges of a couple of the pools. Black woolly buggers or marabou wet flies catch well under these conditions during the day as they tend to stand out better than any other colour.

The Waiteti Stream cleared reasonably quickly and was holding fresh run fish in most of the pools in the lower reaches.

The Utuhina fished well late on Sunday. Where a stream meets the Utuhina, behind the marae, opposite Boys High, is a pool that holds large numbers of fish at times.

Fish were caught at the Orchard at Lake Tarawera over the weekend. There are still fish lurking around there as well as the Landing so it is worthwhile dropping in for a fish. My pick would be after dark at the Orchard and the landing, though the landing is not always the quietest place to fish if the Café is open. It is more the cars shining their lights over the water that tends to upset the ambience of the night. To fish the Orchard Stream productively you need to stand well back off the drop-off, preferably well off to the side as there isn’t a lot of room for back casting, when casting directly out into the lake. It is also better to have your fly come parallel with the drop-off rather than at 90 degrees as the fly is in the feeding zone longer.

Lake Okareka is still worth a visit at this time of the year as there are still fish in close to the shore. Both recovering and fresh rainbows have been caught off the stream mouth ar Boyes Beach as well as off the little beach to the right of Boyes. Ginger mick or similar patterns catch well over the golden sand though other smelt patterns in sizes 12 through 6 catch as well.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 12 Sept 2014

by Bert Robinson

Just enough rain fell over the weekend to bring more fish into the streams as well as the upper Kaituna River. Rainbows up to three kilos have been caught recently from the control gates, with most being fresh run fish and in top condition. Woolly buggers seem to be the best wet fly with hares ear, pheasant tail and hare and copper catching fish when nymphing. Most of the pools downstream of the gates are holding fish still, with the occasional large brown and rainbow in the mix.

Most of the spent fish have moved back into the lake to feed on smelt. With the much warmer weather there has been a few large hatches of insects, in particular trout flies, which are a few weeks early this year. I even heard crickets over the weekend so it will be interesting to see if we get an early summer or if this weather pattern will turn to custard and we get a repeat of last summer.

Whitebait runs are expected anytime soon so the lower Kaituna River is worth fishing where you can get to it. Spinning is probably the best option as there is limited room for casting a fly in most areas. Remember that if you have to cross private land to get to the river, you do need to ask permission before you access the river. This applies to anywhere that you have to gain access across private land.

With the start of the new season just a few weeks away, anglers will be looking forward to getting back out on the three lakes that have been closed since June 30. I suspect that a lot of fish are likely to be over the weed beds early in the morning, moving out into deeper water as the sun comes up. This has happened at the start of the season for the past three or four years, particularly with Lake Rotoiti. The eight to ten metre mark off Gisborne Point has been one of the better spots for running two to three colours of lead.

Lake Okataina always holds a lot of promise but can be rather disappointing at times. Finding just where the fish are is the biggest challenge as often they are spread around the lake and not in groups. Fishing deep when the sun is up is worthwhile though you need to keep an eye out for surface activity. Smelting or possibly fry bashing will be evident and common during October and it is important that the flies that you use are very close in size and colour to the baitfish that trout are feeding on. Usually the smaller the fly the better and anything that has UV tinsel tied in can be very effective.

Rather than fight the hordes on the three main lakes on opening day, which tends to put the fish down deep, try Lake Rotorua as it has been fishing quite well and will be a lot more peaceful and possibly more productive. Harling from Kawaha Point through to the Ngongotaha Stream mouth and around 500 metres out from the shore is usually productive at this time of the year. The extensive weed bed in the area is a great place to pick up feeding fish up to 2.5 kg in weight. Harling off the airport has also been productive with the occasional rainbow over three kilos being caught.  Harling over the weed bed off Hinemoa Point can also be productive and very few anglers fish this area.

Lake Okareka is still producing great conditioned fish from the shore. There are still fish coming into the stream at the left hand end of Boyes Beach and a few are still spawning towards the outlet end of the lake. Fishing over the weed bed in this area is also worthwhile as there are fish feeding on damsel and dragon fly nymphs.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 5 Sept 2014

by Bert Robinson

At the end of the month there are two fishing events to look forward to. The first, and most obvious, is the start of the 2014/15 trout fishing season. The second is the annual Tiger Hunt competition based at Lake Rotoma on 27-28 September. This competition is limited to 50 anglers and has a very well-priced entry fee.  Entry forms are available from ROTOMA TRADING POST OR EMAIL rotomatrading@xtra.co.nz to apply. Post entries with entrance fee to Rotoma Trading Post, Rotoma PDC, 178 SH30, Lake Rotoma 3038 RD4 Rotorua. Telephone 07 362 0722.

Tiger trout are relatively rare in New Zealand, being a cross species hybrid that is never found naturally here. They are a magnificent fish and smoke up very well. They tend to be as aggressive as rainbows, though each individual tiger can throw to either parent so there are large variations. Tigers can be caught from the shore by fly fishing or spinning and several were caught this way during the last competition. Harling or casting over the weed beds from a boat is also a successful option. Tigers tend to sit in a depression in the weed and wait for something to swim overhead, when that happens they roar into action, attacking the offering with great gusto. There are usually lots of rainbows caught from this lake during the competition so the chances of catching a fish is relatively high if you rig your terminal tackle correctly. If you are not into trout fishing competitions, and many anglers are not, calling in to the weigh-in stations is well worth while just to see the numbers and size of the fish being caught.

At this time of the year trout tend to be in remarkably shallow water, less than two metres deep as they are feeding on damsel and dragonfly nymphs that have come up out of the depths of the weed in preparation for hatching when the conditions are right. They provide an easy meal, though so do bullies, smelt and other species of nymph that are also on the move.

Harling off the airport on Lake Rotorua has been reasonably successful over the past week. The weather has been kind with easterly winds and not too strong so a number of boats have been getting out on the lake both at the weekends and during the week. One other spot worth looking at, if the wind from the East is not too strong is from Kawaha Point through to the Waiteti Stream mouth. A few boats have been seen around Mokoia Island though I haven’t heard how they have done. Anglers fishing outside the closed area on the lake side of the weir at the Ohau Channel have done reasonably well with a brown and a rainbow over 4.5 kilos being caught. This area can fish well at this time of the year, though it has been some years since a rainbow of that size has been caught.

The Easterly winds have made casting a challenge at Rangiuru Bay at Lake Tarawera, though a few hardy souls have ventured out after dark. Recovered and recovering fish have been caught though not in large numbers. While in the area, check out the landing as this wind can bring the fish in close to the shore, especially to the Angle and the long Jetty. Short casts can be more productive when the wind is too strong for comfortable casting here.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to fish well, especially from a boat. Casting back to the shore line where there is little or no access can be productive The eastern side of the lake has produced reasonable numbers of fish.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 28 Aug 2014

by Bert Robinson

The storm we endured last week brought a fresh run of fish into the spawning areas, especially the streams entering Lake Rotorua. Most of the streams took a while to clear so most of the fishing was concentrated around the shoreline spawning areas.

Kennedy’s Bay at Lake Rotoehu was one that provided some great fishing, especially at the tail end of the storm. With yet more rain forecast for later in the week this spot will be worthwhile revisiting should the rain eventuate. Harling has been very successful on this lake over the past few weeks as well with the green lightning turbo being the usual stand-out lure. This lake usually fishes well from now through until the water temperature reaches 18 degrees or so, unfortunately it may hit that temperature earlier this year with the warmer than usual conditions at the moment. Being a relatively shallow and dark coloured lake, it will warm up a lot quicker than the deeper and clearer lakes. One hot spot when the lake is warmer than trout like is the area downwind of the oxygenating pipes that have been placed on the lake bed. Drift fishing over this area has been very productive over the previous summer.

A floating line with a sink tip added to it caught well in the pool at the end of Trout Pools Road over the weekend. An olive woolly bugger was the fly of choice. Reports in suggest that there may be an early start available for those who enjoy dry fly fishing as there has been plenty of insect life about and some great hatches at times. There are some very large rainbows still sitting mid-stream just below the end of the main pool that are interested in woolly buggers but not spinners. The challenge is getting your fly to them as it is a long cast with a couple of logs between them and you. Anytime soon there should be whitebait arriving, though it depends on how many whitebait enter the Kaituna River. As to how many make it this far up. Grey ghosts and silver dorothy flies will soon become the more effective fly for catching these fish.

Another lake that doesn’t get that much attention from anglers is Lake Ngapouri. Turn right at the Waiotapu pub when coming from Rotorua and look to the left once you get to the top of the hill. This lake is quite small, reasonably deep with water the colour of weak black tea. It holds large numbers of fish, some of which are larger that would be expected of this lake. Shore line access is very restricted so a boat or float tube is required to access all points of this lake. Dragonflies, damsels and green and brown beetle and cicada are just some of the insect species that provide trout with the food that they need to flourish in this lake. Koura can also be found there and provide an all year round food source for trout. Any of the woolly bugger patterns work well in this lake as do size 12 black nymphs.

While in the area it pays to drop in on Lake Okaro as there are still fish coming back to the liberation point for this lake. A floating line and woolly bugger is a good place to start when fishing this lake though it also fishes well to a small zed spinner, tokoroa chicken or turbo. Trolling has also been reasonably successful on this lake using the same lures and flies as used by those into fly fishing.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 14 Aug 2014

by Bert Robinson

A continuing late end to the usual spawning season has provided some great opportunities for anglers. Rainbows are still coming in to liberation points and other spawning areas in reasonable numbers and the Te Wairoa Trap at Lake Tarawera is still in operation. Reports in suggest a few larger fish have come in over the past week. With rain forcast for the early part of this week there should be more fish moving in though the number of fish turning up on any given night is relative to the number of fish liberated in each lake during the year. Stony Point has fished well and there are fish to be seen on occasion from the boat ramp jetty there. I have found that a floating line, trace around 3.5 metres in length and a craigs night time fished after dark, has been very successful over the years.

There are good numbers of fish spawning in the closed area above the control gates and it is disappointing to see anglers still fishing there on occasion. It is the angler’s responsibility to check the regulations to make sure that what they are doing is actually legal, particularly at this time of the year. The area downstream of the gates, which is open to fishing all year round, has quite a few good fish and though most are recovering from spawning there are a few very fresh and feisty fish in amongst them.

Upstream nymphing from the true left bank, while very challenging, is quite successful, especially when an egg pattern is part of the double terminal rig. Late in the afternoon during the week is best. During the weekends you need to be there well after the last yakker or rafter has left as the fish need time to move back into the area.

Casting a dI3 line and woolly bugger from the base of the gates on either side of the river is also a productive method. The pools further downstream are also providing some good fishing with a mix of resident and Lake Rotoiti fish available to be caught. In the deeper pools it pays to get your fly or spinner down deep and though you risk losing your tackle on the rocks there, it can be very rewarding.

The rain that we had on Wednesday and Thursday has been enough to bring fresh fish into the Ngongotaha and other tributaries of Lake Rotorua. The Ngongotaha needs a small fresh to go through it as it has been mostly low and clear over the past few weeks, making for challenging fishing. When targeting sighted fish, especially when there are a few of them around a redd, it pays to use size 14 or 16 natural imitations or size 16 egg patterns, particularly if the water is as clear as it has been over the past few weeks. Wet lining across and down the current from above a pool, run or riffle has always been successful when the fish are in, with the pool under the rail bridge being very productive at this time of the year.

Lake Ngapouri has produced some very nice fish again this year and is worth visiting, especially for those with a kayak. Small black woolly buggers seem to be always in flavour in this lake, though damsels and dragonfly nymphs retrieved along the reeds over the next few months are also well received. Veltic and 8 gram zed spinners also catch well in this lake.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to fish well, though there is becoming a greater number of recovering fish amongst the bag limits. Those harling out in the lake have picked up better quality fish than those who have been fishing closer to the shore, particularly around the spawning areas. Green orbit patterns have worked well over the weed beds. Bugging from the shore, using an orange with a red spot floating egg pattern, has also been productive around the spawning areas. Black or olive woolly buggers in sizes 10 or 12 continue to work well too.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 8 Aug 2014

by Bert Robinson

Downstream of the control gates at Okere Falls continues to produce large rainbows, particularly since the rain over the past weekend. It seems that the best fishing has been just on dark, especially if the water has been rested from kayakers and rafters. There are fresh redds forming in the pool below the gates as well as a huge area above the gates which is providing an almost constant stream of insects and trout eggs for trout downstream of there. Both egg patterns and woolly bugger flies have been successful, fished either up the current as in nymphing style, or across and down in the traditional wet fly method. 

Di3 lines are best with the low water flow, while split shot and fly has been best for those spin fishing. This method is very successful in the river, accessed from the end of Trout Pools Road, where some very large trout have been spawning for some time. Olive woolly buggers have caught well in the pools below the road bridge accessed from the true right bank off the state highway as well. This part of the river is particularly beautiful with native bush laden banks as far down the river as you can walk.

The rain also had a very positive effect on the shoreline fishing throughout the Rotorua Lakes. The Transformer stream has produced a lot of fish this spawning season, with many in excess of three kilos. The northerly winds this winter has made fishing along this part of Lake Rotoiti has made a major challenge as a lot of weed has been broken off and carried onto the shore and casting a fly line into the wind is never easy.

Bugging continues to be successful at most spots along the Hinehopu straight, café and transformer stream mouths as well as the Dump shore line. A few fish have been caught at Ruato Bay with the right hand end of the bay being particularly productive at times. Hauparu bay has produced good numbers of maiden fish with the occasional large spawning fish in amongst them.

The drop-off is very close to the shore in this bay so it pays to stay out of the water near the stream mouth. To the right of the stream is an area of shallow water where fish come in after dark and fishing from the jetty at the right hand end of the bay is another productive spot. Casting along the edge and over the weed bed can produce some impressive fish. White booby flies used during the day is also another productive way of picking up fish from this bay.

Lake Okataina continues to fish well from the shore, both day and night with small woolly buggers fished off a floating line. The strong Northerlies have been enough to create a nice ripple on the water which keeps the fish in close. After dark, black marabou and similar bulky flies have caught well. Walking to the submerged point at the left hand end of the beach is worth the effort as there are good numbers of fish spawning there. Casting is a challenge there as there is limited room due to trees and shrubs down to the bush line as well as being submerged out from the shore. Resist the urge to stand on one of the large submerged rocks in the area to gain height and room as they are extremely slippery and I have seen some impressive swan dives by anglers, including myself, from these rocks.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu still has large numbers of spawning fish at the liberation points and, on warm days, good numbers of smelting/rising fish out in the lake. Spin fishing has been a little more successful for some as the extra movement of spinners such as a zed or turbo have really brought out the aggression prevalent at this time of the year in both hens and jacks.

Reports in suggest that there are a surprisingly large number of large brown trout off the mouth of Hamurana Springs. This area is not known as a winter fishery but can produce large numbers of rainbows after dark on occasion. On the few calm days that we have had and may get again, it is worthwhile walking quietly around off the mouth, in water just over knee deep, to see if there are fish holding there. An old pattern called a muddler minnow or one of the killer patterns are likely to be successful if you don’t spook the fish.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 1 Aug 2014

by Bert Robinson

Reports in from McLarens Falls Lake suggest that there is some very good fishing to be had throughout the middle reaches of the canal leading from the lake. There appears to be a lot of fish feeding below the artificial spawning area with most taking egg patterns. All fish caught have been in great condition. The canal can fish well throughout the year but can be challenging as the fish see quite a few anglers over the year and tend to be spooky. A young angler, who lives nearby, seems to have cracked it as his success rate is quite high when using a red and black woolly bugger almost exclusively.

The lake itself has not fished particularly well from the shore though as air and water temperatures climb as we head towards spring things will improve. Casting to sighted fish is relatively easy in this lake as there are almost always trout, both brown and rainbows, feeding close to the shore. My favourite flies for this lake are waterboatman and blood worm as the lake conditions suit both species of aquatic insect very well.

The extremely cold conditions experienced over the past week eased and day time temperatures 16 degrees. This rapid change is likely to allow nymphs to hatch into their adult forms as well as allow bees and wasps to become active and looking for food. In sheltered bays of any of the lakes in the area there should be trout rising to hatching insects and bees that have succumbed to the cooler air directly above the lake.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu is no exception and while you can find feeding fish easily enough, most of them are likely to be recovering fish. There is still a significant amount of spawning happening in areas such as Gumboot Point and Crater Bay as well as a couple of other spots around the lake. Trout are still coming in and attempting to spawn in the bay, accessed through the domain. The right hand end of the bay seems to be the most productive.

Lake Okaro is still producing some very good conditioned fish, with many being caught at all points around this lake. The main hot spots, however, are the boat ramp and the stream mouth that enters this lake not far from the ramp. For those with boats try the right hand end of the lake as there is some very deep water that seems to hold good numbers of fish most of the year. A figure of eight trolling pattern should give positive results in this area.

Harling on Lake Rotorua has improved a little over the past week. On days when the lake is like a millpond, harling along the airport through to the Ohau Channel entrance is very worthwhile. A size 4 crystal chenille fly mounted around one metre above a baby brown or traffic light tasmanian devil has been successful as has white clown and a green lightning bolt turbo.

The rain over the past couple of days has brought fresh fish into spawn around the control gates at Okere Falls. While the area above the gates is closed to fishing until October 1, there are plenty of fish to target below the gates as well as the Kaituna River at the end of trout pools road. With low water flow through the gates, trout are sitting right in the turbulent water created by the gates and some of these fish are very large. There is a mix of reasonable condition recovering and fresh fish available. A floating line or sink tip coupled with an olive woolly bugger or weighted nymph and glow bug has been successful in catching trout here. It is just a matter of whether you prefer up or downstream fishing. Allowing your floating line to drift well down the pool below the gates allows you to cover a lot of water and is particularly successful at night. Another method proving very successful is a spinning rod coupled with a couple of larger split shot, woolly bugger or glow bug. The amount of weight is determined by the casting distance required and/or the depth of water. This method allows the turbulent water to be fished successfully and can be used anywhere spin fishing is allowed.

Hopefully we will get enough rain to colour the water in the three main feeder streams of Lake Rotorua as they have been low and clear for some time. The lower Ngongotaha has been particularly challenging for anglers and has caused any fresh spawning fish to move through the lower reaches very quickly.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 15 July 2014

by Bert Robinson

The wild weather over the weekend stimulated trout into moving into their spawning areas. The main challenge during the storm was the gale force winds and there were few places that were sheltered enough for even the most hardened of anglers. Early morning spin fishing at Lake Okaro has been very successful with reasonable sized fish being hooked up until 9am. Zebra turbo or glimmy lures seemed to be well received as did any of the winged lures that I tried.

Lake Rerewhakaitu also fished well early morning and produced fish throughout the day at the boat ramp on Brett Road and Gumboot Point. There are fish still spawning at the RDC camp on Brett Road still though they have been hammered by anglers and are very spooky. The best option for catching fish in this lake, especially during the day is an orange heave and leave retrieved very slowly at the liberation points. Rerewhakaaitu Domain has fished well after dark with fish up to 2.8 kilos being caught on size 6 woolly buggers or rabbit flies.

There are still plenty of fish coming into spawn at the Dump on Lake Rotoiti though they can be very fickle and usually big time wasters. The better option is to target feeding fish that are over the weed beds. A slow sinking line and an olive woolly bugger retrieved erratically in a short sharp fashion has been very successful. The full moon has made fishing a challenge when the clouds have parted but using fluorocarbon trace material has helped with the catch rate. There are fish up the pipes that carry the Café and Transformer streams under the road so they must be coming in from the lake. With the large amount of light from the street lights and passing vehicles it is best to stay back from the edge of the lake and to keep a low profile. Black woolly buggers or black marabou flies have caught fish when retrieved slowly as have blue or black doll flies.

Lake Okataina has fished well during the day when there has been enough wind to put a good ripple on the water. There are fish cruising along the beach and spawning fish at each end of the beach as well. A floating line with a trace around three metres long when there isn’t enough wind to create breaking waves on the beach. It pays to go significantly shorter when that happens. Doll flies, lumo marabou and woolly buggers have caught well after dark while olive woolly worm flies have caught well during the day.

Lake Okataina has also fished well when there is a good ripple and a slight onshore wind. Olive woolly bugger flies and fluorocarbon traces are best in the gin clear water of this lake. There are fish cruising over the weed bed, all along the shore though the right hand end of the beach has fished best. There are several redds at the far end of this area and a reasonable number of fish attempting to spawn there. The submerged point to the left of the beach also has good numbers of spawning fish lurking around. Heave and leave fishing has been successful from the boat ramp jetty day or night.

There are still fish coming into the landing at Tarawera though they are moving around a lot. The long jetty can be productive when using a white booby or orange/red heave and leave during the day.

There are plenty of fish below the control gates at Okere Falls. Most seem to be yearling fish though there are a few very much larger specimens in amongst them. A sinker and fly set up on a spinning rod and used after dark has caught well over the past day or so. This system should also be used during the day and cast across and down the current.

Swapping a woolly bugger or rabbit pattern for an egg pattern or two should produce a better catch rate though. The secret is to get down near the river bottom. Dropping your rig into the turbulent water that comes through the gates and using a jigging action for the retrieve as tension comes on the line has also worked well.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 2 April 2014

by Bert Robinson

As the summer like conditions continue well into Autumn, boat-based anglers have been making the most of the settled conditions. Lake Rotoiti produced some great fish over the weekend, with Sunday being particularly good before the wind came up. Jigging off Gisborne Point, in 30 to 40 metres of water, was successful for some. Size 12 grey ghost or size 6 traffic light fly seemed to work best. Other areas of the lake also produced fish, all of which were in great condition. The water temperature of this lake is still quite high, just under 20 degrees at the surface and is over 18 degrees down to, at least, the 25 meter mark. Shore based angling success is still a little way away as yet due to the high water temps.

All of the streams entering Lake Rotorua have returned to a low clear state which makes fishing harder. Early morning, especially if you are one of the first on the water has been best. Size 16 or 18 natural imitations and 2.2 kilo breaking strain fluorocarbon tippets have been the best way to go. The next lot of rain will see a large influx of fresh fish into thse streams so be ready to drop everything and hit the streams. Another good run of browns are expected to arrive around the end of the month and should continue to run the river through until the end of July.

As the upper reaches of the streams entering Lake Rotorua close to fishing at the end of June, anglers should take the time between now and then to get to know the lower reaches so as to still be able to target these brown trout. The Ngongotaha and Waiteti mouths are still holding reasonable numbers of brown trout which are best targeted after dark. Lake Rotorua has had a fair bit of angling pressure over the past weekend, though overall the fishing has been patchy, though most fish caught have been in fairly good condition.

The smaller lakes around the region still have too high a water temperature for land based fishing to be very successful. Early morning has been the best time, though just on dark there has been a hatch that has tempted trout to feed at Lake Rerewhakaiitu. Bees, blowflies, damsels and dragon flies are all being taken off the surface.

The lower Rangitaiki River has been worth visiting if you are in the area as there have been some reasonably good hatches of insects from this stream and a few larger fish have been taken over the past week.

Another stream in the area that has provided some nice fish has been the lower to middle reaches of the Whirinaki River. The cooler water in these streams means that the fish there are more likely to feed throughout the day. On hot sunny days look for runs, riffles or the deeper pools that are shaded by trees as that is where fish are most likely to be.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 12 Feb 2014

by Bert Robinson

The rain on Friday got plenty of fish motivated to move into the feeder streams of Lake Rotorua. I have heard of a 16lb plus brown trout being caught at the mouth of the Waiteti Stream along with quite a few smaller specimens as well as some great conditioned rainbows.  Spin fishing, using turbos, bingos or small zed spinners has been effective at the mouth at times. With many of the brown trout being in relatively shallow water the trick to keeping the lure off the bottom is to hold the rod up higher than you would usually and to move the rod from side to side as you retrieve.

The Ngongotaha also had a good run of fish through it with the rain that fell, though most fish moved up into the upper reaches very quickly. There are still plenty of brown trout at the mouth and anglers are still trying the luck during the day without a lot of success. Night fishing has been much more successful with early morning catch rates a little higher than late evening. Most of the run were rainbows and the few anglers able to get on the water during and just after the rain were well rewarded with plenty of good fish. Hare and copper, pheasant tail and hares ear nymphs caught well when drifted through the deeper pools.

Both the Awahou and Hamurana mouths have been challenging, though reasonable numbers of fish have been moving in and out from the mouths at times. After dark is also the better time to fish at these mouths, though even then it can be hit and miss at the moment. A few days of fine weather again should see an increase in the number of fish coming into the cooler water. Size.10 or 12 doll flies in blue or black or size four black woolly buggers, tied with a bit of sparkle in them to help in the rising moon. Another wind change to the South caused a major break off of weed which was then blown into the shallows making fishing a very challenging experience with very few fish. The wind also broke up a lot of the alga which was growing there so now that the weather has settled the lake bed should be clear again for a while

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 31 Jan 2014

by Bert Robinson

My apologies for the lack of reports over the past few weeks, as of this week we should be back to normal.

Hamurana has been somewhat patchy during the day as there has been a major variation in the wind direction and speed over the past couple of weeks. This has resulted in similar conditions to this time last year when there was a large area of cooler water well out into the lake. This means that most of the fish are holding too far out into the lake for shore based anglers to access easily.

There are fish coming in during the day, with most being in good condition. The larger rainbows seem to be recovering fish and the smaller fish are in great condition. Grey ghost, silver dorothy and olive woolly buggers are working well when retrieved fairly quickly. Black nymphs, damsel and dragon fly nymphs are also catching well during the day. Because the numbers of rainbows is not as high as they could be and the fact that they are dispersed means that you may have to hunt them out as you will catch one or two fish and then they seem to disappear.

After dark the number of fish increases and size 4 lumo black marabou or purple marabou are catching well. Good numbers of brown trout are holding off the mouth as well and can be caught on small nymphs if you are lucky enough not to spook them.

Theye were a lot of rainbows holding well up the Awahou Stream a few days ago but they seem to have moved back into the lake as the lake temperature dropped a couple of degrees. After dark is probably the best time to fish this mouth at the moment, though a return to 20 plus degrees of water temperature for Lake Rotorua will bring many more fish back into the shallows.

Browns have moved into the shallows off the mouth of the Waiteti Stream over the past couple of weeks and there have been fresh runs of rainbows entering the stream when there has been a few reasonably heavy showers.

Both brown and rainbow trout are holding off the mouth of the Ngongotaha mouth, though the browns are out-numbering rainbows by at least 10 to 1. The browns are spooky during the day but after dark they are a lot easier to catch.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 25 Oct 2013

by Bert Robinson

Judging by the number of gulls feeding on smelt over the past week or so, there seems to be a large number of juvenile smelt at the top end of the Ohau Channel, in fact Fish and Game have reported the largest smelt runs through the channel since 2006. Whether these smelt are dropping into the channel from Lake Rotorua or making their way up from Lake Rotoiti is any ones guess. It would be great if they are coming up from Lake Rotoiti as they may be followed by the larger Rotoiti fish, which will be a blessing for anglers. Catch rates have been low on days when there is little wind across Lake Rotorua but once the sou-westerly has been blowing for a while, the channel becomes discoloured and the trout there are less wary. Most of the smelt are around 40mm in length and are quite dark on top so size 8 or 10 rabbit flies or ginger mick smelt patterns are good flies to start with.

Lake Rotorua’s water temperature is steadily climbing and has been over the 15 degree mark. There should be a few browns lurking around the western stream mouths now and with the sou-westerly wind coming off shore and browns there should be fairly easy to spot at the Ngongotaha mouth. The wind is forecast to turn to the Nor-west over the long weekend, with rain on Friday. The joy of chasing these fish early in the season is that they haven’t been harassed by anglers and so don’t spook easily. If you spot them there during the day, they will be in the same area after dark. This should make night fishing a breeze, even with the moon still quite full as browns seem to hunt more aggressively when the moon is bright in the sky. Large dark flies always seem to get a response from brown trout when they are very slowly retrieved across the sandy bottom, though flies that have a little bit of sparkle incorporated in the tie also get a good response.

I have often done very well nymph fishing over the weed bed off the mouth of the Awahou at this time of the year. Damsel and dragonfly nymphs as well as water boatman have all caught well for me. Keep away from the cold water flow and be prepared to move around a lot as the fish feeding there often congregate in large numbers.

Lake Okataina has been producing so good conditioned fish for those into jigging. Bully and koura patterns in sizes two to four have worked better than the smaller flies lately. If you have a fish finder look for congregations of bait fish rather than fish blind.

Lake Rotoiti has also fished reasonably well over the past week. Most of the better fish have been around the 30 to 40 metre mark, especially on clear sunny days. Start with three flies, the top one silver, middle green, and the bottom fly brown but don’t be afraid to experiment as something oddball can take fish when nothing else does.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 17 Oct 2013

by Bert Robinson

There are still a few very good conditioned fish being caught above and below the control gates at Okere Falls Arm. Woolly buggers, silver dorothy and size 10 grey ghosts seem to the better flies at the moment. Doll flies after dark have also been successful when used with a floating line off the jetty above the gates. The water coming down Okere Falls Arm has been heavily discoloured lately due to the strong winds over the past week.

There are smelt moving through the Ohau channel, though they seem to be juveniles rather than adult fish as there are few shags and lots of gulls. There are smelting fish there as well, though they are proving hard to catch at times. Rather than going deep, try fishing the middle and upper water when the water is discoloured as it is where the fish seem to be holding, rather than right on the bottom. Some great conditioned fish have been caught on the lake side of the weir as well when using a sink tip line or floating line with a weighted woolly bugger or similar.

The Utuhina has fished well at times, particularly when the stream is rising and starting to discolour. A green bodied mallard smelt has been particularly effective at times when coupled with a weighted nymph, though other smelt patterns that have not be regularly used in this stream have worked as well.

The Railway Bridge Pool and Poachers Pool on the Ngongotaha Stream have both had good numbers of fish holding in them over the past week. Very small egg patterns, damsels and dragonfly nymphs have all caught fish throughout the day. As this stream has been carrying extra colour due to the rain, the use of heavier tippets helps in landing some of the feistier fish in this stream.

Fish have been moving through the Waiteti Stream fairly regularly though, unfortunately, they have not been staying around long. The same flies as used on the Ngongotaha Stream catch well in this stream as well. Casting a floating line out the front of the mouth could result in some spectacular brown trout fishing, though you may have to hunt around to find them. Trolling or harling from the Waiteti Stream mouth through to Kawaha Point should start to produced large sized browns as well as rainbows from now on as the browns in particular, tend to congregate throughout this area in preparation to run up the streams. A trolling or harling speed that is one to one and a half kilometres per hour slower than the recommended speed is usually very effective for brown trout and will catch a few rainbows as well.

A few fish have been seen holding off the mouth of the Te Wairoa Stream on Lake Tarawera over the past week. The stream is a little discoloured but careful scanning of the rip over a period of time will tell you if these fish are holding or just coming into feed. Casting a sink tip or floating line over the end of the delta after dark could result in some great fishing if these fish are coming in after dark. Try size 10 or 12 doll flies to start with, if nothing happens change to a size 6 black woolly bugger or black marabou. A few fish have been caught off the long jetty, using white booby flies and a fast sinking line, though most have been spent fish.

Land based catch rates on Lake Rerewhakaaitu have slowed considerably over the past couple of weeks, while harling and trolling catch rates have improved. Damsel flies are starting to appear around sheltered bays and there are bees and wasps around in ever increasing numbers, especially on warm, still days.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 19 Sept 2013

by Bert Robinson

With much warmer weather than usual for this time of the year there have been some interesting developments around the Rotorua Region. Not only have insects that usually start hatching during mid-October, starting to hatch now, but the smaller lakes are starting to warm up reasonably quickly with some being at a temperature not usually found until late October. Insect hatches have been happening on the Kaituna River as well as other streams in the area, both during the day and late into the evening. If we don’t get to many cold snaps over the coming month the Kaituna will cease to provide large trout due to Lake Rotorua’s water temperature being too high to allow these fish to stay in Okere Falls Arm and below the control gates. This won’t happen until the water temperature in Okere Falls Arm gets to around 18 or 19 degrees C.

A recent announcement by Environment Bay of Plenty regarding the lower Kaituna is likely to prove a blessing for those who fish for trout in the lower to middle reaches of this river. It seems that there is to be a re-diversion of the Kaituna River back into the Maketu Estuary and is likely to allow up to four times the amount of water into the estuary than currently goes into it. This will attract juvenile fish back into the large wet land surrounding the estuary thereby providing extra food for brown and rainbow trout in the lower river. Whitebait numbers should increase as should other species of fish that use wetlands for habitat and growing areas. There are quite a few tributaries entering the lower Kaituna that currently fish ok for trout at the moment and we should see an improvement in the catch rates of large rainbows and browns over the next few years.

All three main tributaries of Lake Rotorua have produced good numbers of fish since we have had a consistent amount of rain. The Utuhina has provided some very fat rainbows to both nymph and wet lining. Egg patterns have caught for the nymphers while grey ghosts, silver dorothy and woolly buggers have all caught well for those casting across and down. The edges of currents and back waters seem to be where fish are holding in the larger numbers at the moment.  The run below the rail bridge crossing the Ngongotaha has produced some great conditioned rainbows since the stream started to clear as have the pools above and below the road bridge in Ngongotaha.

With the new season just a few short days away there are opportunities coming up for anglers to fish in rivers and streams that have been closed to fishing since June 30. While the upper reaches of the three main tributaries of Lake Rotorua remain closed to fishing until December 1, most of the streams in outlying areas, including over the Mamaku Range, in the Waikato open on the day that you need your new seasons licence. At time of the year light traces and small natural imitations such as hares ear, hare and copper are more likely to catch fish. The Pokaiwhenua, Little Waipa, Kakahu and Rapurapu are just a few Waikato streams that can fish well early in the season and are within 45 minutes drive from Rotorua.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to fish well from the liberation points though there are fewer fish returning.  A lot of dark fish are being caught though all are still in good condition and still smoke up ok. Harling over the weed beds is productive with some good quality maiden fish being caught.

For those into fishing competitions there are two very good ones coming up very soon. The Lake Rotoma comp is on the weekend of September 28 and 29. This comp is a great family event and has some great prizes for rainbow and tiger trout. Incidentally quite a few good sized tigers have been caught over the past few weeks from this lake. They look amazing and are nothing like any other exotic fish in NZ. They smoke up amazingly well and taste divine. On warm sunny days and a rising water temperature these fish can be found feeding on goldfish, their favourite food, in and around the margins of the many reed beds on this lake. Goldfish move into these areas to spawn and can often be heard splashing around after dark.  Large bulky flies will get a savage response after dark as they do during the day. Green, green/orange or similar marabou flies work well.

The other competition is also very family orientated and has a prize pool of $6000. It is being held during the first week of the school holidays and has a workshop to show angler techniques that will allow them to catch more and better fish as well as cooking demos. The free trout demos are being held from 1pm Saturday 5th October, at the new venue, Twin lakes Convention centre in Huntly. The competition area covers the Waikato River between the Karipiro Dam and the sea so covers a large area with diverse fishing conditions.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 11 Sept 2013

by Bert Robinson

The main challenge that we have with chasing trout at this time of the year is that most of the spawning is over and done with. A large number of spent fish have dropped back into the lower part of the streams or into the lake and there is little surface activity in the way of insects hatching.  The plus side for this spring has been the decent amount of rain that we have had over the past week or two has brought fresh spawning fish into the Lake Rotorua tributaries. We are very lucky here to have water temperatures that allow almost year round spawning in these tributaries, an unusual event in other parts of New Zealand.

On Lake Rotorua towing two colours of lead, a white clown and crystal chenille rabbit fly, off the airport and through to Sulphur Point has been fairly successful while the wind has been coming from the South-East as that area is reasonably well sheltered. A wind change to the South-West has meant that anglers have moved to the other side of the lake and harled from Kawaha Point to the Waiteti mouth, again, reasonably successfully when using baby brown or white clown tassies. The main challenge when fishing this area is finding the edge of the drop-off as the lake bed is fairly static as far as depth is concerned.

A decent drop of rain today made a difference to the number of fish being caught from the Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams today. Unfortunately the forecast is for the storm that battered the South Island and lower North Island to dump large quantities of rain in these catchments overnight and tomorrow. This will almost certainly cause them to be unfishable for a few days. Lime-green bodied streamer or egg patterns will catch better than any other colour when the water is discoloured.

A fresh run of fish has moved into the Kaituna. There is a mix of dark and silver fish there at the moment but all seem in great condition. With the northerly winds of the past few days there has been very little disturbance of the shallows off the Ohau Channel entrance so Okere Falls Arm and the Kaituna River are very clear and there are plenty of bullies and juvenile smelt for trout to feed on. Parsons glory and woolly buggers seem to being catching well at the moment, though I haven’t tried other flies to see if they work.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 29 Aug 2013

by Bert Robinson

With just 30 days to go before a new fishing licence is required for the 2013/14 trout fishing season it hardly seems 11 months since I started this season's fishing. Overall, I have been disappointed with my catch rate this year as it is well down on previous years and am hoping for a much improved catch rate this coming season, though I had better not hold my breath.

Trout, being cold water fish, struggle in water that has a high temperature, while algae thrives and if we get a repeat of last summer there will be another explosion of algae which tends to drive fish out of the traditional trout fishing spots. The mild winter may benefit anglers who deep troll or jig as there is likely to be more food around early in the season. Most of the smaller lakes are warming up already and this bodes well for lakes such as Rotoehu as smelt are likely to come in for spawning earlier and insects like damsels and dragonflies, being available as a food source much earlier than usual. Lake Rotoehu has fished well over the past week or two with harling being the best method when fishing this lake. One lure that works consistently in this lake is the green lightning bolt turbo and when coupled with a size 4 burgundy rabbit can be very attractive to trout.

With the rain came a few more fish than expected over the past week or so as well for Lake Rotoiti. It is getting a little late in the season for spawning fish to return though I wonder just how much effect the long hot summer and mild, rainless winter will have had as to there will be a very late run of fish. One of the things that does happen from now until the end of October is trout chasing fry and Ruato Bay can be the spot to be. Often fish can be seen feeding on fry from around 9am through to around 2pm and anglers casting a grey ghost or silver dorothy on a long trace, then stripping it back as fast as they can, are likely to see some impressive bow waves and boil ups as the trout chase and take the fly. There are other spots around the lake where trout can be seen chasing fry as well and it is only a matter of sitting and waiting for this to happen, as sooner or later it will.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to fish well, though many of the fish are quite dark around the spawning or release points. Over the weed beds there are some very good conditioned, silver bullets being caught. Anchoring up and casting the clock, using a slow or medium sinking line, can be very effective on days when there is a decent ripple of the surface. Green orbit or rabbit flies in size six, la giaconda in size 10 or size 14 damsel, hares ear or similar retrieved slowly across the weed bed can be very productive.

Even with the Kaituna control gates still running at a consistently low level there are fresh fish moving into spawn, along with some great conditioned maiden fish around the two kilo mark. The trusty old olive woolly bugger, grey ghost or silver dorothy patterns continue to work well as the maiden fish are full of bullies and juvenile smelt at the moment. Fishing just before change of light in the evening seems to be best at the moment.

Fresh rainbows have been moving up into the Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams with the rain so anywhere below the State Highway 5 Bridge over the Ngongotaha Stream is worth fishing over the next few days.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 15 Aug 2013

by Bert Robinson

While there was a small increase in fish coming back to spawn when the rain finally arrived last weekend, it was nowhere near what was hoped for by anglers. Lake Okataina produced reasonable numbers of fish from hard at the left-hand side of the beach, though most were dark fish that had been around for a while. So far this week we have had the occasional heavy downpour though these have not been region wide or even Rotorua wide for that matter.

On Lake Rotoiti a few fished moved through the Pipe at Hinehopu but most were hanging well off shore during the day and the strong sou-westerly on Sunday didn’t help matters. The Dump was virtually unfishable during the day as there was a lot of floating weed in close to shore and the water was discoloured by stirred up silt. The Pipe was running a little lower than normal over the weekend and the wetland, behind the Pipe, is a lot lower than I have ever seen it so it will take a lot of rain to get the Pipe flowing enough to bring fish in. The forecast is for the prevailing strong westerly winds to ease which will allow the water to clear in this area.

The Utuhina Stream had a reasonable number of fish move through over the weekend and while most were under the 2.5 kilo mark, most were in good to great condition. Size 12 champagne coloured glow bugs caught well for those nymphing and olive woolly buggers or grey ghosts for the wet liners. Most pools had better fish than the runs and riffles did, as it was in the latter area where a lot of recovering fish were holding.

The lower Ngongotaha Stream fished well both day and night, though the best day time fishing was restricted to early morning and late afternoon fishing. A mixture of spent and fish in good condition were caught during the day, mostly by glowbugs. After dark it was doll flies or black marabou flies that caught well. Catch rates at the mouth were relatively high after dark if fishing in the well-defined rip.

The lower Waiteti Stream also provided some great action over the weekend with similar tactics to those used in the Ngongotaha Stream being successful. Fishing the Hole at the mouth was patchy, while fishing the lake at the outlet from the Hole was better for some.

On Lake Tarawera few fish were drawn into the Landing, Orchard and Raniuru Bay during the weekend but it was Stony Point that was the better spot to fish before the sou-westerly came up. Size 10 doll flies or lumo craigs night time flies were successful when fished on a slow or medium sinking line. Large black marabou also accounted for a few fish.

Lake Okareka continues to be one of the two stand-out fisheries at the moment as more fresh fish moved into the release points. The stream mouth at Boye’s Beach fished fairly well both day and night, though a long trace and a fairly fast retrieve was required during the day. Trolling can be a challenge in this lake, though fish can be found at the 8 to 15 metre mark at the moment. Traffic light or brown trout Tasmanian devil lure seem to be catching well.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu is the other top fishery at the moment with rainbows up to 3.8 kilos being caught from the shore at times. On calmer days fish can be seen taking insects, such as bees and wasps off the surface. Watching these fish for a while will tell you the direction that they are moving and a yellow humpy or even a deer hair caddis cast in the area where the fish is expected to surface can be rewarding. These fish are generally maidens, and while not overly large, put up a good fight on a light tippet. On windier days casting a small egg pattern that is then allowed to drift with the wind can result is some good fish. Green orbit, olive or black woolly buggers and size 12 grey ghosts cast from the shore has also been successful.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 8 Aug 2013

by Bert Robinson

So much for the forecast of heavy rain over the past weekend as it seems that Mother Nature had other ideas. While Napier/Hastings and Gisborne got a deluge, we got a drizzle or two. Thankfully it was enough to keep bringing in a few fresh fish every day. The long range forecast is for a warmer than usual spring so we could see the water temperature of Lake Rotorua start to rise earlier than usual. If we get another hot summer after that we could be in for another outbreak of the black/brown algae that plagued Hamurana and the Waiteti stream mouths last summer.

The lower Ngongotaha, Waiteti and Utuhina streams continued to fish reasonably well over the weekend, though the water in them was unseasonably clear. Those who used fluorocarbon tippets of five or six pound breaking strain were more successful than anglers who used heavier breaking strains.

At least one fish over 4.5 kilos was landed from just below the control gates over the weekend, though there were fewer fish than one would expect for this time of the year. Nymphing, using either natural imitations or egg patterns, seemed to be a lot more productive than wet lining or spin fishing.  Large rainbows can be seen at various spots between the control gates and last waterfall at the end of Trout Pools Road, though access to many of the spots is for the more adventurous.

The areas open to land based fishing area of Lake Rotoiti continues to frustrate most anglers, as fish can be seen spawning or swimming parallel to the shore but they are either easily spooked or not interested in the offerings of anglers. Fly fishing after dark is probably the better option at the moment, using lumo flies and a short sharp retrieve. The idea is to use a fish’s natural aggression against it and something moving quickly and erratically is likely to trigger a strong response.

At this time of the year there are very aggressive fish in all of the lakes and streams in the area.  An unexpectedly large number of rainbows up to the one kilo mark have been caught along the Dump to the Café streams over the past week or so. So far all of these smaller fish being landed seem to be hatchery releases.  Released carefully, these fish will return in a couple of years at the size that anglers prefer.

Lake Okareka continues to produce rainbows up to 2.7 kilos, though the number of good conditioned fish is being reduced by an increasing number of recovering or spent fish at the moment. There is a lot of food in this lake for fish to get at so it shouldn’t be long before these fish are back to prime condition.

Almost any beach that is accessible from the land is worth fishing at the moment, and it is especially worth the walk to the outlet of the lake in order to find new spots to fish. Using a double fly rig, the first fly being a doll fly, the second a small woolly bugger or similar, with a floating line has been effective. Casting a short line to start with and gradually lengthening the cast will cover a lot of water without spooking too many fish. Once the flies are in the water count to 10 or 15 then use the short sharp retrieve mentioned above. If your fly catches on the weed, simply reduce the count with each cast until your flies swim freely.

Casting along, rather than across, a weed bed is likely to be more successful at any time of the year. Even casting diagonally from the shore is better than straight out in front. Trolling has been patchy, though those who have tried dragging lures at different depths have found fish down to 15 metres and nothing much at greater depths.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 2 Aug 2013

by Bert Robinson

The number of trout returning to spawn over the past couple of weeks has been significantly less than one would expect for this time of the year. I am putting the low returns to the settled weather of the past couple of weeks, during which there has not been any significant rain to stimulate the fish enough to move from the deeper water. Those that have turned up have been notoriously difficult to catch as they have paired up quickly and started to spawn virtually straight away.

There have been notable exceptions, though these have not been in the so-called trophy lakes that are Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoiti. The smaller number of fish to target means that there are fewer free ranging jacks, whose aggression at this time of the year can be used against them by fast erratic retrieve or by dropping an egg pattern past their nose when fishing a stream. It is then that luck comes into play as if you can keep casting to sighted, spawning fish enough times without spooking them, eventually one or more of them will take a swipe at your offering.

The forecast for rain offered some hope for anglers and came to pass starting overnight on Wednesday. The lower Ngongotaha Stream fished very well and supplied some very good conditioned fish throughout Thursday. The Waiteti Stream was no exception as it received a similarly large influx of fresh spawning fish. The Utuhina also received fresh run fish as well and the area downstream of the Old Taupo Road Bridge fished well to a wet fly. Showers are forecast for Friday and heavy rain for Saturday and Sunday.

Lake Okareka has produced reasonable numbers of fish for some anglers, but even then the productive spot has been quite specific as the fish are not moving around much and tend to be bunched together in areas where the conditions are right for them to do this.  There is a small drop-off out from the stream at the left hand end of Boyes Beach that has provided the right conditions for trout to congregate in reasonable numbers.

The more productive part of the drop-off is to the right of the stream mouth, although this has not been the case for every angler, even though the fish are there. A small doll fly with a trailing woolly bugger has been the best terminal tackle setup, when added to a floating line with a reasonably long trace. Even on nights when the moon was high and bright and there wasn’t a breath of wind to be had, this set up worked for some of the more experienced anglers. This area also lends itself well to bugging during the day, though a white booby after dark may well be just as successful.

Apparently there are a few fish spawning along the lake front by the Dump on Lake Rotoiti and a few of those have been landed by anglers who have persevered. One angler has mentioned that the local ‘black duck’ population, which I suspect are Scaup, have keyed into a new food source, namely freshly laid fish eggs and have been cleaning them up almost as soon as they are laid. Thankfully trout are liberated there every year so anglers are not dependant on the progeny of the spawning fish returning to spawn as three or four year old fish.  Fishing after dark along the lake frontage is likely to be the more successful time, if using a lumo marabou or doll fly.

The upper Kaituna had quite a few fresh spawning fish move in over Wednesday night/Thursday evening, though many were actively pairing up and spawning above the control gates, even with the low flow.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 26 July 2013

by Bert Robinson

What are hard week it has been as far as fishing is concerned for most. A super moon and no wind made for flat calm conditions on all of the lakes in the region. We also went from a bitterly cold period to a mild period without any of the much needed rain to stimulate the fish into spawning. A few fish are turning up at Ruato, the Dump and the jetty at Hinehopu but most are not staying around very long. They are either doing their job quickly or moving on to more fertile parts of the lake. The same can be said for other liberation points on the various lakes around the region as well, though there are a couple of spots where the fish are still around in reasonable numbers, such as Lake Rerewhakaaitu. The forecast rain did not really happen though a few extra fish moved into spawn. The next decent lot of rain should see a lot more fish turn up at the various spawning areas in the lakes around Rotorua.

There is a greater number of recovering fish around at the moment, more than there are spawning fish at least, so check your catch carefully before you despatch it as it may well not be fit for eating. The colour of the fish is often a dead giveaway, such as being darker than one would expect, though some of the spent fish have retained their silver colour but are very thin in the flanks. Releasing these fish allows them to spawn another year, and those that don’t make it will feed the ecosystem of the river or lake thereby providing more food for trout.

There has been a small run of fish into the Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams over the past week, just as we experienced some drizzling rain, but overall the lower reaches of both of these streams have been a little barren with few fish about. Be prepared to drop everything and run when we get the next lot of rain through as there is likely to be a good run of fish up both of these streams.

I haven’t heard anything about the fish trap on the Te Wairoa Stream at Lake Tarawera but a few fish have been taken from the angle jetty at the landing and the Orchard. Stony Point and Rangiuru Bay have also provided some nice fish at times as well.

The beach at Lake Okataina has been patchy, though being there at the right time, and the right time is only when you fished there when the rainbows have come in, has been fairly good. Though there hasn’t been great numbers of fish, most have been in great condition.

Kennedy’s Bay on Lake Rotoehu has fished ok, when the wind has allowed. A driving westerly makes for a very challenging time here as there is often a lot of weed being broken up and pushed onto the shore here. I have heard that unscented soft baits have caught fish here as well as grey ghosts and silver dorothy flies, the latter two cast from a fly rod.

Lake Rotoma is always worth a visit at this time of the year, even though a large chunk of the accessible shoreline has been closed to fishing since June 30. The boat ramp at the back of the petrol station and café has produced a few fish, though the stream mouth to the right of that has fished best. A floating or slow sink line and egg pattern works best here.

Lake Okareka provided some great fishing for a couple of Hamilton anglers last weekend. Even though the wind was out and there wasn’t any wind to put a ripple on the lake they persevered and caught 11 fish between them. The secret spot was at the left-hand end of Boye’s Beach, near the stream mouth. A small drop-off runs out into the lake and it was there that a reasonable number of fish were holding. Fish up to 2.7 kilos were caught, with most in varying stages of readiness to spawn.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 11 July 2013

by Bert Robinson

A recent trip out Lake Rerewhakaaitu was well worth the effort as there were a few changes to the landscape and plenty of fish. The main change was that the lake level is almost back to a normal level, meaning that access to all of the fishing spots is relatively easy. The beach at the domain entrance to the lake is bigger than it has been for a while and casting over the weed bed and to the outside of the end of the reed bed is a breeze, even for the most novice flingers of the fly.

There seemed to be plenty of chunky rainbows at the right hand end of the beach, though some were a little dark in colour, while others could be seen feeding readily off the surface. The black woolly bugger seems to be the best fly to use in this lake, though a black woolly worm is a close second. Other flies that have caught fish in this lake are the olive woolly bugger and the green orbit, though both of these flies need to be retrieved fairly quickly and erratically to get any response.

The new jetty at the RDC Camp on Brett Road is a major improvement and allows anglers access to the deeper water where quite a few fish seem to be holding at the moment. More than enough fish to tempt anglers are spawning to the right of the DoC Camp on Brett Road as well as fish feeding off the surface so there are plenty of opportunities for anglers on this lake. I presume that there are fish spawning on the reef at Gumboot Point as well, though I haven’t been there.

Lake Okaro was a bit of a disappointment as few fish have been caught from the boat ramp or the stream mouth over the past few days. A decent drop of rain may be all that is needed to bring more fish in again but it is always worthwhile visiting this lake, even if it is just to walk around it on the superb walking track.

Some very good conditioned, large rainbows have been caught trolling, harling and from the shore, from Lake Rotoma. Some areas are closed to shore based fishing and those areas are also closed out to the 200 metre mark but there are plenty of places where fish are moving in close and feeding over the weed beds where anglers can legally get at them.

Downstream of the control gates on the Kaituna River, the fishing continues to be slow. The constant flow through the gates is probably not helping to bring fresh fish in, though there are quite a few in the closed area above the gates.

The predominantly westerly wind over the past week has made fly fishing a challenge at the boat ramp at Kennedys Bay on Lake Rotoehu, but those who have persevered have had success. A change of wind direction and speed should see the water out from the boat ramp clear, so the use of a floating or slow sinking line and a grey ghost or silver dorothy fly should get results. Spin fishing can also be very successful in this area when using penny spoons, veltics and the green lightning bolt turbo. Just remember, whether using a fly or spinner, to keep your lure in the water as long as you can before pulling it out to cast again as the fish here can be very close to your casting point.

An increasing number of spent fish are starting to turn up in the streams around the region and while it is always great to take a fish or two home with you, these fish are often white fleshed, skinny and quite dark in colour and so are best returned to the water.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 4 July 2013

by Bert Robinson

Lakes Okataina, Rotoiti and Tarawera were adorned with anglers in boats getting the last bit of fishing until the new season opens at 5am October 1. Shore based anglers concentrated on the Te Wairoa stream mouth and several other spots on Lake Tarawera that also closed at midnight on June 30. The water above the control gates at Okere Falls was also well fished as it too closed Sunday night. A few very nice fish came out from there though the lack of rain did reduce the number of fish available. Some great conditioned wild, LP and RP rainbows were caught were caught above and below the control gates though most were around the 1.5 kilo mark with the occasional larger fish at three kilos. Larger fish could be seen pairing-up, some of which are tagged released trout, however they proved very elusive to anglers. Since Sunday most of the fish in the area have moved on, though more are bound to turn up at any stage.

On Lake Rotoiti, with the next decent drop of rain there should be an influx of fresh fish from Ruato Bay through to the Pipe at Hinehopu. Egg patterns can be used successfully along the Dump and the two small streams, Transformer and Café, especially if there is a side wind that can be used to drift them over fish or redds that are holding fish. Casting a slow to medium sinking line with a size four woolly bugger on it, allowing the fly to sink as close to the bottom as possible, then stripping it back as quickly as you can, usually gets a good response for passing fish. This method can be used successfully anywhere there are fish at the moment as they tend to be very aggressive towards other fish.

The main beach at Lake Okataina will continue to provide good fishing for a month or so, especially if there is a reasonable rain event or a decent on-shore wind. After dark a short sharp retrieve when using a lumo fly, either black or green marabou, will get a positive response if the fish are around.

Lake Okareka is always worth a visit at this time of the year. Recently anglers have done quite well from Boyes Beach though to the stream that enters to the right of the beach. Grey ghosts, olive woolly buggers and green orbits have been successful when used on a slow sinking or floating line. The average size of the fish being caught seems to be around the 2.5 kilo mark, which is a very respectable size for this lake.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu should fish well from the shore through until around late September. A lot depends on the weather patterns between now and then though we are unlikely to get a heat wave of any sort between now and then. As this lake is still open to boat fishing harling over the weed beds with a green orbit and sinking line should get results. Casting from an anchored boat at the liberation points and spawning areas will also be successful.

While you are in the area a visit to Lake Okaro is often worthwhile as well. Fish the right-hand end of the boat ramp and around to the left where the track starts to climb away from the lake as there are fish throughout this area at times.

Lake Ngapouri is also well worth a visit, especially if you have a small boat or canoe. Being quite small all areas of this lake are easily reached by rowing or paddling and while doing that a sinking line out the back of your boat with a black woolly bugger on the end of it is often very worthwhile. There are some rather large fish lurking in this lake and all fish tend to fight well. For those who are land based fishing from the boat ramp is usually rewarding at this time of the year. Access to this lake is a right turn from Rotorua at Waiotapu. Follow the road up the hill to the plateau. Look to the left and you will see a small lake which can be driven to via a maintained track.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 27 June 2013

by Bert Robinson

As of midnight June 30 a number of streams and rivers in the region close to fishing, some of them close until October 1 and others until December 1. Just to make matter a little more complex, some of the lakes close to boat fishing as well. The Eastern fishing regulation guide has all of the details required to keep anglers from getting into trouble with the relevant fish and game council and should be read before heading out after the above date.

A point in case is the area above the control gates at the start of the Kaituna River. The gates themselves are the demarcation between the lake and the river so fishing downstream of the gates is legal all year round while above the gates closes midnight June 30 and opens again at 5am October 1.

There are some spectacular fish both above and below the gates at the moment though they are not always ‘on the bite’. Fishing the true right bank above the gates is a little bit of a challenge as waders are required and you need to get out to the buoy to be able to have a reasonable back cast. Casting across the current as best you can and allowing your fly to swing downstream works a treat as long as your fly doesn’t come in contact with the rocky bottom.

Nymphing is also successful in this area, though your back cast generally has to be fairly short due to the vegetation that grows to the water edge. The use of glow bugs catches fish but natural imitations also work as when redds are being dug nymphs are dislodged and float freely downstream. Fishing from the control gates is a successful way to fish downstream of the structure. The challenge is landing your fish as only the true left bank has a gentle enough backwater to bring the fish into and it is a little tricky getting to it.

Outside the Ohau Channel entrance continues to produce good fish though most are around the 2.5kg mark. All are in good condition at the moment and can be taken by wet lining or nymphing. Inside the channel mostly rainbows are being caught as well. Glo bugs catch fish there as do natural imitations for nymphing and olive woolly buggers or small yellow rabbit flies.

On Lake Rotoiti there seems to be plenty of fish coming into the Dump, around the toilet block by the Café Stream and the Pipe when it is actively discharging water. In fact any stream, no matter how small attracts fish at this time of the year so is worth fishing. Around the Pipe most anglers seem to fish a booby or floating egg pattern, though a medium sinking line and a smelt pattern that has an orange head and stripped back fairly quickly can produce some good fish on occasion when angling pressure is light. Other areas fish well to lumo flies after dark, especially if they are retrieved in an erratic manner.

Lake Rotoehu continues to fish well from the shore from a boat. With such a large number of beaches that are not easily accessible from the shore, a boat will open up a lot more water to fish. Fishing back to the shore to sighted fish is effective, though pulling in and walking along the shore can be even better for anglers.

Lake Okareka has fished reasonably well over the past week. The stream mouth at Boyes Beach and the Doc Camp further along Mitchell Road are but two spots worth visiting both day and night. The only Challenge with the DoC camp is that, if the road in is open, the gate gets locked around 9pm in the evening. Using a boat to access this piece of water is recommended for those who wish to fish until midnight. Anchoring and casting after dark, using a green or black lumo marabou  usually gets results when used with a floating line.

Casting back to the shore or along the reed beds, from a drifting boat at Lake Rerewhakaaitu can and has been very successful at this time of the year. Shore based fishing is usually very good also with the boat ramp at the RDC Camp being a great place to start your days fishing. A black woolly bugger seems to work the best in this lake when casting to returning fish while a green orbit cast over the weed bed usually picks up pre and post spawning fish. A size 10 white rabbit with a pearl body works over a redd. Cast gently and allow the fly to drop into the area where a red is being dug and allow it to settle.  A very short and sharp twitch of the line usually gets a response.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 20 June 2013

by Bert Robinson

With over 24 hours of constant rain anglers were expecting, and were not disappointed, a significant improvement in the fishing. The Ngongotaha Stream took some time to rise to a point where it was dangerous to wade and many anglers took advantage of that. Both browns and rainbows were in abundance throughout the stream, though those first on the water did best. Small egg patterns and stonefly or hare and copper nymphs caught well throughout the weekend, while doll flies and marabou fished at the mouth after dark resulted in some very good conditioned fish. As this stream is starting to clear there should be some great fishing opportunities to catch fish before the upper river closes to fishing after June 30.

The Waiteti Stream also fished well and many fish can still be seen both upstream and downstream of the Hampson Drive access. The hole at the mouth was holding good numbers of fish, though they tend only to hold for a matter of hours when in large numbers and quickly move upstream to their spawning areas.

The Lake Rotorua side of the Ohau Channel has fished well early in the morning with rainbows up to 2.5 kilos being caught. Most seem to be Lake Rotorua fish, though there have been a few fin clipped fish being caught that can only have come from Lake Rotoiti. There is a fair amount of water flowing through the weir at the moment and Lake Rotorua is quite high, in comparison to a few days ago, so care is required when wading in front of the weir.

Spawning fish have really started to move into Okere Falls Arm, some of which are over the magical 4.5 kilo mark. With the gates reasonably wide open it is not the challenge of hooking the fish, it is the challenge of getting the fish back up the current. There several spots that can be fly-fished between the jetty and the control gates, though some require you to wear waders as you have to enter the water. Dark green or olive woolly buggers seem to be in flavour at the moment and the use of a medium sinking line is recommended. For those wanting to nymph fish, there is access from the true right bank, just below the buoys. The use of natural imitations or small egg patterns should result in some spectacular fish being hooked.  Should the fish head down stream and into the gate bays, simply allow the line to go slack and the fish will move upstream where it is more likely to be successfully fought.

Lake Okataina has produced a number of fish over the 4.5 kilo mark over the past couple of weeks and should continue to do so for a while yet. The worse the weather, the better the fishing is usually, especially when there is an onshore wind. Casting across the wind is best in these conditions. Black or green lumo marabou, black or orange doll flies have all taken fish there. During the day woolly buggers or small rabbit flies that have an orange head and are retrieved erratically usually get the fish to bite.

On Lake Rotioiti, the Pipe, Dump and both small streams fished well over the past few days, particularly after dark as has Ruato Bay. If fishing during the day cast a few times before entering the water as there often fish right in close at this time of the year. When fishing into the evening make sure that you are out of the water and even give the area that you are fishing a rest for 30 minutes or so before resuming casting. This allows fish to move into their preferred area. If the main stream mouth at Ruato has more than four or five anglers move along the beach either way to find undisturbed water and you are more likely to pick up a fish or two.

If your catch rate is lower than expected when fishing the Dump/Pipe area, a short drive to Lake Rotoehu is likely to improve things. The jetty at Kennedy’s Bay has been fishing well with rainbows up to 2.5kg being caught at times. From the end of the jetty you can cast over 180 degrees and remember not to draw your line out of the water too soon as fish have been known to snap at your fly within a rod length of where you are standing.

Lake Rotoma continues to frustrate some anglers as there are plenty of fish at the traditional spawning spots. Angler pressure is high at times so fishing away from where most anglers are can be very rewarding, especially around the jetty at the Manawahae Road end of the lake. When using heave and leave, the best results often come when there some sun shining on the water, if it is not then try small wet flies, nymphs or egg patterns, the first two retrieved in a short sharp manner, the egg pattern drifted or very slowly retrieved. Take note that the area to the left of the boat ramp at the Manawahae end of Lake Rotoma closes to fishing from the end of the month.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu is fishing well and with the lake level down a little there is a little more access along the shore. Any green fly fished erratically over a weed bed, or a size 12 finely tied fry pattern dropped over a redd will pick up fish.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 13 June 2013

by Bert Robinson

Over the weekend the Ngongotaha Stream fished very well as there were plenty of fish in the stream. Even as the rain was falling there were fresh browns and rainbows moving upstream so that those who could handle the almost incessant downpour caught a lot of fish. The early part of the week saw a large increase of angler numbers, as is to be expected, due to the upper reaches of the stream closing to fishing at midnight on the last day of this month. The stream is open all year round fro the State Highway 5 Bridge downstream.

The Waiteti Stream has also fished well and there have been a lot of fish spawning throughout the upper reaches for some time. The access off Hampson Drive has been well used during the week and more so over the weekend so the fish are quite spooky.

Many spawning fish can be seen and cast to the left of the boat ramp at the eastern end of Lake Rotoma. There are some very large specimens in amongst the many and while bugging with pink champagne glow bugs is catching well, size 8 or 10 rabbit flies, especially those with a bright orange head are also catching well during the day.

After dark both lumo and non lumo flies are catching fish. As there is limited room for anglers in this area, late arrivals can fish from the jetty within the weed cordon with the expectation of a successful nights fishing. Be aware that the lake edge to the left of the jetty at the eastern end of the lake closes to fishing until October 1, from June 30.

Some very good sized fish have been caught out from Kennedy's Bay as well as Otautu Bay on Lake Rotoehu over the past couple of weeks. Trolling/harling has been reasonably successful on the upwind side of the lake where the water has been clearer. Be aware that there has been an aerator pipe installed on the lake bed though there are plenty of warning signs out at the boat ramps detailing exactly where they are.

Plenty of fish can be found in spots along the Dump at Lake Rotoiti as there are some serious attempts at spawning there. Fish are also coming into the Transformer and Café stream mouths as well around the nearby toilet block. Fish are also coming into the jetty, situated just before the Pipe and can often be seen pairing up over the sand. Fish over four kilos can be hooked off there, though a fairly tight line is required when playing these fish as they tend to dive into the weed bed at the earliest opportunity. Black or green lumo marabous seem to take their fancy, especially when cast well out into the lake, allowed to sink for a 20 second count and retrieved erratically.

Ruato Bay has been patchy, though rainbows up to 4.7 kilos have been caught there after dark on occasion. With there being a lot of stray light in the area from the shielded street lights, it is best to stand well back from the shore and cast short to start with. If the stream mouths are congested with anglers heading off to the left or right hand end of the beach can be productive as you are usually fishing undisturbed water.

Lake Okataina seems to be the stand-out fishing spot at the moment, though angler pressure is high at times. The lack of beach means that wading out a little and casting 45 degrees to the shore is required when trying to cast long distance. There are fish moving up and down the beach most of the time and this should continue for another month or so. The most productive jigging has been at the Tarawera end of the lake as there seems to be a larger concentration of fish in the deeper water, than at the road access end.

The landing at Lake Tarawera has produced some nice fish over the past few days, with rainbows over 3.5 kilos in weight being caught. Small doll flies, lumo marabou in orange, black or green and standard flies with a lumo bead at the head have all caught fish. Stoney Point after dark can be the go-to place at this time of the year as it is a liberation point for trout. A floating line and lumo black marabou is a good starting point when fishing after dark

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 29 May 2013

by Bert Robinson

Lake Okataina seems to be the standout fishing spot at the moment, especially for shore based anglers. The number of fish being caught in excess of the magical 4.6kg is significantly higher than any other lake at the moment. Early morning seems best, though late in the evening has produced a number of fish over the four kilo mark recently. The wind change to the sou-west is likely to make for challenging casting, though a short trace of around one metre and casting across the wind makes casting a little easier. The moon rising late in the evening may create bright conditions for the next few mornings, though the cloud cover may be sufficient to keep the mornings dark, at least until the sun comes up.

The traditional spots along the shore at Lake Rotoiti have produced quite a few fish since the last lot of rain and should continue to do so for a while, At the moment the fish that are coming in seem to be moving around quite a bit rather than holding in a specific area as they do when settling down to spawn.  This will change anytime soon as the weather conditions forecast are more suited to fish coming in and staying put. The Pipe has been producing fish, though the challenge has been to get there early enough to secure a spot. There are other areas close by that can produce fish as consistently as the Pipe can do with the lake edge between the boat ramp and the pipe being one. Standing well back from the shore line and making your first cast very short, the trace and fly are the only two things to touch the water, is the best way to start a nights fishing. A few casts at that distance, then adding a metre to your cast length and repeating until you are casting as far as you can, will cover the water without spooking any fish in the area. This method is particularly useful at the Café and Transformer streams as well as Ruato and Hauparu bays.

Lake Okareka has produced a few fish from the stream mouth at Boyes Beach, though not in any great number at the time of writing. The shallow area off where the waka are kept has been reasonably good for bugging during the day and a lumo patterned fly after dark. Walking out about 30 metres at the left hand end of the beach at the DoC camp and casting a small woolly bugger or ginger mick has been successful for some. It pays to mix up your retrieves when fishing here as most fish in the area seem to be quite fickle and prefer a different retrieve on almost every cast. Trolling is still successful, though I suspect that drifting along and casting back to the shore will catch more fish at the moment.

Fish and Game have reported some reasonable runs of fish through the trap on the Te Wairoa Stream over the past couple of weeks on Lake Tarawera. The runs are still patchy but there are fish holding off the mouth of this stream as well as off the Landing and Orchard so it is worth persevering. One of the better times to fish the landing is when the wind is coming onshore, especially if there are waves breaking on the beach so don’t be put off by the conditions.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu is starting to fish better with the change in the weather as more and more fish are moving in to their liberation points. Thankfully the level of this lake has dropped significantly enough to allow more shoreline access, especially out to Gumboot Point Island. Driving out to Gumboot Point can be a challenge at the best of times so I wouldn’t recommend going there in any vehicle other than a 4x4 with a high wheel base. There are quite a few places that can be successfully fished on the way to Gumboot Point, especially with the lower lake level.

Lake Okaro has been patchy but is always worth trying if you are out that way as some of the fish in this lake will surprise you by their size. The boat ramp and the stream mouth both fish well at times though remember to cast a very short line to start with as the fish are often in close. In fact, always cast short and extend your cast by a metre or so every half a dozen casts if you can’t see the bottom of the lake.

Catch rates are improving at the Trout Pools as rainbows move upstream to spawn. A few can be seen doing just that where the river shallows after the last pool, when the water quality allows. The main reason that this river discolours is due to strong sou-west winds across Lake Rotorua that stir up the sediment out the front of the Ohau Channel. Upstream at Okere Falls Arm catch rates are still patchy, though rainbows over four kilos have been caught on brown or olive woolly buggers and a medium sinking line.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 22 May 2013

by Bert Robinson

What a blessing the rain was for anglers. Good runs were reported in all of the three main spawning tributaries of Lake Rotorua, with the Ngongotaha Stream producing some outstanding browns and rainbows. It seems that this year, trout seem to be coming later than usual, probably due to the higher water temperatures in all lakes up until early May. Some great fishing was to be had on the Ngongotaha Stream over the weekend and this should continue while the rain is here. Egg patterns and hare and copper flies accounted for quite a few fish, though other nymphs caught well too.

The upper Waiteti, accessed off Hampson Drive, is holding a lot of fish, though two anglers working together, i.e. one casting and one spotting, works best when the water is clear. Both browns and rainbows are prevalent throughout this stream at the moment.

Most lakes are now well below the temperature required for trout to move into the streams and lake edge spawning areas and with the addition of a decent drop of rain, catch rates have increased dramatically.  Thankfully some of the lake levels have dropped as well so that anglers can now access places that have been denied them for over 12 months. A great example is Lake Rerewhakaaitu where the level looks to have dropped at least one metre, judging by the high tide mark on the trees that were in water for all of last year. Gumboot Point is accessible and there are a few fish spawning there already, both DoC camps also have plenty of access to the lake edge, where there are plenty of rainbows harassing the local smelt population. A floating line, green orbit, black woolly bugger or giaconda flies, retrieved very slowly, has resulted in some very good conditioned fish over the weekend. The right-hand end of the beach at School Arm is starting to fish well as there are a number of two plus kilo fish coming back to that liberation point.

Lake Okaro is a little slow as far as catch rate is concerned and some of the fish are either over-ripe or post spawning fish and are not in the best of condition. Olive woolly buggers seem to catch well in this lake.

Lake Ngapouri has a lot of surface activity at the moment as trout feed on smelt, which in turn are feeding on zooplankton on the lakes surface. There seems to be a few fish around the boat ramp at the moment.

Okere Falls Arm on Lake Rotoiti is patchy, with great catch rates one day and nothing for a few days after. Some of the fish there have been in excess of 3.5 kg and most of them are in great condition. With the low water flow through the gates, a floating or slow sinking line is best in order not to get hooked on the rocks in this area, Size 6 olive woolly bugger, ginger mick or green orbit during the day has a good chance of catching fish here and after dark a doll fly or other lumo type fly should bring results when the fish are in. Below the control gates there seems to be a lot of fish around the one kilo mark, though larger fish are expected to arrive at any time. A few fish have been caught from the pool at the end of trout pools road, mainly on tokoroa chickens for the spinning fraternity and grey ghosts or woolly buggers for the fly fishers.

Some better runs of fish through the Te Wairoa Trap have been reported by Fish and Game. Apparently the second best run of the trapping season happened over-night Tuesday, with fish up to three kilos. This should mean that there are fish moving into all of the liberation points on Lake Tarawera, though the numbers returning may vary from a few to 20 plus fish. The heavy rain and low cloud should make these fish a lot less spooky in the shallow but be aware of any artificial lighting nearby as strong shadows can be cast on the water if an angler is between the light and the water. Car lights sweeping the bay at the landing are always a challenge, though the deep water just off the beach helps as returning fish are often just over the drop-off at the moment.

The boat ramp/jetty at Kennedy’s Bay has fished well with the rain with fish around the two kilo mark being caught after dark. There are fish not far out into the lake from the jetty during the day so it is well worth casting a grey ghost or rabbit fly on a floating line there. When casting, allow your fly to sink, usually a count of five to ten is sufficient to allow the fly to sink to a good depth. The retrieve is usually slow but erratic, but vary the retrieve every second cast if nothing is happening.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 9 May 2013

by Bert Robinson

What a great storm we had over the previous weekend. It was, without doubt, one of the more impressive ones with lightning and thunder that had to seen and heard to be believed. A great result of it was the arrival of more trout to their spawning areas. The Te Wairoa Fish Trap had a reasonable number of fish in it Monday morning and, with a little more rain arriving mid-week, again on Thursday morning.  As there were hatchery released fish in the mix, there should be plenty of opportunities for anglers to catch fish at other sites where traditionally, rainbows return. The Angle Jetty, the Orchard and the beach at Tarawera Landing should fish well as should Stony Point and Rangiuru Bay, if they haven’t started to fish already. Blue doll flies are my favourite in these areas with black doll and lumo marabou flies a close second.

A few fish are being caught from the beach at the DoC Camp off Mitchell Road at the back of Lake Okareka, though most are being caught after dark. These fish are in very good condition as there is a very large smelt population in this lake at the moment. Even during evenings when the lake surface is very calm rainbows can be caught by casting a long line, counting to 10 or 15 and then slowly retrieving your fly. The ‘take’ is often very subtle so concentration is need when retrieving. Any reasonable win over this lake will improve catch rates though. Fish are also being caught off the jetty at the end of Benn Road after dark using small doll flies.

The large run of smelt through the Ohau Channels seems to have eased over the previous weekend, though more may come at any stage. Most of the smelt have been juveniles up to 40 cm in length, though whether they are coming up the channel or dropping in from Lake Rotorua is anyone’s guess. One theory is that they are the progeny of a very successful spawning over the summer in Lake Rotorua, mainly due to the clarity of the water this summer. A few LP clipped fish have been caught over the past week, though most are recovering fish. Several large schools have been encountered well off the entrance to the channel during the past week and these can be found by looking for the local gulls that have been taking smelt off the surface of the lake most of the day.

The water temperature of the upper Kaituna is still a little high but is dropping a few points every day. There are a few decent fish above and below the control gates but, generally, the fishing is hard as far as larger fish are concerned.

Lake Rotoehu has again produced some very good fish from the Kennedy’s Bay Boat Ramp. I certainly don’t recommend fishing while there is any lightning around but during an extended downpour this spot can really fish well, especially after dark. Doll flies and other lumo variations all seem to work well in this lake.

Lake Okaro has produced some very good fish again this winter and, as we are only at the start of the spawning season, there will be plenty more to come. Fishing after dark is recommended at the moment as there are a few Mai Mai on this lake and with the shortened Duck Hunting Season for 2013, hunters should be allowed to have the best chance to participate in their sport.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu is starting to fish well from the shore at most of the accessible spots. Green orbit, black or olive woolly buggers or small green rabbits are catching well.  Bugging is also working for those who use spinning gear.

Lake Rotoiti is not fishing as well as some anglers expect overall, though the Wai iti Stream has produced some good fish. The Dump, Transformer and Café Streams have been slow, though some fish have been caught late in the evening. The Pipe requires a bit more rain to increase the flow though a few fish have been caught there also, from time to time.

Some fish have come into the spawning area to the left of the boat ramp at the Kawerau end of Lake Rotoma. This area closes to fishing on June 30 but there will be some good fishing to be had before then. Unfortunately this lake is still very high so access to most of this spawning area is limited to anchored boats and anglers casting back to the shore. There are a few fish off the beach as well though those who have the patience will do best with bugging.

The Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams are both worth fishing at the moment, particularly in the lower reaches and at the mouth. Trout are keying onto trout eggs so small egg patterns or light coloured smelt patterns that incorporate a little bit of red in the tying should catch fish.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 3 May 2013

by Bert Robinson

Lake Okareka has started to fish well from the shore at Boyes Beach and the DoC Camp further along Mitchell Road. Olive woolly Buggers with a small split shot pinched on about 30 cm above the fly seems to work best. Rainbows up to 2.75 kg have been caught during the day while slightly smaller fish have been caught after dark when the moon is above the surrounding hills. Harling over the weed beds along the drop off has also been successful. Even though the water temperature is still a little on the high side there are fresh fish coming in close to shore, often feeding on smelt. During the day there seems to be enough wind to put a good ripple on the water but during the late afternoon the wind drops off and the fishing usually gets harder once the lake is calm.

The main beach at Lake Okataina has also started fishing reasonable well, though with the high lake level there is a lot of competition for reasonably easy casting. Bugging off the jetty during the day has also been relatively successful. After dark a woolly bugger with a bit of sparkle tied in or a doll fly has caught fish.

On Lake Rotoiti there seems to be quite a few fish cruising off the Dump through to the Café Stream and this should continue for some time. Fishing after dark has been a challenge as there has been too much wind or not enough as well as a full moon over the past few days. The moon is rising later which is great for evening fishing but is still high in the sky after day break, Those using glo bugs have done better under the calm conditions and full moon, though since the moon has reduced to almost a New Moon, catch rates have improved.

Kennedy’s Bay on Lake Rotoehu fished well with the last lot of rain though has eased off as the weather settled. Once we get more rain there should be more fish coming into this liberation point and the one at Otautu Bay. Grey ghosts and silver Dorothy smelt patterns work well during the day with lumo marabou and doll flies catching after dark.

A few bigger rainbows are starting to appear in the Ohau Channel as the water temperature continues to drop and smelt keep moving through. Size 10 smelt patterns seem to be the size to use at the moment as the smelt are around the 40 mm mark. Most of the rainbows being caught there are Lake Rotorua fish, though there is the odd surprise when a very good conditioned rainbow from Lake Rotoiti is caught, though they seem to be few and far between.

The Kaituna River water temperature is somewhere between that of Lake Rotorua and that of Lake Rotoiti, which is close to bringing larger fish into the Okere Falls Arm. Another two degree drop and there is likely to be an influx of larger fish, though those being caught are reasonable fish, in awesome condition. Olive or brown woolly buggers in sizes 8 to 10 have caught fish during the day while black marabou flies have caught well after dark. With the low flow through the control gates a medium sinking line or sink tip is recommended below the gates and be prepared to loose a few flies on the two new snags that have appeared there recently. Discoloured water is the best time to fish this piece of water so a strong wind across Lake Rotorua is required.

Rain or showers are forecast through until Sunday so there should be another run of fresh browns and rainbows moving into the Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams. The last lot of rain brought a lot of fish in but they moved through the streams very quickly.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 25 April 2013

by Bert Robinson

It looks as though the winter fishing of 2013 has started well, perhaps not with a hiss and a roar, but certainly not with a whimper. Even though the water temperature of most of the lakes is a little high for this time of the year rainbows are starting to return to their liberation points on Lake Rotoiti, with the Dump, Transformer and Café streams as well as the Pipe producing very good conditioned, though mostly two year old rainbows. Ruato and Hauparu Bays have been a challenge to fish as most of the time the wind has been strong and from the Easterly quarter. This has favoured the front beach of Lake Okataina where some of the larger fish have been caught over the past week. One fish in particular was right up at the top end of the scale, weighing in at over six kilos, though it was caught out in the lake rather than from the shore.

The jetty at Kennedy’s Bay has produced a few fish around the 2.5kg mark and will continue to fish well through until at least the end of July. A floating line and doll fly catches well after dark and during the day a grey ghost or silver dorothy seems to tempt the fish better than anything else. This and other small lakes in the Rotorua region have dropped in temperature enough for fish to move to their spawning areas, though the number of fish returning is not as high as it will be over the next month or so. Harling, using a green lightning bolt turbo and a grey ghost is an effective combination at this time of the year on the end of two to three colours of lead.

With the temperature of the top 20 metres of water from Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti dropping there has been an increase in the size of the fish moving in there to spawn. There is still a need for a drop of a couple of degrees yet to really get the fish moving. Most fish there are still between 100 and 250mm, though fish larger than 50cm are being caught at times. A size 10 brown woolly bugger works best on the larger fish at the moment, when fishing from the control gates.

The main challenge there at the moment is the huge rafts of weed that are being carried downstream from the channel as the very strong wind over the past week has ripped apart the weed beds in Lake Rotorua. So much so that there are patches of weed floating on the surface that can be measured in hectares rather than square meters. As it drifts into the outlet a large amount gets hung up on the weir which has caused the lake to rise and it is only the sterling efforts of a local man, who has spent hours cutting it up so that it can drift away.  This partial blockage of the weir has had one beneficial effect in that it is holding the largest run of smelt that I have seen for many years directly downstream of the weir. Unfortunately large trout have not really discovered this immense food source as yet as most of the feeding fish there are under 30cm in length due to the water temperature.

Both the Waiteti and Ngongotaha streams have had good runs of browns and rainbows moving through, the largest brown being over five kilos in weight. The hole at the mouth of the Waiteti is fishing well during the day to any fly, but particularly egg patterns, that are predominantly orange. With the slow moving water through the hole, a little movement of the fly helps to get the fish interested. As both of these streams are used for spawning by both rainbows and browns there will be good runs of fish into them over the next couple of months.

Unfortunately Lake Rerewhakaaitu remains high, as do other lakes in the area without an outlet. Fish are in close and over the weed beds but access to most of the shoreline for shore based anglers is still restricted. Green orbit or olive woolly buggers catch well in this lake when fished from the shore, though my most successful fly there has to be an unweighted black woolly bugger retrieved along the Raupo beds. Casting back towards the shore from a boat is usually more effective from now on. One spot on this lake that is worth fishing is over the reef that leads to the Island off Gumboot Point. This is a significant spawning area and there are some quite large fish to be had there.

Rainbows are returning to the liberation point at Lake Ngapouri, though there are quite a few fish around the inlet to this lake as well. A boat is required to access the inlet, which can be found by following the bank along to the right of the boat ramp, where you enter a small bay. Remember though that Duck hunting season is close at hand and that this lake is used by hunters who have mai mais dotted around the lake. Fishing on this lake during May will almost certain lead to your pedigree being questioned.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 18 April 2013

by Bert Robinson

A lot has happened this past week, with torrential downpours and strong and gusty easterly winds from Sunday to Wednesday. Perfect conditions at this time of the year to get trout motivated to move in for spawning and so they did. The Pipe on Lake Rotoiti really fired last Monday but has since slowed up considerably. More rain is forecast over the next couple of days so there could be another influx of fish. Most of the fish being caught were 2 year olds around the 5.5lb mark, but here there was the occasional 10lb fish being caught. A few fish have been hanging around the Transformer Stream at times so that stream and the Café stream are both worth fishing if you are in the area.

Ruato and Hauparu bays were virtually unfishable for all but the most fanatical angler – that’s me… - No luck Monday or Tuesday evenings but since the weather has calmed down there should be some reasonable fishing to be had. A lot of weed has been driven up on the shore, after being smashed off by waves over 60cm high but overall both bays are clear of floating weed.

A few decent fish have finally appeared above and below the control gates on the Kaituna River. Since the rain the gates have either been wide open of sitting around the 600cun mark. Unfortunately the extra water, after months of minimal flows has ripped out weed beds which continue to flow down the current. Any green woolly bugger seems to attract the larger fish, though the myriad of rainbows up to half a kilo are keen to have a go as well.

Jigging and trolling has been hard on Lake Rotoiti as some of the contestants in the Police Fishing Tournament will attest to, though some fish were caught.

Lake Tarawera seems to have fished better than the other lakes according to some of the boat-based anglers I have spoken to. A few fish have run the Te Wairoa Stream during and since the rain and more are expected with the next lot of rain. Stony Point and Rangiuru Bay should have fish coming in close to the drop-off there.

Good runs of browns and rainbows entered the Ngongotaha Stream during and since the rain as well. According the Fish and Game, the largest brown was 5.8kg and there was a run of 75 fish over one night alone. This stream is clearing as I write this, but with more rain and possible thunderstorms predicted over the next few days, anglers should be heading over this way as soon as possible – now would be good!

The Waiteti is holding large rainbows and browns in the middle reaches and some very good conditioned fish have been caught in the hole at the mouth over the past couple of days and nights. The middle section of this stream clears very quickly and is worth a visit anytime between now and the end of June when it closes to fishing until December 1. The stream below the road bridge in Ngongotaha is open all year and there are still plenty of fish to come up through the lower reaches.

Lakes Okaro and Rerewhakaaitu are both starting to produce fish from the shore and will get better towards the end of this month.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 21 March 2013

by Bert Robinson

Some of the best fishing this year is how some anglers have described the catch rate for jigging on Lake Rotoiti over the past week or so. Rainbows in this lake are in great condition and those being caught have been weighed in excess of 4.5kg. During the past week it didn’t seem to matter which favourite spot you fished as there were plenty of fish on offer, though by the weekend you had to hunt around to find them.

Hamurana has improved dramatically over the past few days, with rainbows up to 2.5kg being caught. Most of the rainbows are in excellent condition, though many of the browns are spent or recovering fish. The algae that has plagued anglers who fished this are over the summer is disappearing, leaving large patches of silver sand where the rainbows are feeding. The epoxy headed grey ghost has been particularly successful, especially when the rolly polly method of retrieve is used. Just make sure that your rod is off to one side of the line direction so that the fish is hooked when it grabs your fly.

The Waiteti mouth has benefitted from the rain as rainbows moved into the stream in larger numbers than have been seen for some time. Most of these fish seemed to move quickly upstream rather than hang around in the lower stream. As this stream is spring fed, the stream either side of the public access off Hampson Drive is virtually always crystal clear and there are usually fish holding above and below the private bridge across this stream. Working in pairs is the best way to fish this stream as one can spot and direct the other anglers cast, especially when fishing the downstream part. Tippets down to 5lb and size 14 or 16 natural imitations are bats at the moment though if there are spawning fish a very small egg pattern can be successful. I find that a size 14 hook with two wraps of orange micro chenille on the shaft of the hook is more likely to work than larger egg patterns.

Fresh rainbows moved into the Ngongotaha Stream as well, especially with the smaller lot of rain that early last week. Unfortunately this stream didn’t colour up at all so the fish were very spooky in the low clear water. Before daylight and after dark has fished best. Out from the mouth of this stream has also fished well with both brown and rainbows available to be caught. Standing well back off the edge of the delta is recommended as fish come right into where the stream water drops into the lake. Most of the brown trout here tend to be on the edge of the cooler water, though the area between the yellow buoy at the boat ramp and the delta is a favoured haunt for many browns. The use of a black fly with little or no tail is best as the water is shallow and the browns have to pick the fly up of the lake bed. You can often feel a slight resistance when retrieving or a pull on the line as a brown trout tries to pick your fly up. The best idea is to use a short, sharp retrieve after that happens rather than using to strike at the fish because the fish will move away and not touch your fly again.

Heave and leave off any of the accessible beaches at Lake Rotoma has been successful for some, though spinning, using small zed spinners, veltics or bingos can also catch fish. Often trout will move along the inside of the weed bed in the hope that their food will move out from weed bed in the hope of finding its own food. Jigging has also been very successful with some great conditioned rainbows being caught. The southerly over the past couple of days has not created too much of a challenge for jiggers as there are quite a few sheltered spots to jig over.

The southerly winds of the past few days has not dropped the lake temperature all that much and with another 10 days or so of fine weather coming up, all looks good for fishing the stream mouths overall.  The evenings and early mornings can be a little cool at this time of the year. With the moon coming onto full in a few days look to target brown trout at the stream mouths. These fish seem to feed better during the full moon and are far less spooked by the extra light from the moon.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 15 March 2013

by Bert Robinson

I will concede that the forecast earlier this year of a long hot summer was correct, we are certainly enjoying a long hot summer this year. The conditions are almost perfect to drive trout into the cooler water at various stream mouths entering Lake Rotorua, however this is not happening to any great extent. Hamurana has been plagued with an ugly looking algae most of the summer and with the variable winds over the main part of the summer there is a huge pool of cold water out of the mouth that has allowed trout to be spread out over a large area rather than concentrated in the plume of cold water closer to the mouth. Overall fishing has been very hard, with only the occasional reasonably good day’s fishing.  As I write this update some rain is falling, though it is not expected to be very much. It may be enough to stimulate a run of spawning fish into the Utuhina, Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams.

While the Awahou mouth has been better than the Hamurana mouth, catching fish there has been a challenge as well, especially during the day. There are a large number of fish in the stream but you need to fish to them before those who prefer to swim get into the water. Size 14 black bead head nymphs seem to be readily taken in the stream.  Days when there is little wind have proven to be the hardest on which to catch fish, though fishing after dark or between 5 and 6am have been quite good regardless of the lack of wind.

There still rainbows moving in and out of the Waiteti Stream in small numbers and there are plenty of brown trout out in the lake as well as the stream. A careful stalk around the bay at the entrance could get you onto a small school of rainbows, though they tend to be fairly spooky with the clear water and bright blue sky. The ugly algae which is at Hamurana is also infesting the Waiteti mouth though it doesn’t seem quite so rampant there and is confined to a smaller area.  A trace no more than 1.5 metres in length is recommended when fishing the shallow water off the mouth, though the trace needs to be two or three times that length when fishing in water at least 1.5 metres deep.

The Ngongotaha mouth is still fishing reasonably well in comparison to the three previously mentioned streams with a small school of rainbows holding off the mouth during the day. The brown trout are being stalked intensely and are very spooky but both species can be caught relatively easily after dark. Fish the main cold water plume at the drop off for the rainbows with lumo flies and the edges of the plume and beyond for the browns using large black marabous with a dead slow retrieve. The area around the buoy directly out from the boat ramp at the end of Beaumont’s Road and across to the mouth of the stream has been particularly good for targeting brown trout, with the occasional rainbow thrown in for good measure, after dark. I have spotted brown trout cruising around within casting distance of the end of the boat ramp jetty after dark as well.

Lake Tarawera is quite cool below the 28 to 30 metre mark so jigging is probably the best option at the moment.

Lake Rotoiti is cool enough for rainbows below the 15 metre mark and can be easily reached by trolling a lead line or jigging in the holes or along the drop offs. Apparently there have been some great conditioned rainbows up to 3.5 kg coming out of this lake over the past week or so.

For those with access to a boat, the hydro lakes are producing large numbers of rainbows from any of the many small, cool streams that enter these lakes. Lake Whakamaru, Maraetai and Ohakuri are just three hydro lakes that fish well over the summer months. Nigel Juby of Over Achievers LTD, via the Hamilton anglers Club has passed on information about how well the hydro lakes are fishing and also passed on the web address of Mighty River Power which has the heights of the lakes and is updated every 30 minutes.

A quick look at the maps on nzfishing.com will show you where there are streams entering any of the lakes, all of which are worth exploring. Virtually any valley heading towards a lake will be carrying water in various amounts, much of which is likely to be cooler water than the lake water.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 8 March 2013

by Bert Robinson

A general improvement in the fishing was welcomed by anglers fishing Hamurana last Saturday and Sunday, though it was very short lived. By Monday the sou-westerly had stirred up the water really badly and fish were very hard to find. Tuesday and Wednesday weren’t any better. On Sunday most rainbows were found out at the 200 metre mark and directly off the white house to the left of the mouth, while the browns were in their usual spots close into shore. Using the rolly polly method of retrieving was the most successful when using la Giaconda or small smelt patterns. There seems to be a reasonable number of very small smelt around this mouth so the use of a size 10 or 12 grey ghost, silver Dorothy or any of the killer patterns should improve your catch rate.  Harling along the drop off has also been successful judging by the number of times a couple of boats stopped to play fish over the weekend.

Late at night seems to be the best time to fish the Awahou mouth if you want to catch rainbows as after 11pm seems to be far more productive than any other time of the day. Lumo flies such as doll flies or lumo marabou are catching both brown and rainbows here though a straight black marabou retrieved very slowly has also caught some great conditioned browns after dark.

The small low that came through earlier in the week brought some fish into the Waiteti and Ngongotaha streams, but for any significant numbers of fish to move upstream we need a lot more rain than that. Unfortunately with the dryness of the soil there is likely to be a lot of run-off into the streams and they are likely to discolour quickly shout we get our usual amount of rain in a short period of time. Should we get any significant rain there is likely to be a reasonable to very good run of fish in either stream.

The Utuhina has had some rainbows move into it and there are quite a few brown trout spread throughout the fishable length of this stream. There is plenty of stream side cover on the banks of this stream and lots of deep holes to try your luck on at any time of the day

Lake Okataina has fished well with rainbows over 4 kg being caught. There seems to be fish surface feeding most of the day and they can be caught harling a ginger mick fly over a sandy bottom. For fishing the weed beds a green orbit is a good fly to start with. Jigging has also been successful with koura and small smelt patterns catching fish as well. From what I have heard there isn’t any one spot producing fish more than any other so it is just a matter of finding the fish or a likely spot and trying your luck.

Lake Rotoma continues to fish well as more and more anglers try their luck on this lake. Deep trolling and jigging are really starting to be productive as is harling over the weed beds early and late in the day for tiger trout.

Early morning jigging continues to be successful on Lake Rotoiti, preferably before the wind comes up too much. The usual spots of West Bank and Vercoe’s as well as the Hinehopu end of the lake are worth dropping a line at. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a thermocline forming in this lake this year so most of the fish are spread out over the deeper parts of the lake. This may mean that more fish than usual will be coming into spawn towards the end of this month, especially to the stream mouths at Hauparu Bay and possibly Ruato Bay.

Dates to put on your calendar Kids Fish-out Days at the Ngongotaha Hatchery for 2013 14 July, 11 Aug, 8 Sept, 13 Oct

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 28 Feb 2013

by Bert Robinson

While there is still a lot of algae floating in the water at Hamurana it is confined to the first 100 metres or so off the mouth. After that the water is relatively clear, as it the lake bed. Rainbows are either on their own or in twos and threes at the moment and are moving around a lot, mostly out in the area that is relatively clear of algae. They seem to like a La Giaconda fly that is being stripped through the water fairly quickly. Long casts have been more successful than short ones, especially when the wind has both variable speeds and directions over short periods of time.

There are plenty of brown trout available for those wanting the challenge of stalking a fish and I have hatched a cunning plan that seems to work for me. I walk out into the lake a couple of hundred metres and turn either left or right then circle slowly back to the shore. Brown trout are lying on the lake bed and facing the shore due to the current created by the inflowing spring water. This allows you to come up behind the fish so they tend not to see you coming from a fair distance away. You can then back off the fish if needed and plan the presentation of your fly.

A relatively small number of fish are holding inside the mouth of the Awahou Stream at the moment and are becoming very challenging to catch as they are getting an almost constant stream of anglers throwing flies at them. Possibly the best way to catch any of these fish is to cast  a sinking line and small wet fly or perhaps even a damsel fly to them after dark. Large numbers of brown trout can be stalked directly off the mouth and in the bay to the left of the mouth at the moment. Careful stalking is required during the day, however once you find an area where there are large numbers of browns it is only a matter of fishing that area after dark with a size 4 black marabou or woolly bugger.

The take is likely to be quite subtle so any hesitation during your retrieve should bring about a slightly faster retrieve or a short sharp strike action.  Over the weed beds seems to be fishing reasonably well for fishers of the fly and while numbers of rainbows are not high they will take a la Giaconda, especially if retrieved at a reasonable speed and very erratically.  Unfortunately many of the fish being caught there are spent rainbows, both hens and jacks so should be returned to the water to fatten up a bit.

The Waiteti has produced some very good conditioned browns and rainbows over the past week, particularly early in the morning, from the hole at the mouth as well as the stream up past the walk bridge. Natural imitations seem to be working best, especially in the smaller sizes.  Fresh fish must be coming into this stream during the night so look for the plume of cooler water and fish that after dark.

The Ngongotaha has also produced reasonable rainbows and very good conditioned browns at the mouth. Stalking during the day is nearly impossible as these fish have been stalked virtually all day, every day so fish after dark as much as possible. The rainbows that are off the mouth are not so spooky and can be targeted with olive woolly buggers during the day with a dead slow retrieve. Try not to follow these fish as they have a pattern of movement that is linked to the direction of the cold water flow from the stream and will return to where you first saw them if disturbed.

Lake Rotoma is probably fishing the best of the bigger lakes around Rotorua, with great conditioned fish of good size. Jigging has been the more successful method though casting a fly on a sinking line along the edge of a weed bed or structure out in the lake. Tiger trout can be caught from relatively shallow water over the weed beds with the area off the boat ramp at the western end of the lake being a relatively prolific area to fish. Most of the stream mouths are also worth fishing at, though they are usually more productive from May onwards. Early morning harling is worthwhile over the weed beds for good quality rainbows as well.  Remember that when harling or trolling on this lake it is best to use a very long leader, some anglers use up to 40 feet, in a fairly productive attempt to catch fish

Rotoiti is starting to improve with very good fish being caught at West Bank, Hauparu Bay Point and at the Hinehopu end of the lake, by jigging. Early morning harling over the weed bed off Gisborne Point and the Wai iti has also been successful for some.

Dates to put on your calendar Kids Fish-out Days at the Ngongotaha Hatchery for 2013 14 July, 11 Aug, 8 Sept, 13 Oct

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 21 Feb 2013

by Bert Robinson

The number of anglers fishing the usual hot spots around Lake Rotorua continues to decrease overall due to the very poor summer rainbow fishing that we have had so far this year. The Awahou Stream mouth is producing some fish, usually after dark, though there are few holding in the pools inside the stream mouth most of the time. I must admit that there has been a marked increase in the number of brown trout at the stream mouths this year, in comparison to previous years. Nymphing still seems to be the preferred method as it has a higher catch rate than streamer fishing.  In saying that, the woolly bugger fly pattern has accounted for a reasonable number of brown and rainbow trout so far this summer.  The pheasant tail nymph or red copper john in sizes 14 to 16 have been successful at times.  Harling off this mouth has been patchy, though large numbers of trout have been caught from time to time.

Hamurana has been abysmal. Even those attempting to harl out past where wading anglers can’t get to, have been plagued with lots of weed and algae. Fishing late in the evening has produced a few rainbows and some very large brown trout over the past few evenings.

The brown trout off the mouth of the Ngongotaha are being targeted more and more and are quite spooky during the day. Your best bet is to target these fish after dark with a floating line and large, very slowly retrieved black fly. Be patient and try not to cast your line in the same place every time. If you know where the browns sit during the day, there is a good chance that they will be in the area after dark as well. They do move around more after dark so by standing in one spot there is less chance of spooking these fish.

There is also a small school of rainbows holding off the mouth of the stream as well. Careful stalking will get you close enough to cast a fly so that it drifts through them. They seem to be quite partial to a woolly bugger, especially one with either a red head or a red tag tail. When fishing after dark try standing a couple of rod lengths from the upstream edge of the delta and cast down the rip and slowly retrieve as more rainbows seem to move into the rip after dark.

Good quality rainbows have been caught at depths in excess of 25 metres on Lake Rotoiti over the past week. The wind is a challenge still as it is still very inconsistent in direction and speed.  The hole off Vercoe’s has produced fish when the wind is from the nor-east at times and West Bank is always worth dropping a line at, especially when the wind is less than 5kph.  West Bank is found almost half way between the Otaramarae entrance and the hot pools and can fish well in most wind directions.  Apparently rainbows up to 5.5 kilos have been caught over the past couple of weeks and all fish caught seem to be in great condition.

Jigging seems to be improving on Lake Rotoma, though you still have to hunt around for the fish at times. Fishing the edge of the reef, denoted by four cones in the middle of nowhere out in the lake is a good starting point. A decent depth finder should be able to pick up concentrations of smelt in other parts of the lake and this is where trout are likely to be. Tiger trout are also being caught at times, though mostly from the shallows where there are extensive weed beds.  Shore based fishing is still hard as this lake, like many others in the region is still higher than normal.

According to Fish and Game the Waioeka River is well worth a visit as it has been clear for some time and a lot of fish, many of them in the large category, were seen during a recent drift dive.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 14 Feb 2013 by Bert Robinson

One of the great things about going fishing, apart from the obvious of actually being outdoors, is the surprises that that can crop up from time to time. My first sighting of a Kotuku or White Heron was over 20 years ago at Lake Arapuni, one of the hydro lakes on the Waikato River. This particular bird was always alone and appeared every second year at about the same time. 

My next encounter with a Kotuku was at the Ohau Channel where it turns up fairly regularly to feed on smelt and I have never seen them anywhere else in the North Island. My surprise was on Sunday when one of the whanau from the Awahou called out to look at the Kotuku that was wading just off the entrance to the stream. A quick look told me that it wasn’t actually a Kotuku but a Kotuku nutupapa or Royal Spoonbill. This is usually found in Australia, Papa New Guinea and points North of there. A quick look on the internet showed me that these birds have been in New Zealand for a long time and started breeding during the 1950s. All in all an awesome addition to the bird life around Rotorua should it decide to stay around Rotorua.

Thankfully the sight of this bird did more than take the edge off the abysmal fishing that anglers were experiencing at the Awahou that day. The lake was flat calm and though there were fish moving on the surface they tended to be too far out to get to by wading anglers. Some of the fish that were caught the previous night had large smelt in them, but most were either empty or had caddis and snails as part of the gut content. The snails are only about two millimetres across in size and are a light green sheen to them.  Careful examination of the lake surface water showed that there were quite a few floating in the surface film. Smelt around 50mm were also floating on the surface which may explain why gulls and terns were feeding off the surface at various spots out in the lake.

Catch rates at the Waiteti Stream mouth were also down on expectations though a few nice rainbows and browns have been caught early in the morning. Most are being caught on pheasant tail or hares ear nymphs, though some have been caught on small silicon smelt and grey ghosts.

Fishing at the Ngongotaha mouth has been productive, particularly late in the evening, with good conditioned rainbows and large browns available. Lumo marabou or doll flies have worked best on the rainbows and large black marabous have tempted a few large brown trout. Harling over the weed bed has also been successful as many trout seem to be actively feeding there later in the day. All of the streams entering Lake Rotorua could do with a good flushing as the volume of water in them seems to be reducing on a daily basis.

Hamurana had a reasonable number of fish moving on the surface today (Wednesday  Feb 13) though getting them to take a fly or even getting the hook to stick was a major challenge. The takes were few and far between and when fish did the take was very subtle and more like a light pull on the line. Around 1pm seemed to be when the surface feeding started. Browns are still around in good numbers but are getting increasingly spooky as they are being targeted by anglers more and more. The wind change to the nor-west seems to have helped a lot as it has driven the cold water plume to the left consistently over the past couple of days.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 21 Jan 2013 by Bert Robinson

Fly fishing has been tough over the past week at Hamurana. While, overall, the lake temp is high enough to drive rainbows into the shallows at the cooler stream mouths, the water out from the mouths is cooler than expected for this time of the year. The variable winds have been playing havoc with the stream plume once it enters the lake so instead of the plume being relatively stable, it is being moved all over the place. This movement has not affected the brown trout that are still around in large numbers. A careful and constant scanning of the water surface will soon show you where there are browns taking insects off the surface. Once you spot a disturbance of the surface water, cast in the general direction and retrieve with either of the following retrieves. Dead Slow, so slow in fact that if you think that you are slow enough, halve the speed again.

Short and Sharp. Allow your fly to sink below the surface a little then retrieve with a fast jerky figure of eight and keep it moving until ready to cast again.

Roly-poly, the English name for a very fast retrieve where you tuck the rod under your armpit and strip the line back as fast as you can. Only cast five or six times in the same general area as any more and you are likely to move the fish away from that area.
Flies that have been effective for me have been, La Giaconda and size 8 or 10 woolly buggers.

For fishing after dark for browns I use a shorter trace than during the day, roughly two metres in length and of at least 4.5 kilo breaking strain. Cast to a jumping brown and either retrieve dead slow or with a short sharp retrieve. If you feel any hesitation through the line on the dead slow retrieve, speed the retrieve up to the short sharp retrieve and you should get a hook up. If you are using the short sharp retrieve, strike with the hand that is doing the retrieving, moving the line no more than about 30cm and keeping the rod close to the water rather than lifting. Once the fish is hooked you can lift the rod if you want to. Flies that work for me after dark, when chasing browns or rainbows are size 6 or 8 unweighted black woolly buggers, size 6 black marabou or the lumo marabou which has a chartreuse chenille body and three diagonal wraps of aurora skirt.

The Awahou fired last night apparently with several anglers doing well with either a sinking line or sink tip line. It also fished reasonably well for rainbows today with a pheasant tail nymph being the outstanding fly of the day. For those that don’t have a sink tip or slow sinking line try making a sink tip from LED trolling line or and old sinking line. For LED a piece around 35cm long with a loop tied in at each end is sufficient. Using the loop to loop connection to the sink tip is quick and easy, and to the end of the sink-tip, add one metre of tippet. During the day a pheasant tail nymph has been the most productive fly.
Jigging is starting to improve at Lake Rotoma, though you do need to hunt the groups of rainbows as they are not spread evenly over the lake.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 1 Jan 2013 by Bert Robinson

It is without doubt, the craziest summer that I have experienced during my 56 years on this planet. Who would have thought that we would have a few nights where the air temperature would have dipped to a mere five degrees C during the middle of January. Thankfully these unseasonably low night time temperatures were not followed by low day time temperatures so that Lake Rotorua was not affected. The main challenge at the moment is the inconsistent wind direction and speed, though the forecast for the rest of the week shows a fairly good wind direction and speed, which should allow trout to concentrate where they should at this time of the year.

Hamurana has been patchy with a few good fishing days, interspersed amongst a lot of poor days. The lack of wind on Thursday created challenges by way of a large pool of cold water off Hamurana accompanied by large areas of floating sludge, which is the brown alga that has infected the lake bed shallows around Lake Rotorua. The fish had moved out but are likely to move back in once the water temperature rises a degree or two. Unfortunately there seems to be a resurgence of Water Net - (genus Hydrodictyon) around Hamurana and the Waiteti mouths. It has been a few years since I saw this stuff in any amount but with Lake Rotorua being significantly clearer than previous years, and water net liking clean water, we will be seeing a lot more of it this summer I suspect. Check, clean and dry your gear when moving between lakes has never been more important.

The Awahou mouth has been similarly affected with the dreaded sludge, though there have been a reasonable number of fish holding inside the mouth at times. A significant number of the rainbows are in far better condition than we have seen over the past two summers and all fish seem to be jam-packed full of caddis and/or snails that have been scooped up from the sandier parts of both mouths. Hares ear, hare and copper and pheasant tail nymphs have taken fish when they are in close to the shore, as have size 10 olive woolly buggers.

There has been a large amount of angler pressure at the mouth of the Waiteti Stream over the past couple of weeks, and the catch rate there has suffered a little as a result. When the sun is fully out anglers should be looking for schools of rainbows that have been holding in the cooler stream water not far out into the lake. I managed to spook a small school of about 50 rainbows and a few brown trout all within knee deep water last Sunday as I worked my way back to the shore after a fairly unfruitful fish over the weed bed. Fish your way out into the lake, if the brown sludge isn’t dominating the shallow water, and on your return to the shore as trout can turn up at any time.  Small doll flies or black marabou with a lime green body with three wraps of aurora skirt diagonally across the body have been successful after dark. Dead slow or short sharp, twitchy retrieves still work after dark. If you get a tap or pull on the line with a slow retrieve speed your retrieve up, using a short sharp retrieve, immediately rather than striking with the rod as you are more likely to get a hook-up that way.

Casting across the current, be it from the wind or the stream water, is best as your fly will drift down into undisturbed water and away from where your line has landed. Targeting brown trout that leap right out of the water, as they do there most nights, is a good option too. Get to within casting distance and retrieve very slowly but don’t keep casting in the same place every time as this is sure to move the fish on. The same advice applies to rainbows when they are moving around, rather than being stacked up.

Jigging on Lake Rotoiti has improved a little with the light winds over the past couple of days. Smelt can be picked up via a reasonable depth finder as they are congregating over the bottom and up to the 20 metre mark at times.  Excellent conditioned rainbows up to 3.5 kilos are being caught at times. Check around West Bank and the deeper parts around the island. There may be fish holding off the drop-off  at Hauparu if the wind is right for drifting.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 1 Jan 2013
By Bert Robinson

Back in October 2012, those who predict our future weather suggested that we would have a long overdue, long hot summer. Unfortunately the picture that was conjured in my mind, by that suggestion, of blue skies and searing sun has been replaced with the reality of endless showers and high humidity. Not that the reality is a bad thing as hot and humid night time temperatures have helped keep Lake Rotorua’s temperature on the cusp of being high enough to drive fish into the cooler stream mouths.

A few continuous days of clear blue skies and catch rates at Hamurana and the Awahou mouths will be bordering on awesome rather than patchy. Fishing at the Waiteti mouth, while we had Nor-East winds over the past few days, has been very successful for catching great conditioned pre and post spawning rainbows. Black woolly buggers and black marabou flies have been really successful day and night, especially when the shallow water around the mouth has been stirred up by the Nor-East winds over the past couple of weeks.

A trace with a breaking strain of around 4.8 kilos and about one and a half to two metres in length seems to be the way to go for both brown and rainbow trout. A dead slow retrieve, increasing to a series of short sharp twitches if you feel the slightest hesitation or pull on the fly, is enough to get shy biting fish to take your lure and all this happens in water less than 60 cm deep. Browns in excess of 5.3 kilos have been caught at this mouth. With the forecast rain over the next few days there should be an increase in the number of trout heading upstream to spawn

At Hamurana casting slightly across the wind, allowing a nymph such as stonefly, damsel, hares ear or size 10 green orbit or ginger mick to drift has picked up some hard fighting rainbows and the occasional brown trout. Allowing the nymph to float freely at the end of the drift has also been very successful. A trace of at least three metres, the last 50 cm of which is fluorocarbon seems to work best for me. Most of the fish seem to be off to the side of the cold water plume, especially the left hand side when the plume is heading off to the right, though more and more fish are moving into the lower part of the stream. Those in boats, anchored or drifting in three metres of water off the mouth, and casting a lure or fly have been rewarded with a high catch rate. A few fish are starting to appear in the cold water plume since Wednesday but we need a few more bright sunny days to bring in large numbers of fish.

Using the same technique as suggested for Hamurana flingers of the fly can be even more successful at the Awahou mouth where there seems to be a higher concentration of fish. There are times of the day when there are good numbers of rising fish that are taking green and brown beetle as well as various insects that are hatching from the water. Casting a nymph and letting it drift in the area of a rising fish can be successful.

Plenty of large brown trout and a few great conditioned rainbows have been caught from the Ngongotaha Stream over the past couple of weeks. Early morning and late evening have been the better times to fish at the mouth.  The more productive way of fishing there is to stay in close to, if not actually at, the point where the current cuts through the sand bar. Fish have to move through the restricted flow so become concentrated within easy reach of your fly.

Good numbers of fish can be found in the Utuhina Stream, though they are not always in the areas that you might think. Large browns are lurking deep under cover of the banks and usually only come out to feed after dark. A lot of the rainbows that I saw were in fairly inaccessible spots where there were lots of overhanging trees and shrubs.

Rangiuru Bay produced a few very good conditioned, and reasonably large, rainbows over the previous weekend. After dark an olive woolly bugger seemed to more readily acceptable to the fish there and almost anything else apart, perhaps, from doll flies.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 21 Dec 2012
By Bert Robinson

There is some great trout fishing to be had at the moment and more to come over the next few months. Those into fly or spin fishing are getting the best of it, while those who are into jigging are struggling overall. Hamurana has produced excellent quality rainbows up to almost three kilos, while the brown trout in the area, and there are lots of them, are in awesome condition and mostly on the larger size. Change-of-light and into the dark fishing has been best over the past week with the flies to start with being, size 10 ginger mick, green rabbits and doll flies after dark.

With the lake temperature not quite up to the 18 degree mark throughout the water column, most fish will be away from the main cold water plume. A good check to see if you are in the general area where the fish are likely to be is to have cold water no higher than mid-calf on your leg, the other 80cm or more water will be significantly warmer than that closest to the lake bed. Stonefly nymphs and damsels work well during the middle of the day, especially when they are cast out and left to drift. Fish will take on the retrieve but seem to prefer a more natural drift.

The Awahou mouth has also produced larger and much better conditioned fish than previous years, again after dark. Large browns are also lurking around this stream mouth and can often be stalked during the day, providing there isn’t too much ripple on the water and the sun is high in the sky. Browns love very large and very small flies, especially if they are retrieved very slowly and will take a lumo fly if the is retrieved dead slow or very fast.

Sunday evening at the Waiteti mouth was very interesting as a large number of brown trout were hurtling themselves out of the water, sometimes a metre or more, and crashing back into the water at dusk through until 11pm when I finally tore myself away and went home for a much needed sleep. Most browns were in water less than 60cm deep and spread out over a large area of the small bay to the left of the stream mouth. There were also rainbows in amongst them though it wasn’t until after dark that these fish came on the bite. A floating line and a trace of around one metre seemed to work best on both species, especially when retrieved upwind or up current. The rainbows that I caught were not large but certainly were in great condition and full of fight. The ‘take’ was soft at times, though other hit like an express train, hurtling out of the shallow water and tearing off line like there was no tomorrow. The size four black/lumo marabou that I was using certainly seemed to work a treat.

Tuesday evening was awesome! Being one of only two anglers fishing I had plenty of choices and no disturbed water.  Within two hours fishing I managed to land two brown trout, one just over 12lb and the other just over 8lb, and 5 rainbows, most of which were around the three and half pound mark. I lost several other rainbows and had several sneaky pulls on the line from some of the browns that were lurking in the shallow water. Wednesday evening there were a large number of anglers on the water and though the conditions had changed dramatically, some fish were caught. The wind direction and speed had changed to the point where the lake was flat calm, with only the slightest ripple at times.  Browns were still leaping out of the water but were far fewer in number than the previous night.

Throwing out a heave and leave egg pattern off the Tarawera Landing or any of the jetties at Rangiuru Bay has taken some great conditioned fish over the past couple of weeks. Fishing after dark has also been successful for those using a sink-tip or slow sinking line and doll flies at Rangiuru Bay.

There are plenty of fish to be had throughout the Rangitaiki River according to recent fishers of this river. Not a lot happening as far as rising fish are concerned but the pools seem to be holding a lot of fish that are readily taking nymphs. Cicada are starting to appear throughout the region but are not yet in large enough numbers to entice trout to rise to them and other insects, such as caddis and mayfly are also appearing. With hot sunny days there will be a lot more cicada hatching so it won’t be long before trout start taking cicada imitations on a regular basis.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 14 Dec 2012
By Bert Robinson

There seems to be plenty of fish feeding over the weed bed off the Waiteti Stream mouth at the moment. They are in water that is less than one and a half metres in depth so are easily accessible to those who choose to walk out past the sandbar. The main drawback there is the sludge that is easily disturbed as you walk and floats around in the water column. Keeping well away from the plume of water that is the Waiteti helps as there is clearer water to be found. Most fish are full of caddis and sand, with the occasional damsel or dragonfly nymph as well. A dead slow retrieve seems to be best either day or night. The part of the stream, accessed off Hampson Drive has a few fish holding there and also has a reasonably good number of fish moving through from time to time.

With Lake Rotorua’s water temperature hovering between just over 17 degrees and just under 20 degrees there is likely to be a significant influx of rainbows into the Awahou and Hamurana mouths as soon as we get a prolonged period of fine weather. Even with the cloudy days and a bit of rain the lake continues to increase slightly day by day. Rainbows that have already come into these mouths are taking size 10 or 12 green rabbits or size 10 ginger mick flies. A dead slow retrieve across the wind generated current seems to work best, especially well away from the cold water plume. Unfortunately the brown sludge that is on the bottom of the lake at Hamurana seems to be getting worse, though one can usually head out further into the lake to get past it. Fishing after dark has been more productive than during the day. There will be rainbows feeding over the weed bed, well off the mouth of Hamurana at the moment and it is these fish that are likely to move into the cooler water once the lake get above 18 degrees C. These fish will be feeding on caddis, damsels, dragon fly lava, bullies and any smelt that happens to be in the vicinity.

A reasonable number or brown and rainbow trout are to be found in the Utuhina Stream at the moment.  The browns are hiding in the deeper water and under streamside vegetation, usually in the more inaccessible places. Above the Old Taupo Road Bridge there are a few pools that are holding rainbows up to one and a half kilos, though careful stalking is required if you want to get a cast to them. Red or yellow rabbits seem to be a hit with brown trout in this stream

There are brown trout cruising over the shallows off Mokoia Island at the moment and there was a reasonable hatch of cicada on the island late last week. Once these insects start to fall into the water there should be some great dry fly fishing to be had. If the wind allows, drift along the shore and look for rising fish under the over-hanging trees. When using a cicada pattern make sure that it hits the water reasonably hard, especially when there are fish rising in the area. A significant number of cicadas tend to crash-land onto the lakes surface as they learn to fly after hatching and trout become keyed into this very quickly.

Crater Bay at Lake Rerewhakaaitu produced a number of good conditioned fish over the weekend. Most were taken by casting a fly from a drifting boat, but fishing from the shore was also productive. Fish are feeding over the weed beds, on damsels and dragonfly nymph that are preparing to come out of the water at this time of the year to turn into their adult version. Green orbit or green rabbit flies also work well as there are plenty of smelt in this lake for rainbows to feed on.

The occasional rainbow has been caught by the heave and leave method of fly fishing off the jetties at Rangiuru Bay. There should be smelting fish available to anglers from late December as the smelt move in-shore to spawn. Smelt tend to get bunched up against the weed bed on the edge of the deeper water by rainbows which can be easily seen slashing through the densely packed smelt.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 16 Nov 2012
By Bert Robinson

Trout have started moving into the Hamurana Stream over the past couple of weeks or so and there has been some success with catching trout from around 8.30pm through until midnight. Most of the fish are moving around well outside the cold water plume, either left or right of it, and seem reasonably keen to take your offering when they are in the immediate vicinity. The water temperature is still a few weeks away from being at the point where trout are driven to the colder water inflows, though if you have plenty of patience the Hamurana mouth is worth fishing after dark.

The small amount of rain during Sunday night and late on Monday created a small surge of rainbows to move into the Ngongotaha Stream. Catch rates had been a little patchy prior to the rain, though early morning and late into the evening produced fish on a fairly regular basis.  Brown trout certainly moved into the lower river on Sunday evening.  With the opening of the stream above State Highway 5 due in a couple of weeks, anglers may find some major changes to the pools, runs and riffles because of the major flood events over the winter. Undercut banks and downed trees across the stream are but two of the potential hazards.

Catch rates improved briefly from the Waiteti also with the additional rain. The upper part of this stream opens on December 1with the only public access available off Hamson Drive. There have been significant changes to the upper stream with new pools, runs and riffles available to be fished. The blackberry that lined most of the banks along the upstream access has been either ripped out or pushed out of the way so casting is likely to be a little easier.

Several brown beetle hatches happened over the past week and there has been a substantial increase in rising fish on the Kaituna River around the Trout Pools area, particularly into the evening.

The Ohau Channel has been exceptionally clear for most of last week and there has been a run or two of smelt into the channel.  Some large brown trout have been spotted in the upper channel but are proving to be more than a match for most anglers. Grey ghost, jack sprat and olive woolly buggers have taken a few smaller rainbows of which there seems to be plenty most days.  Fish are also holding outside the weir, though most are only around the one kilo mark.

Jigging has been more than a little challenging on most of the larger lakes and even though there have been large numbers of trout working the surface on Lake Okataina early in the morning at times, catch rates on this lake has been lower than expected. The hot sunny days of last week will have driven the fish deeper during the day, so the fish will have been using the early morning to feed over the weed beds and on the surface because of that.

With the surface water temperature of Lake Rotoehu hitting the 17 degree mark for a while last week, and there being a prolific damsel and dragonfly hatch anglers should be fishing across the weed beds and back to the shore. Smelt prefer to spawn around the 18 degree mark so watch for trout on the inside and over the weed beds as trout hunt both species.  Thankfully on this lake there is always somewhere to fish sheltered water as there are a number of arms available to those with a boat.

The smaller lakes are also fishing reasonably well even though they too are heating up. I heard my first cicada for the summer last week, so a few more hot sunny days like we had last week could bring on an early hatch.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu is still producing fish, though access along the shore line is still restricted due to the high water level. Crater Bay has been the better spot to fish when harling, though a few other spots have fished well. A very long leader is required when harling on this lake, due to the clarity of the water.

Tiger trout are starting make their presence felt at Lake Rotoma, as a few have been caught over the past couple of weeks. With the slightly warmer weather and longer hours of sunlight, the lake margins are starting to warm up. This warming of the water brings the resident goldfish into spawning mode and they congregate in amongst the reeds, which in turn brings the tigers as they look for a fairly easy meal.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 8 Nov 2012
By Bert Robinson

There were bees floating on the water. There were dragonflies zipping about and there were damsels and mayflies hatching mid-afternoon on Sunday. Even though there was a reasonably cool south-west wind insect life abounded and trout were coming up to feed on them. Lake Ngapouri, in particular, had fish rising as far as you could see, with the larger fish feeding in close to overhanging trees and the reed beds.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu also had dragonflies and bees on the surface but many of the trout feeding off the surface were taking smelt, 25mm long but thin dark smelt that proved to be too much of a challenge for some anglers to find imitations of.  Harling was reasonably effective around School Arm, though it is Crater Bay that has consistently produced a lot of the fish being caught in this lake over the past couple of weeks. It seems that there are still fish spawning in their traditional beds, even though the lake is still a good metre above normal height.

The temperature of Lake Rotorua continues to climb and is getting close to where fish will start to move to cooler water. Looking at the EBPOB Water Monitoring Buoy one can follow the increase in water temperature as well as many other readings that are available, all of which have a bearing on the success of one’s fishing. The temperature of Lake Rotorua directly affects the water temperature of the upper Kaituna River and Okere Falls Arm and it won’t be long before there will only be lots of small rainbows in these two areas. In saying that both spots are great for practising dry fly fishing as many of these fish will partake in the evening rise, when insects hatch and trout feed on them.

Smelt will be starting to spawn around the lake edges, especially where there is likely to be a rocky or pebble bottom, and it is there that trout will congregate to feed on these spawning fish. Use a fly that is similar in colour and size to these smelt when fishing these areas and your catch rate is sure to increase.

Another spot to check is Hamurana Spring. Access to the spring is easy, just a short walk from the parking area, and if trout are moving into the stream, that is where you will find them. Check the size and condition of the fish there and you will have some idea of what to expect when fishing at the mouth of this stream.

Browns are congregating in the area between Kawaha Point and the mouth of the Ngongotaha Stream. This seems to happen at this time of the year as they prepare to move into the Ngongotaha and Waiteti Streams. I suspect that a reasonable number of these fish will head over to the Utuhina Stream as that stream gets large numbers of brown trout in it from now on as well.  An onshore breeze, coupled with a bit of rain, is likely to get these fish on the move.

The Ohau Channel is exceptionally clear and has a reasonable number of fish holding below the weir. There appears to be a run of smelt coming through the channel, which is probably why the fish are there, as there were reasonable numbers of shags working the channel on Wednesday.

Early morning harling on Lake Rotoiti seems to be the best option for catching trout in this lake at the moment. Harl across the weed beds with two colours of lead line before the sun actually hits the water and you will be in with a good chance of catching fish. As the sun rises the fish feeding over the weed beds will move into deeper water but should continue to feed. Jigging is probably the better option in this situation. Hopefully the wind will hold off long enough to get into a few fish.

It is a similar situation for Lake Tarawera, and there are a lot more places where the sun will not hit the water until much later in the day such as the cliffs at the base of Mt Tarawera. Jigging can also be very successful in this area as the water drops off very quickly from the outside edge of the weed bed.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 1 Nov 2012
By Bert Robinson

McLarens Falls Lake, a small hydro lake some 15 minutes out of Tauranga and just off the State Highway to Hamilton, is an idyllic spot.  It contains both brown and rainbow trout that can be seen cruising close to the shore, particularly as summer approaches. Access to the true right bank is very easy with good road access through the park, though the true left bank is private land.

A small boat or float tube is very handy on this lake and with the lake not being all that long and quite narrow, one can fish the whole of the lake.  There are extensive flats and deep drop-offs close to shore and though there are a lot of trees along the shoreline, with care one can cast a fly line from quite a few spots.

I have found fishing a nymph is the best option with waterboatman, damsel and dragonfly nymphs being more productive for me. Dry fly and emerger fishing is also worthwhile and late in the evening a pretty good insect hatch can occur. Spin fishing is also productive with veltics or mepps lures being good fish catchers and a bubble and dry fly/nymph combination is also worth using.

Lake Rotorua is looking superb due to its exceptionally clear water. This clarity has affected the fishing in the Ohau Channel as well as the Kaituna River, particularly on bright sunny days, as any fish there are very wary. Fluorocarbon traces are a must under these conditions and fishing the change of light and into the night is recommended. A few large smelt moved through the channel during the latter part of last week but haven’t hung around for any length of time. Harling along the drop-off, out from the channel entrance, has been fairly successful.

A few anglers have tried jigging off Mission Bay during the calmer days with some success, though I suspect that there are other places on the lake that will respond to jigging as well. We have had large hatches of brown beetle over the past few evenings, so there will be great opportunities for dry fly fishing over the next few weeks. They are a little early but I am sure that the fish will not turn down an easy meal.  Green beetles are likely to be hatching early as well so keep an eye on the smaller streams.  Dragonflies are hatching in ever increasing numbers so your nymph selection should include dragonfly nymphs for the streams and when fishing over weed beds around any of our lakes.

Lake Ngapouri has fished well around the boat ramp and anyone with a canoe, float tube or boat should try their luck on this lake as it has some superb rainbows lurking in the deeper parts of the lake. Black woolly buggers have always caught well in this lake, as have zebra turbos, green veltics. With the arrival of the first hatches of dragonflies from the more sheltered parts of the lakes and rivers in our area, the use of olive, brown or black woolly buggers will come into their own.

With the moon being quite full and the nights clear, those using fluorocarbon leaders and flies that have a little sparkle in the tying of them, caught well at Rangiuru Bay on Lake Tarawera. Stony Point also fished well to this method. Fish are still coming into the stream mouths, though one should always stand well back off the drop-off in these conditions.

The lower Utuhina is producing hard fighting rainbows up to a couple of kilos. Fishing into the change of light in the evening has been particularly effective.  Fish the deeper holes where you can’t see the bottom for those into nymph fishing or cast a woolly bugger, ginger mick, or grey ghost down a rapid and retrieve upstream.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 26 Oct 2012
By Bert Robinson

The small bay to the right of Boyes Beach at Lake Okareka produced one fat rainbow jack that was obviously prepared to spawn in the very near future. It took a jack sprat fly that was being retrieved in a very erratic fashion as I was thinking about how lovely the lake looked and how great it was to be in such a beautiful place. Unfortunately it was the only fish that was interested in my offering so I moved on to the Landing at Lake Tarawera.

The weather was closing in and I wasn’t overly interested in fishing but the sight of a fish smelting close to the shore was more than enough to get me motivated. As I was casting to where this fish was most likely to be, I noticed an elderly angler being escorted onto the jetty where he proceeded to sit in a deck chair and cast out into the lake. My curiosity aroused, I went over for a chat to find that he was close to 90 years old and that day was the first day that he had been able to get out fishing for two years due to having had a stroke.

He didn’t mind the rain that was falling and all he wanted to do was catch a trout at one of his favourite fishing spots of yester-year. His casting was superb, especially from a sitting position, and it wasn’t long before he was rewarded with a fat silver rainbow, caught on a fly that he had tied himself. Not one of the bigger trout in the lake but a trout all the same and I could tell from his laughter as he reeled the fish in that he was as happy as anyone could ever be. I learnt a valuable lesson from that elderly gentleman, that day.

One that I hope to keep fresh in my mind for as long as I live and that is not to take what we have for granted. Here in Rotorua we have amazing scenery and awesome fishing and a trout is a trout whatever size it is.

Just before the rain really set in and the streams discoloured there was some great fishing to be had in the lower Ngongotaha and Utuhina streams. Rainbows started to move up the Ngongotaha overnight on Thursday and by Saturday there were plenty of fish to be had. Glow bugs were flavour of the weekend, though streamer patterns also took a good number of fish. By Wednesday the stream had cleared enough for local anglers to get in amongst the fish. Early morning seems best, even though we have had a couple of good frosts at minus one and zero degrees C.

There seems to be a larger number of small rainbows in the Utuhina, especially in the middle reaches of this stream, but there are a few larger browns lurking in the deeper holes along with good sized rainbows. As soon as our streams are fishable there will be some great fishing to be had and by fishable I mean that if you can see at least 50cm into the water, it is fishable. Glow bugs, lime or chartreuse bodied grey ghosts for the fishers of the fly and veltics or mepps for the spin fishers.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 16 Oct 2012
By Bert Robinson

With the long weekend coming up I was hoping for much better weather than we have had during the early part of the week. Unfortunately it looks like it will be a case of ‘same stuff, different day’. Monday saw wind gusts up to 40 kph, which made for very challenging fishing, even with spinning gear, although the actual fishing was relatively successful for some. Even the spots that are usually sheltered from the wind were subject to swirling gusts of unpredictable wind, but there was a plus side in that the wind put a good ripple on the surface of the water allowing fish to be much more at ease.

One solitary angler fished at Hamurana during a break in the weather during the middle of last week and was rewarded with a solid take from a brown trout. Unfortunately he was unable to land the fish and as it was the only fish seen or hooked during his fishing time there, he was a little disappointed. Spin fishing is probably the best method of fishing at this time of the year as it allows you to cover a lot more water than you can with a fly.

The Ngongotaha fished well during the early part of the rain and should continue to do so as it clears. The run-off from the hills is likely to be less than expected as the howling wind will have dried out the bush and pasture land that drains to our streams. Fishing a large feather lure after dark has resulted in some very large fish being hooked, some of which may have been brown trout. This stream was carrying a fair amount of colour, late Thursday afternoon due to the squalls that came across the Mamaku Range, off and on all day.

Likewise the Waiteti Stream has also produced a few very good conditioned rainbows and a few large browns have been seen just above the road bridge in Ngongotaha where the stream is closed to fishing.  Thankfully the length of cast required to cover the stream, where it enters the lake, is relatively short so the wind has not been as much of an issue there if one fishes from the true left bank.

The Utuhina has stayed relatively clear and continues to fish well for those casting light spinners up the current. The main trick when casting in that direction is to keep the rod tip reasonably high to avoid snagging on the bottom and only dropping the tip as the spinner gets closer to the rod. The area upstream of the bridge by Rotorua Boy’s High School and up to the closed area is the place to fish. The Utuhina is carrying a fair amount of colour as of Thursday afternoon but should be clear enough to fish by midday Friday if the squalls ease.

A few very good conditioned rainbows around the 2.5kg mark have been caught inside the Ohau Channel entrance and there is plenty of sign of smelt moving through at times. Silicon smelt patterns have been particularly successful in catching trout there. Unfortunately there have been a significant number of trees removed from the lake edge, unfortunate in that there is now nothing to break the wind when it comes in from across the lake as it comes from the North or nor-west. This makes it really hard to cast a long line when fishing from the true-right bank.

Spin fishing around the Kaituna Control Gates has been fairly successful late in the afternoon. Fresh fish are moving into this area all the time but are generally not that interested in feeding during the middle of the day. 10 or 12 gram zebra turbo lures seem to be the lures that interest the fish the most.

If you enjoy fishing small streams and can’t wait for December 1st to arrive, then head over into the Waikato as there are a good number of streams that are now open to fishing and are within 40 minutes of Rotorua City. Most fish well until they start to heat up when summer arrives and all can be found easily on a map. Small streams such as the Rapu Rapu, Kakahu, Omahine, Waioumu are all tributaries of the Waihou River but enter below the large waterfall at Okaroire, a spot which is also worth fishing.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 27 Sept 2012
By Bert Robinson

If you haven’t had a chance to look around the Eastern Fish and Game Hatchery on Paradise Valley Road before, take a  free guided tour between 9 am and 11 am on September 30 when there is an Open Day being held. This event is well worth attending as the free seminars that are being held are full of information on how to make your fishing more successful. The Boat Fishing Seminar is not one to be missed especially, as local guide Lyndsay Lyons will show you how to get the best out of your fish finder as well as harling, trolling and jigging tips and techniques. There are several other seminars on topics related to fishing as well. For more information call Mark Sherburn on 07 357 5501.

By now you have your new season licence and are prepared for the new season. The smaller streams should be fishing well, providing they are not subject to flooding from the expected rain.

Anglers fishing the Kaituna River at the end of Trout Pools Road have caught some very nice fish over the past week. Even though the water is more than a little green, the arrival of whitebait has created a frenzy of feeding along the length of this river. Caddis are also in large supply so there is some variation for trout to dine on and calm evenings have seen fish rising freely at times. Some anglers have caught fish by using green or brown tokoroa chickens on spinning gear, other by using ginger mick, grey ghosts or olive woolly buggers.

Lake Ngapouri continues fish well and those with a small boat should have a lot of fun when fly or spin fishing from it. Veltics and small zed spinners catch well in this lake as do black woolly buggers and rabbit flies in sizes up to number 6. Harling and trolling also work well on this lake.

Harling on Lake Rerewhakaaitu has been successful when the wind has allowed. Fishing along the reed beds is best at the moment, though casting from and anchored or drifting boat also works well. Both spin and fly fishing are successful on this lake, either from a boat or from the shore, with the most successful method being heave and leave off a spinner rod.

There looks to have been a reasonable run of smelt through the Ohau Channel over the past few days. There has been a marked increase in the number of shags actively feeding in the channel, though there has not been any sign of shags feeding out in Lake Rotorua at this stage.  Hopefully this bodes well for the opening of the channel to fishing in less than two weeks.

There have been some good catches of trout from the Ngongotaha Stream over the past week. It seems that those fish that came through with the last lot of rain have held in the lower stream, rather than run straight up and into the close area. There is still a lot of sediment coming through, and probably will be for a while, but the stream is well worth visiting, especially midweek. Grey ghosts and egg patterns seem to be catching best. As of today this stream is as clear as it gets, due to the damage done to the banks by the deluges of the past month. The upper reaches of this stream don’t open to fishing until December 1, so don’t get caught out by it being Opening day on October 1.

Trolling off Kawaha Point and the Ngongotaha mouth has been quite good lately, though very weather dependant. Green and/or gold seem to be the colours that the fish are taking. I saw a small flock of shags working between the Ohau Channel and the Pins today so the smelt that came through the channel may have moved down that way.  This area is usually quite comfortable to fish when the wind is from the North and I suggest that the fish may be holding on the shore side of the drop-off in this area.

The Utuhina is producing some exceptionally fine rainbows at the moment with the best that I have heard about being 4.1kilos in weight.  There are a lot of fish holding throughout the open part of this stream so it is well worth a visit. Spin fishing is very productive and the use of veltics lures or zed spinners will surely get the trout’s attention.

The occasional large rainbow is still coming out of Lake Rotoiti via shore based anglers, so it is still worth fishing from the shore at this time of the year. Harling over the weed beds before and just on daylight should be successful, but once the sun – if it breaks through the clouds – in on the water you may have to go out into deeper water.  I have heard that there have been quite a few fish holding almost directly off the Pipe, that is, beyond casting distance of even the best caster of the fly, so jigging there should be successful if the wind allows.

Don’t forget that the National Chartered Clubs fishing comp is on during November. The entry fee is $65.00 plus $10.00 membership fee if you are not a member of a Chartered Club. The contact details on this website http://www.clubsnz.org.nz/club-events-calendar/view/866/219.html As both of the major fishing competitions for Rotorua have been canned for this year this is likely to be the biggest comp around.

There is also a competition being held out of the Top 10 Holiday Park at Blue Lake contact can be made at bluelaketop10@xtra.co.nz

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 12 Sept 2012
By Bert Robinson

Hopefully the flooding over the weekend cleaned up the previous deluge’s damage, rather than creating more. We will know in a few days as the Ngongotaha Stream should be back to its pre flood damage and pristine condition. In the meantime there will be some good fishing to be had as the bulk of the sediment that the stream is carrying, is flushed out.  The amount of rain over the previous weekend was higher and over a slightly longer period than the rain event of September 4 so there may well be extra damage done. This stream has fished quite well over the past few days and it is only a matter of a few weeks before we can expect the first of the brown trout to enter the stream.

The Waiteti Stream also suffered from a significant flood over the past weekend but that too should affect the fishing too much as it clears a lot quicker than the Ngongotaha Stream. There has been an influx of fresh rainbows into this stream as well. Change of light fishing is likely to be the best option should we get a break in the weather and get clear skies for a few days.

The Utuhina has fished well over the past few weeks and should continue to do so once it has cleared. This stream also clears fairly quickly and it is clear enough to fish.

Lake Rotorua has had a good stir-up over the past couple of weeks due to the strong westerly winds. Unfortunately one side effect of the wind has been to stir up plenty of food for the blue/green alga to reproduce in vast numbers. The colour of the water leaving Lake Rotorua has a definite green/yellow tinge to it, over and above the sediment that is flushing through. The past two days has been relatively calm so less sediment has been stirred up.

There is very little sign of smelt moving through the Ohau Channel but with less sediment being carried down the channel this could change at any time.  There are few shags working the channel and as these birds, as well as herons, are a good indicator of large numbers of smelt being present so keep an eye for an increase in numbers.  There has also been a slight increase in water temperature over the past couple of days which could stimulate a run of smelt.

Lake Ngapouri has produced some good conditioned and hard fighting fish over the past weekend. Anglers fishing the boat ramp have picked a few fish an hour when the wind allows. Fishing from a boat is also very successful and as this lake is one of the smaller around the area it is easy enough to fairly intensely over a day. The use of a sinking line is best in this lake, though you can do well with a floating line if you concentrate on casting back to the reeds or into the gaps in the reeds, rather than over deep water. Size 6 black woolly buggers are my favourite on this lake, though other flies will take fish.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to produce fish from the shore, though casting from an anchored or drifting boat is more successful.  Green orbit, olive or black woolly buggers or green rabbit flies in size 6 work well in this lake. A slow sinking line is best used from an anchored boat, while a type 2 sinking line works best from a drifting boat. Casting along the outer edge of a reed bed is best.

Lake Rotoehu’s water temperature is nearly two degrees above Lake Rotorua’s temperature so any time over the next week or so, if the weather holds, there could be movement of smelt into the shallows of this lake.  If we get a few days of sunny skies without any wind there could be a damsel hatch on this lake. Unfortunately this lake is a little more discoloured due to the strong westerly winds over the past couple of weeks and may take a week or two for the sediment to settle to the lake bed.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 12 Sept 2012
By Bert Robinson

Lake Okaro has produced some very nice fish over the past week. Silver sided maiden rainbows and ready to spawn rainbows have kept a few anglers happy. One of the challenges of fishing this lake is that once a fish is hooked and landed or lost, there is often a long period of time before the next fish decides to take your fly. Changing the fly after every fish to something quite different can be the difference between catching or not under these conditions.  I usually start with a small olive woolly bugger as this fly seems to catch best, then progress to a grey ghost and then to a killer pattern. A sink-tip line is probably the better line for this lake and the addition of a small split shot 30cm in front of the fly can turn a floating line into a sink-tip very quickly, if you don’t have one. Another option is to use a 30cm piece of LED Trolling line and make a loop at each end. Use the loop to loop connection to the floating line.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu is also fishing reasonably well, though the lake level is even higher than it has been. Green orbit flies fished over the weed bed, off a floating line with a four to five metre trace, works well in this lake as does a black woolly bugger. Glow bugging is also a successful method, though this method is a little harder on smaller fish if they get a chance to swallow the floating glow bug or booby. The wind over the weekend was about perfect for fishing the two best fishing spots as it was off shore and created a good ripple on the surface.

Lake Okareka has been a bit slow both for shore based anglers and trollers, though those fish being caught have been in fairly good condition. Night fishing has been best when the wind has been from the North-West as it is off shore at Boye’s Beach and creates a nice ripple on the lake surface. Catch rates from the boat ramp jetty have been patchy during the day and improves after dark, especially after the boat traffic has died down. Trolling has been a bit patchy but with this lake being so small it is easy to cover the lake in a day’s fishing. If the wind allows, jigging can be very successful.

The Ngongotaha Stream coloured up fairly quickly with the rain but there was some good fishing to be had. The occasional brown trout has been hooked but in the main it has been rainbows that are moving through. Wet fly fishing has been more successful than nymph fishing during the day, especially when lime or chartreuse bodied grey ghosts or black marabou have been used. The larger egg patterns, especially those that are bright orange, have taken fish.

The Waiteti Stream has also fished well at times. As it is not discolouring as quickly or for as long as the Ngongotaha Stream it is possibly the better pick when looking for somewhere to fish on the west side of the lake.

The Utuhina Stream continues to fish well and has stayed relatively clear compared to other streams. Large numbers of brown trout are about from what I have heard and the rainbows are all in good condition with may ready to spawn. The better fishing time appears to be around dawn, though fish can be caught throughout the day, if you are prepared to put the time in. Spin fishing, using small veltics and zed spinners, is a little more successful than fly fishing at the moment.

The very windy conditions over the past week have made for hazardous conditions on Lake Rotorua. The wind generally picks up around 9am and continues to blow until very late in the afternoon. The lake is becoming more discoloured every day as it is relatively shallow so the vast amounts of sediment are being stirred up. Once this wind pattern changes there should be some good fishing to be had. Trolling or harling from the Airport through to the Pins should be as good as it was a couple of weeks ago. Any lure in green or gold or combinations thereof were catching well and those colours are a good place to start. For those preferring to fish the other side of the lake, trolling or harling between Kawaha Point and the Waiteti Stream mouth should be successful. Another option is to fly fish from your boat over the weed bed between the same two points.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 23 August 2012
By Bert Robinson

Lake Rotorua

At least two of the three main feeder streams entering Lake Rotorua have changed significantly with the deluge of water that went down them just over a week ago. Pools have come and gone as the stream beds and banks were ripped apart making interesting new places to fish. The pool below the road bridge on the Waiteti Stream is now three times the length and a lot deeper than it has been for a few years so should hold larger numbers of fish once they start moving back upstream. The challenge is to find where the fish are holding in such an expanse of water, especially when the water is still carrying a significant silt loading. It is fishable however and drifting a large floating glow bug through the pool in conjunction with a weight and spinning rod has been successful. Thankfully the bottom of the pool has been cleaned out of snags and the like with the flood so you should lose much gear.

Lake Rotorua’s water level has dropped enough over the past week to allow anglers to get a little further out into the lake off the Ohau Channel mouth so as not to be casting into the closed area. One or two nice fish have been taken there, though there is an increasing number of spent fish in the area. An intermediate line is best as there is still some significant water flow into the channel.

Ngongotaha

The Ngongotaha has also changed a lot and fish are holding in deeper parts of the stream, especially on the outside edge of a bend, close to the bank. Egg patterns and weighted nymphs are tempting fresh run rainbows as are grey ghost flies when they are cast across and down with a sinking line, then retrieved slowly up the current. Care will be required when wading off the mouth of the Ngongotaha especially, as the area is mainly deposited silt anyway and will have been scoured out then filled in again. There will be some seriously deep soft areas out from the mouth.

Lake Okareka

Lake Okareka is continuing to produce fish from the shore, especially at Boye’s Beach and the jetty at the end of Benn Road. Night fishing has been best with small doll flies fished off a floating line and allowed to sink a little before retrieving. Make sure that you have the fly line under control as rainbows will often take a fly as it drifts down through the water column.

 

Lake Rerewhakaaitu

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to fish well and should do through unto mid-September. It will depend on whether we get a warm spring as warmer water will push fish out into the deeper parts of the lake. Heave and leave, cast with a fast sinking fly line or a spinning rod, has been successful as have woolly buggers or green orbit flies fished off a floating line. Harling and casting from a drifting or anchored boat close to the reed beds or over the weed bed has also been successful.

Lake Okataina

Lake Okataina continues to provide some seriously good fish from the jetty and from what is left of the seriously depleted shore based access. Rainbows continue to move along the shoreline and have been caught within the weed cordon that surrounds the boat ramp. Bugging or boobying during the day along with woolly buggers over the weed bed has taken fish while at night the yellow doll fly and lumo marabou has fished better than other patterns.  Heave and leave patterns cast from a spinning rod and just short of the inner edge of the weed bed is also successful.

Lake Rotoiti

On calm days keep an eye out for feeding fish out from the shore at Ruato Bay at this time of the year. Often rainbows start to feed around 9am if the conditions are right and can continue through until 2pm. There is likely to be a mix of recovering and maiden fish there with the occasional large late spawning rainbow as well. This feeding activity can be seen at other lakes in the area and can be particularly impressive off the landing at Lake Tarawera at times.  There are still a few late spawning fish coming into the bay and an ever increasing number of recovering rainbows actively hunting the shoreline both day and night.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 15 August 2012
By Bert Robinson

Blue Lake / Tikitapu

Blue Lake has risen in height, as many other lakes in the region did, after the downpour last Sunday. Surprisingly paired-up rainbows can still be seen making redds or cruising along the beach during the day. It is somewhat late in the season for this lake to have fish still spawning but anglers who fish this lake are not complaining. Red setter flies seem to work best in this lake, though there are other patterns around that will catch fish both day and night in as well. Harling over the weed bed and jigging when conditions allow should be productive providing there aren’t too many boats on the lake.

Lake Tarawera

Rainbows continue to move in close to the shore at the Landing and Orchard on Lake Tarawera and if you happen to be there when they first come in from the depths of the lake you can have a lot of fun. A floating or slow sinking line works best if fishing any standard fly pattern, and a fast sinking shooting head line is used for boobies and floating egg patterns. The latter two patterns can be fished static or with a very slow retrieve. The main ingredient for this type of fishing is patience.  Blue, yellow or even black doll flies as well as lumo black marabou flies are worth trying after dark off the landing and the Orchard.  Large rainbows are still hanging around Stony Point at the left hand end of Rangiuru Bay and can be caught by fly fishing or spinning. Any wind from the south is not comfortable to fish in here, thankfully a lot of the wind has been from the North, nor-east or nor-west and from those directions this point is quite sheltered. Rangiuru Bay should also have fish within casting distance of both fly and spin fishermen.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu

Even though Lake Rerewhakaaitu has risen still further with the rain over the past weekend the two main access points at Homestead and School arms can still be fished successfully. For fly fishing a black woolly bugger is still recommended and for spinning a red veltics or small zed spinner seems to catch easily.  Harling along the outside of the reed beds is very successful at this time of the year as is casting from a drifting or anchored boat back to the reeds.

Lake Rotoiti

Black booby flies have caught fish off the Café Stream over the weekend and should work at the Transformer and the Pipe as well on lake Rotoiti. Fish up to 4 kg are still coming into spawn though having to put up with a strong and cold sou-westerly over the past couple of days is a challenge. When fishing at the Pipe extra clothing is a must as this area seldom sees the sun during the day over winter and the biting cold has to be felt to be believed. Both the Wai iti Stream and the Dump are worth fishing at for a while yet as fish are still moving into the Wai iti and the Dump still has fresh redds just out from the shore.

Lake Okataina

Lake Okataina continues to fill up and is at the highest level that I have seen over the last 25 or so years. There is limited access there, with the jetty being the most sort-after spot by anglers. Booby and floating egg patterns work well off there at the moment. Rainbows are coming in close so anglers can cast parallel to the shore from either side of the jetty with the expectation of some success. Using a float and egg pattern on a spinning rod from the shore can also be successful in the shallower areas.  This method can be a lot of fun when casting to sighted fish. Simply cast well beyond the fish and slowly retrieve your line until the egg pattern is within a metre or so of the fish.

Lake Rotorua

Lake Rotorua has fished particularly well, especially between Hamurana and the Airport. Between three and eight metres of depth is best and any lure that incorporates green and black has been successful. Towing a fast sinking fly line and a green, crystal chenille bodied rabbit or large green orbit is also successful.  Although Lake Rotorua is not known as a jig fishing destination, this lake responds well to this method. Some of the more successful areas to try jigging is off Mission Bay, especially with an off shore wind, around Mokoia Island, especially in the deeper areas and along the drop-off at the Pins.

The streams

The Ngongotaha Stream got severely knocked about over the past weekend by the tumultuous rain. This stream flooded high enough to spill over into several streets nearby. Streamdale and part of Western Road were quite badly flooded with the roads being closed for a while.  Downstream of the Agrodome there has been a lot of bank slumpage which will take some time to stabilise, while up Paradise Valley Road there have been enormous changes. Trees lie in the river and large portions of banks along this stream have slipped into the river. There is likely to be radical changes to the pools, runs and riffles when this part of the stream opens to fishing on December 1.

 
Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 9 August 2012
By Bert Robinson

Although we have had a large amount of rain over the past few weeks, temperatures have been very mild, so mild in fact that the water temperature of the shallower lakes has started to rise already. Lake Rotorua has risen one degree over the past week or so. Over the next couple of months there may be a fluctuation in water temperatures but there will be a small but steady increase as we head towards summer. This increase doesn’t mean an end to this winter’s great fishing any time soon, rather a slowing up of available spawning fish over much of the area. Notable exceptions will be the lower Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams, where rainbows tend to run up to spawn all year round. The one stand-out stream at the moment is the Utuhina where large numbers of fish can be seen spawning downstream of the Devon Road Bridge.

Stream fishing

Some anglers were disappointed by the lower than expected numbers of fish in the Ngongotaha Stream after the heavy rain of last week. I suspect that most of the fish moving upstream would have continued to move upstream due to the huge volume and speed of the water coming down the Ngongotaha. Severe damage, by way of slumping banks, can be seen from Ngongotaha Village right up past the Agrodome and this could cause this stream to become discoloured very quickly after any future rain event. A sinking line and large dark coloured fly is best used when these conditions prevail.

The Waiteti Stream has suffered similarly but tends to clear quickly enough not to affect the fishing in the lower reaches. With settled weather over the past couple of days this stream is back to its normal clarity and the fish have become spooky. More rain is forecast however and that should bring fresh rainbows in.  The main challenge at the moment is the high number of spent fish returning to the lake to recover.

Lake Okataina

Reasonable numbers of fish are still being caught off what is left of the beach at Lake Okataina as well as the one remaining jetty. A floating line, long trace and a woolly bugger accounted for a few fish over the weekend, when anglers put long casts diagonally from the shore. Large rainbows have been seen cruising around the jetty as well as within the weed cordon during the day and have been caught using the heave and leave method. The heave and leave method is not restricted to those fly fishing either and can be successfully used by those who prefer spin fishing.  The challenge is not to have one’s sinker drop too far into the weed so that the floating egg pattern is not visible. Last week one angler landed two fish within an hour. The first, a hen, weighed in at 10.5lb and the second, a jack, weighed in at 11.5lb. Both were caught on by the heave and leave method.

Lake Rotorua

With Lake Rotorua being fairly full, access to the area outside of the Ohau Channel is very restricted for those without a boat of some kind.  There are a lot of fish holding outside of the closed area, in fact up to at least 100 metres out into the lake, so it is worthwhile anchoring up and casting a grey ghost or woolly bugger across the current and allowing it to swing. A slow retrieve upstream should bring some excitement if fish aren’t caught on the swing. Apparently there are quite a few fish up at the spring so there must be fish moving in from the mouth. It may be worth a fish out in the lake after dark if the wind direction is suitable. Doll patterns in any colour should work prior to the moon coming up later in the evening. After moon rise use woolly buggers that have a little tinsel tied in at the tail and a floating line.

Lake Rotoiti

Rainbows are still coming into the Wai iti, Transformer and Café streams as well as parts of the Dump, casting a line on change of light or after dark will be more successful than during the day. Most days the wind has been from the Nor-west and reasonably strong at that end of the lake so there is the chance of a lot of floating weed coming in to shore.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu

Thankfully Lake Rerewhakaaitu is one lake where spawning runs later than many of the other lakes.  With the high lake levels most of the traditional access points are restricted to a few metres in width, with some not accessible at all. School Arm is one area that still has a significant amount of access to the water and good quality rainbows can be caught there almost any time of the day. The black woolly bugger still reigns supreme as the main fish catcher, though other flies catch there as well. After dark almost any lumo fly seems to catch well. The other are that is fishing well most of the time is the boat ramp at Homestead Arm. Heave and leave booby or egg patterns as well as slow to medium sinking lines when coupled with a black woolly bugger, work there.

By Bert Robinson

Lake Okareka provided some great fishing over the past week, even with the savage easterly that came through over the weekend. The DoC Camp off Mitchell Road is a little known place to fish on Lake Okareka and provided a reasonably sheltered place to fish. Quite a number of fish can be hooked over the weed bed, some still in spawning mode, while others are recovering from spawning, using a floating line, a trace around the three to four metre mark and an olive woolly bugger. During the day a slow retrieve works well, though if the catch rate is fairly slow one can mix up the retrieve speed. I suspect that other areas of the lake will also fish well, especially Boye’s Beach and the boat ramp, though wind speed and direction is always a factor when casting a fly. A yellow doll fly has caught fish after dark.

Blue lake is still producing a few fish during the day, but late night or early morning fishing is best. Almost any lumo fly will take fish after dark, though a combination of marabou and lumo seems to work best. For those not used to fly fishing at night a single fly is best used to eliminate the problem of two flies tangling. Anywhere along the beach, off Tarawera Road, is worth fishing but the closer to the boat ramp the better for reasonable numbers of fish. Hard on the right hand end of the beach is also worth trying as the lake bed drops off into deeper water there.

The almost onshore wind at the Landing on Lake Tarawera brought fish within reach of anglers over the weekend. Casting into the wind was a real challenge, as was the cold, but luckily anglers found that they didn’t have to cast very far to get a fish or two. The Orchard also produced a few fish. Rainbows continue to move into the Te Wairoa Trap which bodes well for Fish and Game’s trapping programe.

One fishing spot that can be notoriously difficult to catch fish at is at the end of Trout Pools Road. There are some awesome fish lurking in the depths of the pool as well as a very large snag that invariably takes spinners and the occasional fly line. Green Tokoroa Chickens have been more successful in this pool and other areas of this river. Some anglers prefer to use a dead slow retrieve, while others like to put a fair bit of movement into this lure by using a jigging movement as one retrieves line slowly. Catch rates vary from day to day, sometimes hour to hour as the water level can fluctuate significantly due to the control gates upstream. A rising level usually fishes better than a falling level and a level that has been static for some time, usually fishes very poorly. Rainbows up to 2.5 kg are still being caught on the downstream side of the control gates even with the large amount of water coming through. A fast sinking line is needed although even a medium sinking line will catch fish if enough line is fed out down the current. Keep in mind that the area above the gates is closed to fishing until October 1.

Lake Rotoehu produced some very hard fighting fish over the past weekend, especially Sunday evening. The off shore wind helped with fly casting even though the wind was so strong it swirled around close to the jetty. The same length of trace as mentioned for Lake Okareka works well when doll flies or lumo marabou flies are used. A slow retrieve works well at the moment. With this lake being so shallow it tends to discolour quickly when there is a strong wind so fishing the lee shore if trolling and harling is recommended at this time of the year.

Some great conditioned fish are being caught off the beach at Lake Okataina, the best around the 4.6kg mark over the past week. The heave and leave method has been more successful during the day than casting and retrieving though this method has picked up fish from time to time. The heavy cloud at night has covered the full moon so the fish in this lake are less wary and will come in very close to the shore.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 25 July 2012

By Bert Robinson

Unfortunately catch rates of good conditioned fish will reduce as we head towards the end of the main spawning season. That is not to say that you should hang your rod up for a while as there will still be some spawning fish coming in, mending trout from early spawning and maiden fish, all looking for an easy meal. Some lakes, such as Rerewhakaaitu, spawn through until early October and rainbows will continue to run the Rotorua Tributaries. With the days getting longer the lakes will start to warm up and November should see the start of the brown trout runs in the Ngongotaha, Waiteti and Utuhina streams.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to produce plenty of fish, especially around the liberation points. It is interesting to see that there is a mixture of wild and hatchery fish being caught at these spots so there must be some successful lake edge fishing in the near vicinity. Both fly and spin fishing has been successful, though with spin fishing only the more aggressive fish tend to be caught. Allowing a bubble/egg pattern combination to drift on the lake surface has been successful and using the heave and leave method with floating egg patterns has been the most successful of all.

Lake Okaro has produced reasonable fish as well at times and is always worth a visit, especially during or soon after heavy rain at this time of the year. Bully patterns are worth using when fishing the shallow flats close to the shore and along the drop-off, while woolly buggers seem to work better over the deeper water.

The Lake Rotorua side of the weir at the Ohau Channel has produced some nice fish over the weekend. This area seems to have fished best from the true-right bank and with the lake level being down a bit anglers have been able to get out in the lake further than normal for this time of the year. Both day and night fishing has been successful, especially when the wind is from the South or East. Remember that the area downstream of the two yellow and black poles, either side of the entrance to the channel, is closed to fishing. This means that you will need to be reasonably well out into the lake when casting to allow your line to swing in the current and still be in the open to fishing area.

The Kaituna River control gates have been a bit hit and miss, probably due to the height of the gates this past week. Any level around 650 seems to fish well but with the low lake level that volume seems to creating similar conditions to when the gates are fully open and the water is flowing freely. Fish are still being caught from the trout pools though they were not there in any great number this past week. I would have thought that with the extra rain earlier in the week, they would have started coming through in larger numbers. With the clear water any fish spawning in the run at the end of the main trout pool will be easily seen so keep an eye out when you are there.

The lower Ngongotaha Stream fished well just prior to the rain that started Sunday evening, though by Monday morning this stream was high and dirty. Should the rain ease by Wednesday this stream should be fishable and be full of fish by late Thursday through to the weekend. Expect large browns and great conditioned rainbows to be there once this stream clears. Unfortunately we may get another deluge early next week so there is likely to be only a small window of opportunity this weekend.

Lake Okareka was a little slow prior to the rain as there were a few days and nights when there was virtually no wind to ruffle the surface of the lake. A wind direction change to a strong sou-easterly made casting difficult for all but the more advanced angler. In these conditions casting across the wind is the best way as you don’t get the line thrown back in your face. Ginger mick, woolly buggers, grey ghosts and silver dorothy flies will work both day and night, while doll flies, black marabou or any of the pukeko style flies will work well at night. Change flies every 20 minutes or so if nothing is happening and change your retrieve as you see fit.

Fishing around Emery’s Reef and the Wai iti could bring a surprise or two over the next few weeks and hunting the shore line around Emery’s is highly recommended as often there are large brown trout cruising the shoreline.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 21 July 2012

By Bert Robinson

 

A day or so before the rain finally fell this week, catch rates in the Ngongotaha, Waiteti and Utuhina streams improved dramatically. Fish apparently had been queuing up off the mouths of these streams and most made a mad dash for the upper reaches of the aforementioned streams just prior and during the rain. Trolling off the Ngongotaha Stream was very successful for one group of anglers who landed in excess of 10 trout and lost many others in a short space of time. Browns are still in the lower stream but have mainly been caught just on dusk or after dark.

Catch rates were reasonably good at the landing at Lake Tarawera last Saturday night as well, with very good conditioned rainbows being caught from the shore. The Angle Jetty also produced fish as did the Orchard Stream, though a few anglers were out in the water too far at times, which kept the fish away from the drop-off. Fresh rainbows continue to move into the Te Wairoa Stream, there is still over a month to go before the official end of the spawning run, but that is not the end of some very good fishing. As the days get longer, so the lakes start to warm up and there will be some great fishing to be had when the smelt move into spawn.

Blue Lake seems to be the stand-out place to fish at the moment, though it is best for fish it after 10pm or before daylight in the morning if you want to get into the larger fish, some of which have been over the three kilo mark. A few fish can be seen cruising off the beach at the boat ramp during the day, but it is after dark when the fishing improves. A floating line, small doll fly and almost any fly that has marabou tied into it has caught well. The Tarawera end of the lake has not fished as well but is still worth a visit if you are in the area. Casting either a fly or spinner from a boat back to the shore or over the weed bed will catch fish as long as there isn’t a lot of boat traffic on this lake.

The northerly wind over the last few days has made for almost perfect fishing conditions at Boyes Beach at Lake Okareka. Fish have moved in close to the shore and can be caught almost anywhere along the beach, though the stream mouth to the right of the beach has fished best. Small doll flies or flies with a 4 mm soft plastic lumo bead that has been pushed onto the head of a fly has taken fish. It doesn’t seem to matter if the retrieve is slow or short and sharp, rainbows seem to like it.

Nymphing below the control gates on the Kaituna River has been successful for some. It is tight casting there with a blackberry laden and high bank behind but worth the effort. Fishing from the control gates, downstream, was great up until the weekend but has slowed a little since then. The olive woolly bugger still fishes well, especially if there is some orange in the tie. A split shot and fly combo also works well there and is useful when there is limited casting room. Large rainbows have been spotted below the road bridge as well, though access is a challenge there due to the steep banks. With the extra rain the gates were open further than usual and this made for hard fishing due to the extra turbulence. As of today (Thursday) the volume has settled back to near normal and fresh rainbows are moving down into this area again. One angler that I know of had a very enjoyable time hooking large fish at the Trout Pool and another reported bering broken off by a decent fish as well in the same area. Some of the stream mouths where they enter the Kaituna River near Paengaroa have fished well, especially those that are spring fed.

The northerly wind has made Ruato Bay quite murkey and hard to fish but it is worth while doing so after dark in these conditions. Once the wind died off and the lake settled Ruato Bay produced some fine specimens after dark as well as change of light during and after the rainood available fr trout, mainly smelt or fry of last week. This bay can fish well right through into October as there always seems to be plenty of food available in the form of smelt and trout fry and trout can often be seen feeding on the surface mid morning on calm days. A floating line and smelt pattern stripped back quickly can be very effective when these fish are actively feeding.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 6 July 2012

By Bert Robinson

A recent trip out to Lake Rerewhakaaitu proved productive both in fish and experience. I should have known better and put on polypropylene pants and fixed the leak in my waders as the water in this lake seems to be colder than I remember during the winter. I started off using a spinning rod, sinker and glow bug and caught a fat LP clipped hen and dropped another, all within 30 minutes of my first cast so I decided, as this method was a bit too easy, to get into my waders and fly fish.

Two of us fished from the shore for a while but then we ventured into the water, just to get an extra few metres out into the lake with our flies. The takes were exceedingly soft, more like we were picking up on the weed, and it took a while to figure out how to get them to take a little more aggressively. Striking at the take was a waste of time and tended to put the fish off the fly so I changed to a short sharp retrieve as soon as I felt any hesitation through the line and it worked. There are fresh fish coming into the shore, though few in numbers, the last lot of rain did improve the fishing.

Lake Okaro improved over the past few days and has produced fish up to 2.75 kg. Both the boat ramp and the second stream have fished well. When there is a lot of rain falling a small stream flows into the lake from the right hand side of the boat ramp which attracts good numbers of fish as well.

Lake Okareka has fish cruising within a few metres of the shore during the day, especially when there is an onshore breeze. With the bottom of the lake being a shade of brown the use of a ginger mick will improve the catch rate. Fishing around the stream mouth to the left of the beach, in amongst the trees, has been successful both day and night as long as you can stand in the water long enough.

There is a large school of fish that have been moving up and down the beach at Tarawera Landing for some time now and they are becoming quite dark in colour. Fresh fish are coming in but not in any great number though this will change with any rain. After dark there are fish inside the weed bed so casting from the shore is a must. An on-shore wind usually fishes very well. Choose wisely if you want to keep a fish as the darker the fish the thinner and whiter the flesh will be. A short trace, no more than a metre long on a floating line is the best method when fishing from the Angle Jetty and an onshore wind certainly helps at this time of the year.

Ruato Bay on Lake Rotoiti fished very well for a couple of nights as did the other fishing spots on this lake. One angler that I spoke to said that he saw over 50 fish lying on the grass at Ruato Bay the night of the last rain. Fish hard on the left or right hand ends of this bay, especially when the fishing is hard, as rainbows often congregate there before they come into spawn.

A strong on shore wind at the Dump, Transformer or Café streams is not all that good as the waves generated usually bring large amounts of weed in. Should there not be any wind, use a much longer trace as this is likely not to spook fish as much, especially when the moon is out as it is at the moment. Casting along the tree line is easier and usually more productive. Rainbows are cruising along the shore line from the Dump through to the Cafe Stream and there is the ocassional redd dotted around the area.

Kennedy's Bay at Lake Rotoehu fished very well during the rain though there was a fair amount of weed floating off the jetty. This has since cleared and this area is still producing fish.

Some very good conditioned and large brown trout have been caught in the lower Ngongotaha Stream over the past few days, and many more have been lost. There are fresh rainbows pulsing through as well with some rather large specimens at times. While the sky has been clear and the moon full rainbows have been rather challenging to catch but by comparison, browns have been much easier. It seems that brown trout are far less spooky when the moon is out and actively hunt during this time.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 29 June 2012

By Bert Robinson

Having spent most of Saturday showing a group of Hamilton Anglers Club members around the fishing spots on Lake Rotoiti and giving the members tips and techniques to use, we headed off to Lake Tarawera to do pretty much the same thing. Having told them, amongst other things, that they needed to be at least two or three rod lengths away from any drop-off when fishing, it was gratifying to have a large bunch of trout turn up right at the edge of the drop-off at the Te Wairoa Stream mouth, where anglers, who don’t know any better, stand.

When the bulk of the rain fell, anglers had a ball with some very large fish being caught from the orchard, the landing and the stream mouth, but within a day or two the numbers of fish dwindled significantly. Those that were still hanging around were very spooky, especially during the day. If the long jetty at the landing is free, try casting a line along the outside of the weed bed from the end of the jetty. A slow or medium sinking line is best used there but the addition of a weighted nymph or a small split shot above a woolly bugger will get results. As with most of the lakes the best time to fish is when there is an on-shore wind as this seems to bring the fish in close at this time of the year.

Two of the largest rainbows for many years were caught in Lakes Rotoiti and Okataina late last week. Both were well over the six kilo mark and I guess are destined for a visit to a taxidermist. Lake Rotoiti, in particular, has been fishing well to trolling and harling over or along the edge of the weed bed that stretches around the shoreline of this lake. Ruato Bay has produced quite a few fish over the 4.5 kilo mark, mostly at night and good fish have been caught during the day over the weed bed by shore based anglers at times as well.

The other popular spots on this lake have produced good numbers of fish after dark, though the fish are moving in and out depending on the weather. The strong winds from the sou-west have brought in a lot of weed which has been floating on the surface. Hopefully it will be driven into the trees or up onto the bank otherwise it will be a pain in the neck. Thankfully the Wai iti Stream mouth has not suffered from this problem and has fished well.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to produce rainbows up to almost three kilos both from the shore and from a boat. The best method for boat fishing is to anchor off the reed bed and cast back to it using a black woolly bugger or black marabou, the latter as long as some tinsel has been tied into the fly. Dead slow or short fast retrieves seem to get the fish interested enough to take one’s offering.

The concrete boat ramp off Brett Road, the sand ramp at the Doc Camp on the same road and reed beds at School Arm have all produced good numbers of fish. Heave and leave has also caught well anywhere you can get to the lake edge. For those not into fly fishing the addition of a small running sinker and floating egg pattern is very effective when standard spinners aren’t working.

Lake Okaro hads an amazing rise around 10.30am last Sunday. Once the wind died out from the Nor-west there were fish rising everywhere, mostly taking a black midge equivalent to a size 16 fly. Almost any wet fly worked as long as it has an orange head, be it paint or bead, it didn’t seem to matter. Overall fishing has been hard in this lake. A slow or medium sinking line seems to catch better than a floating line most of the time in this lake as the drop-off is very close into shore and drops into quite deep water.

The Ohau Channel has not fished all that well for most, even outside the weir, and with only days to go before closing at midnight on June 30, I doubt that it will improve much. Last Tuesday a rainbow of over three kilos was taken inside the channel but fish of this size have been few and far between. With the Okere Falls Control Gates being wide open today, the current through the upper part of the channel was very strong. Some movement of sediment from the lower part of the channel, along the wall, was very evident in the Okere Falls Arm. The water was becoming quite discoloured by the hour around the middle of the day today (Friday).

Catch rates were down on the previous week, possibly due to a large increase of anglers. The fish are still there but have become very line/fly shy. Some awesome fish have been seen in the middle and upper reaches of the Kaituna River – from the trout pools downstream, though access is very challenging.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 22 June 2012

By Bert Robinson

As I started to write this column there was a heavy rain warning in place for the Bay of Plenty and rain had started falling steadily. The recent settled period, with mainly frosts has seen quite a few fish, many of them over 4.5kg, being caught, but it is the rain and the falling air pressure that will stimulate many more fish to move to their spawning grounds. Enough rain fell in the wetland at the back of the Hinehopu settlement to create a strong stream of water through the pipe that enters Lake Rotoiti.

Rainbows that are ready to spawn, and have moved in close to the shore, picked up on this flow and congregated before moving through the pipe. Anglers also congregated there in the hope that their fly will be the one that fools the largest fish in the bunch. Large numbers of fish can be caught with these conditions prevail though it is the early angler that gets the best spot.

Other streams entering the various lakes will have the same thing happening and there are places where no stream exists until there is a significant rainfall. Fish in spawning mode don’t know the difference and have even been known to swim up the boat ramp at Lake Okataina when there is enough rain to create a flow.

Ruato Bay has produced some great conditioned fish over the past week and should continue to do so for a while. Standing well back from the shore around the two main stream mouths there will help keep the fish within range of your fly and you certainly don’t need to go into the water to catch fish there at this time of the year. The Wai iti Stream mouth has produced reasonably well at times also and is always worth a visit at this time of the year.

Both the Transformer and Café streams have fished well and anglers who have waded out from the trees at the Dump have been rewarded with good conditioned fish. Casting along the shoreline, if you are the only angler there, usually produces larger numbers of fish rather than casting straight out into the lake. The Wai iti Stream has also been fishing well though there has been some angler pressure there. With the lake level being down around 75 to 100mm for most of the past week, a few anglers have fished Emery’s Reef with some success. It would be wise to check out the lake level prior to fishing this area after dark though.

Kennedy’s Bay should be fishing well with this rain as should the boat ramp at Otautu Bay. The main challenge at the latter bay is the large amount of weed that can choke this bay, but if you are lucky enough to be there when the bay is clear, fishing can be spectacular.

Anywhere along the Landing, the stream mouth at the Orchard and the Te Wairoa Stream mouth are fishing well. An onshore wind makes for hard casting but it really does bring the fish into the landing, especially the Angle jetty. Casting to the right, outside the weed bed from the boat ramp jetty and using a floating line and a split shot/woolly bugger combination has been successful. Some very good conditioned fish have been caught there over the past few days. Stoney Point has also fished well as have some of the jetties in Rangiuru Bay.

All of the streams entering Lake Rotorua coloured up, though some more than others. The Waiteti and Utuhina streams started to clear first and anglers report good catches of both brown and rainbow trout. Some of the browns in the Waiteti had to be seen to be believed and overall there has been a marked increase in the number of brown trout in the middle and upper reaches. I suspect that the Ngongotaha will have had the same thing happen, though the extra showers that we had mid-afternoon has increased the flow again as well as the sediment levels. Hopefully this stream will be clear by Saturday afternoon if not sooner.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to produce fish around the 2.5 kilo mark, especially around the reed beds. Harling along the edge of the weed beds, especially close to the liberation points has also been very successful.

Lake Okaro produced some very good fish while the rain was here, but I suspect it may taper off as far as catch rate is concerned once we get a few days without rain.

Lake Ngapouri has been a bit hit and miss, even with the rain as many of the spawning fish are at the right-hand end of the lake where a small stream enters. If you can fight your way into that area there is enough room to cast a line at the stream mouth for a couple of anglers.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 14 June 2012

By Bert Robinson

Overall anglers appear to be happy with the quantity, quality and size of fish available to be caught this winter and so they should be. It doesn’t seem to matter where one fishes there are plenty of fish hanging around waiting to be caught. The Te Wairoa Stream has some very large fish holding off the mouth, admittedly well out of even the longest caster of the fly but they are there.

Good quality rainbows in excess of four kilos are holding in reasonably close and those who are using an intermediate line and woolly bugger stand a better chance than those who don’t during the day. The Landing also has plenty of fish moving along and over the weed beds during the day, which can be caught using an olive woolly bugger and intermediate line also. For those not having such a slow sinking line the use of a split shot or weighted nymph can achieve the same result. Casting along the outside edge of the weed bed is best if possible.

Boyes beach has some pretty impressive fish as well as does the stream mouth to the left of the beach. Grey ghost, woolly bugger on a floating line during the day should bring a positive result. For those into spin fishing the use of a brown trout tassie devil will also take fish.

A few fish have been coming off the main road beach at Blue Lake. Most seem to be just under the two kilo mark but there are bigger specimens cruising around. A floating or intermediate fly line is best when there isn’t too much wind from any direction apart from behind. Spin fishing should be successful around this lake, where there is access. Any lure with a lot of action should be a winner as rainbows are very aggressive at this time of the year.

School Arm at Lake Rerewhakaaitu is still providing great fishing for most. As fish are looking for a suitable spawning area they will be following the contour of the lake edge and so can be picked off as they round the edge of any reed bed, heading for the shore. Black woolly buggers seem to be catching well, though any smelt pattern, when cast close to the edge of a reed bed, will catch fish.

Lake Okaro and Ngapouri have both been a little slow over the past week, in comparison to other lakes in our area but they are both worth persevering with, especially if you are in the area. Catch rates on the upper Ngongotaha Stream have been reasonably good, though there are a lot of smaller as well as spent rainbows there at the moment. The brown trout are large and in good condition, though they require a fair amount of stealth and luck to be able to get a cast to, let alone land. Change of light at either end of the day or after dark is a better option when targeting brown trout in this stream.

Okere Falls Arm has produced some great tales, if not fish, of the ones that got away. There are really large rainbows spawning there at the moment but they are getting harder and harder to tempt. There are large rainbows and plenty of them, spawning just above the gates but they are in a very challenging st to fish and are not overly interested. With the control gates wide open as part of the control gates mitigation/resource consent, fishing has become a little harder.

There is a strong flow down the arm but not a lot of water. Lake Rotoiti is expected to drop around 100 mm which should increase the flow of water through the Ohau Channel. The idea is to increase the flow through there to flush some of the silt that has built up along the wall down the Kaituna. So far there has been no change in the water quality of the Kaituna but I would expect that to change as time goes by. Be aware that the area above the control gates closes to fishing from June 30 until October 1 2012. There is a limit of eight fish per day above the gates. The area below the control gates is open all year and has a limit of two fish per day.

Reasonable numbers of rainbows and browns continue to move into the Ngongotaha Stream, even with the lack of rain over the past few days. The next rain event will bring more fish into the stream, though the number of browns is likely to decrease from the end of this month.

The Waiteti Stream will also improve with rain and large runs of rainbows can be expected then.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 6 June 2012

By Bert Robinson

With the forecast rain arriving fishing has improved to a whole new level. Rainbows are coming into the liberation points in ever increasing numbers, with Lake Rerewhakaaitu being one of the better lakes to fish. School Arm has been the better of the spots followed closely by Homestead Arm for those fishing from the shore. A black woolly bugger fly, fished off a floating line and retrieved very slowly seems to be the most productive method, especially when the fly is cast close to the edge of a reed bed.

Over deeper water a sinking line also work well and one can speed the retrieve up if the fly is catching on the bottom. Both trolling and harling on this lake has been very successful. Rainbows in excess of two and a half kilos have been caught in this lake.

Lake Okaro continues to produce fish and will only improve with more rain. Trolling and harling has been successful, though fly fishing and spinning from the shore is a little more successful at times. Grey ghosts or similar flies seem to be the preferred offering, especially when used in conjunction with a white clown or yellow tassie when spin fishing.

Lake Ngapouri has slowed up a little for those fishing from a boat. I suspect that most fish are at the western end of the lake where a small stream enters as there is some natural spawning gravel available.

A lot of anglers have been fishing the Okere Falls Arm and the control gates over the long weekend. Some were successful, other were not, first on the water usually got fish, though once the water has been rested for an hour or so the catch rate did improve for a while. There are large numbers of spawning fish above and below the gates but these fish are proving to be a challenge for most anglers. One or two fish up to 4kg are being caught above the gates, with the larger fish being either LPAD OR RPAD.

Larger than usual rainbows are being caught inside and outside the Ohau Channel both day and night. The wind change to the North has helped with wading as it is not as strong as the westerly that we have had. A sinking line and woolly bugger cast across and allowed the drift with the current, then retrieved back has worked for some.

Trolling from Emery’s Reef through to the dump has been successful over the weekend with fresh, silver rainbows up to nearly three kilos being caught. With the lack of wind on Monday jigging was also successful at Te Maniku Point and the white cliffs on the northern side of this lake. Great conditioned rainbows continue to be caught at Ruato Bay after dark. Long casts over the weed bed during the day has been successful for some. With all the rain that we have had today and should have over the next couple of days there should be some great fishing at the Dump, Transformer and Café streams as well as the Pipe. Casting along the tree line at the Dump should be successful should the wind stay to the North.

Lake Rotoehu should also be fishing well from the shore. The Taniwha Spring mouth at the Eastern end of the lake has produced some good fish for those anglers casting back to the shore from a boat, while fishing off the jetty at Kennedy’s Bay has also been fishing well after dark when using doll flies or similar. Those fishing in boats need to be aware that there are now two oxygen pipe lines out in this lake with guide wires holding them in place. There is a pictorial map showing the position of the pipes at both boat ramps, with a request for boaties not to anchor, troll or harl in the vicinity. There are large signs marked with a yellow X on the shore at either end of the pipe so you will be able to see where the pipes are in relation to where you are. The pipes are also set at about three metres deep.

Harling and fly fishing from a boat has been quite successful between the weed cordon and Anaputa Point on Lake Rotoma. Fishing closer to where the stream comes out is best. Fish are spawning at the far end of this lake, hard against the left hand side of the beach, though the wind of late has meant that those casting a heave and leave or booby have done best as much less casting into the wind is required. Most of the stream mouths entering this lake have had a lot of fish holding off them so are worth a visit if you have a boat.

Very good conditioned fish have been caught off what is left of the beach at Lake Okataina, both inside and outside the weed cordon. Night fishing has been best, with early morning being the better time. When fishing close to the weed cordon it pays to only use one fly as trailing flies can get caught on the netting, resulting in a lost fish very quickly. Casting to the right at the end of the jetty has been successful when using a floating line and small black rabbit. Allow the fly to swing and have a very slow retrieve. A lot of fish seem to be hanging off the edge of the drop off but will come in over the weed bed after dark, especially when the wind is onshore.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 31 May 2012

By Bert Robinson

The rain of last week certainly improved the fishing around the Rotorua district, with anglers fishing the Ngongotaha Stream doing very well in most cases over the weekend. While some of the rainbows being caught were post spawning fish there were enough really good conditioned fish available to keep most anglers happy. The Waiteti Stream was holding reasonable numbers of fish over the weekend as well with the two pools below the bridge in Ngongotaha being the pools with the easiest access.

Some large rainbows have been caught over the previous couple of weeks, particularly around rain events, with the largest rainbow reported at over 12 lb. Most fish have been caught on lures that have red or pink as part of the tying and have been readily snapped up by both brown and rainbow trout.

Lake Okaro continues to produce reasonable numbers of fish to a white clown tassie coupled with a grey ghost fly about one metre above the lure. Other colours to work well have been any tassie with red, yellow or pink as part of the colour scheme. The stream mouth has been the most productive spot lately. Damsel flies are still hatching in sheltered areas of this lake so the use of a damsel nymph could produce better sults around the reed beds along the shore.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu also continues to fish well both from the shore and by boat. Good conditioned fish are cruising over the weed beds just off the shore and even though access is still restricted due to a high lake level, there are places where one can fly fish. Lightly weighted black woolly buggers fished off a floating line worked well for three anglers fishing from the beach at School Arm late on Sunday with five fish hooked and landed within 40 minutes. The best fishing came when there was a strong ripple of the water. Other spots to produce fish have been the second DoC Camp on Brett Road. Harling along the edge of the channels has been productive for most boat anglers.

Reports of rainbows between 13 and 14 pound have surfaced over the last week or so. The Transformer Stream mouth and Ruato Bay were mentioned though I have been unable to confirm the weights. Even so anglers have has a great time of it, with one angler landing six fish before 10pm, the largest over four kilos. With the rain easing over the next few days there may be a reduction in fresh fish coming into spawn but the next lot of rain will improve the fishing again.

The Dump had produced a few fish just prior to the rain and improved out of sight once the rain finally arrived. There are fish spawning at the rockier parts of the Dump and these fish are well within casting range of the shore. If out in the water casting along the shore rather than straight out should prove more productive, though it pays not to cast in the same place more than two or three times if possible. Care is needed when wading in this area as the patches of silver on the lake bed are more than likely spawning redds and should be avoided when walking. With the moon coming up later and fuller each evening early evening fishing is a little more productive, though using fluorocarbon and a long trace will help when the moon is shining on the water. Ruato Bay is also fishing well for the most part and double figure fish are coming in on a regular basis.

Trout from Lake Rotoiti have moved down the Kaituna and can be found as far down as the top of the last water fall. Some very large specimens can be found below the first set of rapids with the main challenge being able to fish between the rafts that come through on a regular basis.

Heave and leave or booby fishing off the one remaining jetty has been consistently good prior to daylight as a large number of fish are paroling the edge of the weed bed. Reports in suggest that quite a few of these fish are easily double figure and that they are coming in over the weed bed during the hours of darkness. This lake edge fishes best in an on-shore wind with a heavy cloud cover and rain.

Some very good conditioned rainbows have been caught outside the weir at the Ohau Channel over the past week or so. There appears to be a few fish spawning in this area as they have done off and on over the years. Olive woolly buggers and white rabbits have caught fish when tied to fluorocarbon line as the water is very clear. Lake Rotoiti fish are starting to turn up in increasing numbers with LP/AD fish being caught. When there are reasonably large waves heading across the channel opening this area fishes best.

The Lake Tarawera Trap continues to catch good numbers of fish for this time of the year, most, if not all are in great condition and of a very good size. The landing has fished well both day and night and fish can be seen moving on the surface during the day so perhaps smelt patterns stripped in as fast as you can will work. Booby and heave and leave patterns have caught well there and at the Orchard. Fish can be seen working the surface at Rangiuru Bay as well and some great fish have been caught there as well. Stoney Point has also fished well, especially in windy conditions. Any wind from the North-West through to the South-West can be productive at this time of the year as a wind line is created out from the point but anglers are sheltered by the trees along the edge of the lake and the reserve.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 24 May 2012

By Bert Robinson

Early morning fishing has provided some great results for anglers fishing the Te Wairoa Stream mouth over the past few days. Great conditioned rainbows of a reasonable size have been caught using a sinking line and lumo fly before daylight and an orange rabbit during the day. Most of the fish have been picked up in the middle of the current created as the stream enters the lake.

During the day fish can be seen smelting out in the bay, some within casting range, taking smelt that are quite dark in appearance. Smelting fish can also be seen off Rangiuru Bay, though only a few are in close enough to cast to with any expectation of success. The heave and leave method has been successful of the jetties that dot the lake shore, though quite a bit of patience is required for this method at times.

A lot of fish are still moving over the weed bed around edge of Lake Okareka, with the occasional fish breaking the surface during the day. The smelt in this lake are also reasonably dark in colour as well. Some of these fish are moving in closer to the shore after dark, providing opportunities for anglers who are able to brave the very cold nights. Trolling seems to be fairly successful at the outlet end of this lake as well.

Rainbows are moving into the stream mouths at Ruato Bay still, though not in any great number and mostly after dark. Some of these fish are over being in prime condition and tend to go quite dark in colour once they have been killed, still reasonable eating but not as nice as a fresh run fish. A few fish have made an appearance at the dump and the occasional fish has been taken off the jetty near the Pipe late in the afternoon and early morning. Heave and leave fishing from the shore, anywhere between the Pipe and the jetty can be rewarding during the day as fish cruise over the weed bed.

Lake Okataina has produced fish over five kilos with fish being caught from the jetty and the shore early in the morning using white booby flies or casting and retrieving a woolly bugger during the day. Boat fishing has been patchy but if you get onto the fish they are in awesome condition.

Anglers fishing the upper Ngongotaha Stream have been pleasantly surprised by the number and size of brown trout seen there. A reasonable number of rainbows are it there as well and tend to be caught first. Fishing the deeper pools and runs on dusk and after dark is the better option for catching brown trout.

A few reasonable fish have been caught out the front of the Ohau Channel, especially when there is a strong south west wind blowing. It seems that when the wind churns up the bottom, this releases a lot of food into the system, encouraging smelt, brown and rainbow trout to feed. Early morning fishing has been very successful with larger trout than usual being caught from the true left bank. Since the wind has died down significantly the water flowing through the channel is so clear it is possible to spot spawning fish on the far bank.

Both above and below the control gates has reasonable numbers of rainbows at the moment. Many are in full spawning mode and are overly interested in feeding. They can be made to strike at a fly if it is stripped past their nose. Patience is required when targeting these fish. Some of the fish there are over-ripe and have a slight grey sheen to them. These fish are not the best eating fish though they do smoke up ok.

The pool at the end of Trout Pools Road has also fished well with the discoloured water from Lake Rotorua. Since the wind has eased the water quality has improved amking fishing a little more challenging. Some very large fish have been seen there at times and there are spawning fish over the gravel bed at the end of main pool. At times trout can also be seen trying to jump up the first waterfall upstream of the main fishing pool.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to produce great conditioned fish and even though the lake is still extremely high anglers have been able to get some shoreline fishing in. Those with boats have done better as they can access more of the lake.

Fish are still coming into the boat ramp at Lake Ngapouri. The strong winds of late have made it almost impossible to fly fish so pick your time to fish there if you can. Veltic spinners also work well for those who don’t fly fish.

The stream entering Lake Rotoma through at the western side of the lake has had large numbers of fish moving into it. With the height of the water in this lake it is a challenge to get anywhere near the outlet but it is worthwhile if you can, particularly after dark. Other stream mouths entering this lake are also holding fish, most of which are only accessible by boat.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 17 May 2012

By Bert Robinson

Such has been the demand for instant information about weather conditions and how the fishing is going, from anglers all over the North Island, I have started tweeting on Twitter. (@Bertnfish) There is nothing like getting instant information on how well a river, stream or liberation point at a lake is fishing such as how great the fishing was at the Pipe last Wednesday, as soon as it happens. Over 30 rainbows were caught during the day and by 9 pm there were a further 10 or so caught. The largest rainbow was under the magical 4.5 kg but in saying that all were in the best possible condition.

Late in the afternoon last Sunday I paid a visit to the Pipe but as there was very little flow and even less action, I decided to try the jetty beside the boat ramp. I used a trace that was just over one and half times the length of the rod and a single woolly bugger and hooked three fish in 30 minutes or so. All fish were in magnificent condition and between 1.5 and 3 kg. Fishing from this jetty after dark should produce some great fish.

Ruato and Hauparu Bays were two other spots where large numbers of fish moved in close to the shore. These fish should hang around for a few days at least, especially if this weather pattern continues. Both brown and rainbow trout will be moving into the tributary streams of Lake Rotorua as well as many already have. Large numbers of anglers, fishing the lower Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams over the weekend were not disappointed with their catch rates, with silver sided rainbows and large browns being hooked but not always landed. Thankfully the stream cleared enough from the first lot of rain and the upper Ngongotaha was fished by lots of anglers also. At the moment the stream is fairly high and is carrying a lot of sediment in the lower reaches.

The area around the control gates at the start of the Kaituna River has fished well early in the morning with rainbows over 3 kg being caught. Woolly bugger flies with a touch of orange tied in at the tail has been particularly effective with an epoxy head green orbit coming a close second. With the water being so clear the fish are quite wary and tend to hold in the areas where the current is dispersed. In addition the gates are being opened and closed, depending on the amount of rain forecast or actually falling. Today there were good numbers of fish being caught from below the road bridge, downstream of the gates.

One local angler fished Lake Ngapouri over the weekend and caught some very good conditioned fish from the boat ramp. This lake should fish well through until mid to late November, though at the moment anglers should be aware that this lake is used extensively by Duck Hunters, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

Lake Okaro also produced a few fish for persistent anglers prior to this lot of rain and should fish really well as long as this lot of rain lasts. Spin fishing with small zed spinners or veltics at the boat ramp and along the shore line should be productive.

Lake Okaro has been a bit hit and miss, but if you are there at the right time you can experience some very exciting fishing. Well-conditioned rainbows over two and a half kilos have been caught from the boat ramp as well as the stream mouth. A slow sinking line has worked well for me at this time of the year as the drop-off is very close to the shore.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu continues to provide great fishing, mostly from a boat but also from isolated spots along the lake edge. This lake is still extremely high, making shoreline access almost impossible in places, though the use of a small boat or canoe will improve your chances.

Catch rates have been reasonably high at the Tarawera Landing at times. Casting a boobie fly off either of the two jetties or at the Orchard has been the better method during the day but after dark small doll flies or black marabous cast off the angle jetty and retrieved very slowly so that the fly is coming across the lake bed will catch fish when they are in. Short casts are very important here as a long cast will spook the fish that are coming in close. Last Sunday there were a large number of rainbows holding off the mouth of the Te Wairoa Stream, though they were proving to very difficult to catch at times. With this rain there should be a lot more fish coming into this stream and the liberation points along the shoreline of Lake Tarawera.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 11 May 2012

By Bert Robinson

It has been many years since we have had such good water quality in Lake Rotorua at this time of the year. By now we usually have a major algae bloom which affects Lakes Rotorua, Rotoiti and the Kaituna River, but not this year, so far anyway. With Okere Falls Arm and the Kaituna River being so clear it is easier to see spawning fish that are holding in small numbers both above and below the control gates. There are larger than expected numbers of rainbows up to the one and a half kilo mark still around but larger fish are turning up in ever increasing numbers.

Rainbows over the magical four and a half kilo mark are taken from below the control gates every year though not in any great number, just enough to give a few anglers some heart stopping moments as they battle these fish in the fast water. Most of the larger fish have been holding under the turbulent water directly below the gates, but with the gates wide open there isn’t any turbulence at the moment. Woolly bugger and ginger mick flies are working well during the day and black marabou are great after dark.

Lake Rotoehu has fish coming into the liberation points, most seem to be around the one and a half to two kilo mark and all are fairly good condition. The water quality is not great so the use of a light coloured fly such as a grey ghost should produce results. As this lake has only dropped 100mm or so since summer there is little chance of wading too far along the lake edge. Remember also that this lake is used for duck hunting so early morning and late afternoon trolling or harling is best left until the hunting season finishes.

In saying that, two anglers from Tauranga had the lake to themselves on Sunday as they fished this lake. They had a ball apparently and caught a limit bag each of good conditioned, orange fleshed fish and dropped several others at the boat.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of fish, some on the very large size, actively feeding off the surface and over the weed bed at Ruato Bay over the weekend. Some were too far out to be able to cast to but there were others that were well within range of an average caster of the fly. Casting a line over the weed bed at either end of Ruato Bay after dark should bring results, especially once the moon has reduced in size. A heavy cloud cover will help also as will a reasonable amount of wind as fish have been very wary on the very still nights that we have had.

The Dump through to the Pipe has been fairly quiet but a lot of rain hit the area over the past couple of days. This should have improved things no-end, especially for early morning fishing trips. The bay out from the Pipe has been very popular with jiggers over the past couple of weeks with many boats tied up to the ropes that hang from the trees over the deep drop-offs.

Lake Rerewhakaaitu has fished well both from the shore and by boat, though the shore based angling is still restricted by the high water level. Both Homestead and School Arms have produced fish for flingers of the fly or spinner, especially on change of light, but those harling have struggled some days. Darker smelt patterns such as the ginger mick have caught well. Smelt are still in amongst the trees, drawing trout in close, though without a boat they are challenge to get at.

Lake Okaro continues to provide great fishing, especially since the rain. This lake always provides surprises, especially in the size of the fish. On more than one occasion rainbows over three kilos have been caught from the shore.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 2 May 2012

By Bert Robinson

The 24 hours of rain that we had last Friday did wonders for the fishery. On Wednesday and Thursday nights over 140 fish went through the Ngongotaha Fish Trap, the largest being a brown trout in excess of 11lb. With the rain that we have had this afternoon even more fish, particularly browns, will be moving upstream on their migration that lasts through until the end of July if not longer.

Ruato Bay experienced a small surge in trout numbers though there was nothing large enough to create any great excitement. A fair bit more rain is needed as well as a drop in lake water temperature before large numbers of trout are compelled to move into the spawning streams and lake edges. Lake Rotoiti is still a little too high for this time of the year as the stream plumes are not as defined as they could be which is holding fish back a little as well. Day time fishing has been very slow and the best catches have been early morning and late at night. Very small doll flies and size six crystal chenille rabbit flies have been catching fish. Jigging and deep trolling is still quite hard but harling early morning and late in the evening has been more successful.

Rainbows are starting to move up into the Trout Pools area of the Kaituna, with some large fish being seen from time to time. Spinning doesn’t seem to be all that successful as most trout seem to follow the lure rather than attack it. Try using a sinker/splitshot and fly set up as you may get better results, especially when using ginger mick or olive woolly buggers.

Some reasonable rainbows are starting to turn up in the Okere Falls Arm, and some of the jacks are coloured up are ready to spawn so I suspect that there may be a large hen or two lurking in the area. The Kaituna Control Gates have been opened another 500 cumecs or so over the past 24 hours and has resulted in a slightly increased flow through the Okere Falls Arm. This should entice rainbows down into their spawning areas, even more so if the gates get opened another 50 or 100 cumecs.

Rainbows are also turning up at the Kennedy’s Bay boat ramp at Lake Rotoehu and with more rain there should be a lot more arriving. Spinning and fly fishing are successful off the jetty, with penny spoons, small zed and glimmy spinners amongst the more successful lures. Woolly buggers and ginger mick flies are my personal favourites when fishing this jetty.

Some very nice conditioned fish have been caught out of Lake Okaro over the past few weeks. There are usually a couple of fish hanging around the boat ramp or the stream mouth to the left of the car park so it is just a matter of putting time on the water. A slow or medium sinking line is best used off the stream mouth and jetty as both places drop off into very deep water very quickly. This rain should bring reasonable numbers of fish within casting range of even the most novice fly angler. For those who like to spin fish the use of veltics or mepps lures, small zeds and dandy lures should bring good results.

Lake Okareka has also produced good quality rainbows both by trolling and fly fishing over the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately sometimes this lake is very busy with boats, waka and canoes racing around all over the place at various times during the weekend and these tend to put the fish down deep. Night fishing is best during the weekend though during the week day time fishing is reasonably good. During the day an olive woolly bugger fished over the weed bed has picked up reasonable numbers of fish. Casting a slow sinking line and woolly bugger from a drifting boat when over the weed bed should also pick up a few fish. Trolling and harling are two popular and very successful methods on this lake so a few of the locals have told me and although this lake does get quite a few boats on it, especially over the weekends, it is not as heavily fished as some of our other lakes.

The fish trap at Lake Tarawera continues to provide a few early spawning-season surprises with hatchery reared rainbows up to 68cm long have been measured, weighed and the better specimens kept for breeding. As the weather conditions, during the near non-existent summer, were perfect for the growth of smelt there is likely to be even bigger fish coming through the trap in the near future as well as the liberation points in this lake as well as others.

All in all, the signs point to a very good winter season for fishing and it wouldn’t surprise me if we get fish coming in that equal the fantastic fishing years of the early 1990’s. The long range weather pattern seems to be very similar to the weather pattern of that time.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 27 April 2012

By Bert Robinson

The extended period of settled weather that we are experiencing has been great for angler judging by the number of boats out fishing on most of the lakes in the region. The trickle of complaints about the number of small fish being caught is starting to turn into a minor flood as more and more anglers get out to fish. The small fish being caught is pretty much a natural event at this time of the year as rising one and two year old fish are more aggressive when taking food items than the larger fish in the lake. Careful releasing of these fish is imperative as they will be the large fish that anglers want in two or three years. The rain that is falling as I write, should bring fish into the liberation points.

A trip out to Lake Tarawera on a brilliantly fine Sunday with no wind to speak of, became something of an eye opener. Paired-up trout were seen in the shallows directly in front of the Orchard stream, something not expected with the weather conditions that we had. The only reason we were able to spot these fish was by looking, rather than fishing, something that many anglers seem not to do when standing on the shore of a lake or bank of a river. Fish were also seen taking smelt at the surface between the Orchard and the Tarawera Landing so the small stream mouth at the Angle Jetty should be producing fish, especially after dark or once all of the boats have come out of the water for the day.

Spin fishing the pool at the end of Trout Pools Road has been frustrating for some as all of the fish sighted chasing lures stubbornly refused to actually take a bite. Some of the fish seen there have been reported as being very large fish, not surprising as some released rainbows in Lake Rotoiti will have made their way over the series of falls to live out their lives in the lower Kaituna River. The size of the fish throughout Okere Falls Arm and below the control gates are getting larger with fish up to three kilos being caught from time to time. The water moving through is the clearest that I have seen it at this time of the year and fish can be seen either holding or spawning from the high bank on the true left side above and below the control gates. Woolly buggers have been the more successful fly in the area.

Fish seem to be massing in the deeper water off Hinehopu and the Pipe. The rain that is falling should bring some fish into shore and if there is enough rain then into the Pipe, Transformer and Café Streams. Rainbows well over the 5kg mark are being caught by anglers fishing from boats on this lake and it is only a matter of time before shore based anglers start catching fish of this size as well. The surface water temperature of Lake Rotoiti is still around the 19 degree mark but is dropping further down the water column.

Quite a few boats have been trolling/harling around Emery’s Reef over the past couple of weekends, catching a variety of fish sizes. Lake Rotorua’s water temperature has dropped consistently over the past couple of weeks and is at a point where both brown and rainbow trout should start to move into this lake’s tributaries. Larger numbers of rainbows have been seen throughout the Utuhina over the past week.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 20 April 2012

By Bert Robinson

Some very impressive fish have been caught from Lake Tarawera over the past week by shore based anglers. Rangiuru Bay and Stony Point as well as the landing area have all fished very well for this early in the season. Good numbers of great conditioned fish have also been through the fish trap at the Te Wairoa fish trap, with one that I heard of being in excess of 650mm long.

As word gets out there is likely to be a stream of anglers heading out that way, especially to fish after dark when most of the fish are more active. With what little moon there is and it rising quite late in the evening catch rates should improve even more as the week progresses. A few trout have been caught from the jetties in Rangiuru Bay, by from fly fishing and spinning and usually early in the morning.

A couple of good conditioned fish were caught at the Pipe during the last lot of rain and should there be another period of rain in the near future I suspect that a lot more fish will be coming into this area. Should the Pipe be inundated with anglers another spot close by can often provide even better opportunities to catch fish, especially after dark, and that is the jetty beside the boat ramp just before you get to the Pipe. Casting along the edge of the weed bed, from either side of the jetty is the best option, rather than casting straight out into the lake.

The use of size four black marabou flies or small doll flies have caught many fish from there over the years. Both the café and transformer streams are flowing quite slowly but should be enough to entice rainbows into their respective mouths after dark. I have seen one possible redd at the dump but there should be fish arriving in this area anytime from now on so it well worth walking along the lake edge during the day to see if there is any more sign of fish spawning there. Harling early in the morning over the weed beds has proven more successful than most other methods or times of the day. A 14.25 pound wild rainbow jack was caught by a local angler last weekend and there are sure to be more out there.

The Ngongotaha stream is holding a lot of fish at the moment and can only improve over the next month or two. One pool we stopped at had at least 15 fish in it though they were hard to see. Small gold bead pheasant tail nymphs seemed to be what they wanted on Sunday afternoon. Other pools, especially those that were deep and dark were also holding good numbers of fish. There were also large browns holding in close to the bank in various places but they required extra careful stalking.

Lake Okaro continues to improve as far as catch rates are concerned. There are a few recovering fish being caught but most are in superb condition. Size six rabbit flies or olive woolly bugger flies fished on a slow or fast sinking line has been successful.

Harling on Lake Okataina has been fairly successful and though there isn’t any shore line access at the Log Pool large numbers of fish have been moving up and down the plume from the Log Pool Stream as well as other streams entering the lake. Finding a spot to cast from at the beach by the lodge is going to be a challenge this year if a lot of anglers turn up to fish. Very little of the beach is above the waterline and what is has very limited back casting.

Lake Okareka has been fishing ok from the shore, particularly at Boye’s Beach. The southerly wind over the past couple of days has made casting difficult but well worth the effort. The stream entering through a patch of bush at the right-hand end of the beach as well as the lake edge in front of the rowing club/waka ama area has also produced a few fish at times.

Okere Falls Arm has a lot of small fish holding there at the moment. It seems to be a trout nursery at this time of the year but that will change once the larger fish move in to spawn. The water temperature is still a little high but one or two fish around the two kilo mark have been landed there. With the first of the winter frosts arriving last night and probably many more to come the lake temperatures will drop reasonably quickly.

Lake Kaitawa over near Lake Waikaremoana fished well for one visiting angler. The pictures that he showed me of 10lb plus rainbows and some very large brown trout were quite spectacular and he has returned to Germany with many great memories of his six months fishing in New Zealand.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 13 April 2012

By Bert Robinson

While we have had a wonderful autumn so far weather wise, it is too little too late for those hoping for a late run of fish into the Awahou and Hamurana mouths. Lake Rotorua water temperature is slowly dropping, as are the other lakes temperature, and at just over 16 degrees C at 20 metres for Lake Rotorua there is only the winter run of fish to look forward to until next summer, should it even arrive.

Lots of anglers fished throughout the length of the Ngongotaha and Waiteti Streams over the weekend with varying degrees of success. One Auckland angler landed 36 fish for the day last weekend using nymphs. The stream, being very clear in the upper reaches, made for very hard fishing as any resident fish were able to see anglers approaching as well as their tippets in the water. Lighter tippets and very small flies seemed to be the best option.

Lake Okareka continues to fish well after the hordes of boats and swimmers have gone. The more popular swimming spots were the best fishing spots as weed was disturbed and broken off, displacing snails and lava from their refuse. Boyes Beach is probably the most popular spot to fish at the moment, even with the moon being quite large and coming up after dark.

A few fish have been caught at the mouth of the Te Wairoa Stream mouth on Lake Tarawera, particularly early morning. Keeping at least three rod lengths away from the drop off has produced the best results as any closer will push the fish out and make them wary. Even with the moon being bright in the sky after dark there has been some success at Rangiuru Bay when the wind has allowed.

Any fly that has some type of sparkly material tied into it will entice fish to take a serious look at your offering, more so if fluorocarbon tippet is used. Apparently there has been a significant run of early spawning and great conditioned fish through the trap, more than expected for this early in the spawning season.

Lake Okaro has also fished well, both from the boat ramp and the stream mouth. Rainbows between one and two and a half kilos have been caught on smelt patterns during the evening and into the night. Spinning has not been as successful at the moment.

Lake Ngapouri continues to produce fish from the boat ramp, though I suspect that the better fishing may be in the bay to the right of the boat ramp. The little stream that enters there is a magnet for trout wanting to spawn, some do so very successfully. Fishing from a drifting boat using a slow sinking line and a woolly bugger or small black marabou will also produce very good catch rates in this lake. A high catch rate can be expected from this lake, with fish between half and two and a half kilos.

Harling over the weed bed around the shore of Lake Rotoiti continues to produce fish early in the day, usually before the sun comes up. If there is any sign of surface activity out in the lake, casting a spinner or fly rod at these fish should result in fish being hooked. The area around Emery’s Reef and the Wai iti Stream mouth has fished particularly well when harling.

A few fish have been caught at the Pipe at Hinehopu over the past week and with this rain there could well be more coming in for spawning. A walk along the lake edge at the Dump during the day is also worthwhile as should fish be in close for spawning you will either see them or the silver patches on the lake bed that the hens make from digging there redds. It easier to catch them after dark using doll flies or marabou flies on a floating line.

At Lake Okataina fish have been actively working the surface for a few weeks so be prepared to fish the top three to four metres below the surface rather than going too deep. In saying that very good conditioned rainbows up to 4.7 kilos have been caught jigging from various parts of the lake.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 6 April 2012

By Bert Robinson

Four colours of lead and a clown tasmanian devil dragged along the drop-off has been good enough to secure more than a couple of fish early in the morning over the weekend. It seems that a lot of fish are holding in close, and in less than eight metres of water around the shoreline of Lake Rotoiti.

The condition of most of the fish being caught has been very good so shore based anglers fishing this winter should reap the results of fish having plenty of food available to be able to pick up condition over the summer. The jury is still out on whether there will be plenty of fish coming back to spawn but those that do should be mainly in the impressive category.

Early season runs up the Te Wairoa Stream on Lake Tarawera are a pleasant surprise and there seemed to be quite a few fish holding off the mouth last Sunday, just waiting for a bit of rain to get them move upstream. Heave and leave fishing has been a little more successful than using traditional fly fishing methods, especially for those using white boobies.

With the lake level still higher than normal at the moment it is somewhat of a challenge to find room to get a decent back cast in at spots like the Orchard and the Waitangi Stream mouth though casting at an angle to the shore line rather than straight out will allow for a longer cast. The easterly wind over the past week or so has been very challenging for flingers of the fly as well as this wind is almost straight in your face when fishing these areas.

Good conditioned fish are being caught day and night at Rangiuru Bay as well with most fish taking over the weed bed at the edge of the drop-off. The higher lake level is keeping anglers from getting too close to the drop-off as any fish there won’t be pushed out into the deep by seeing anglers.

Trying to find a quiet spot that is out of the wind is a challenge during the weekends at Lake Okareka but it is worth trying to find such a spot. There are some very good conditioned fish feeding over the weed beds still, taking snails and smelt that seem to be in abundance.

During the day a fairly fast retrieve of a jack sprat or ginger mick fly is likely to result in more fish being hooked than slow and easy, though after dark a more sedate retrieve is better, especially when using doll flies. Most fish are being caught from the shore rather than entering the water, especially in spots where the wed bed is close enough to cast over. Fly or spin fishing from a drifting boat should be a successful way of fishing this lake, especially if drifting over and along the weed bed as well.

While most of the rainbows feeding inside the channel are smaller than anglers would like, there are a few larger specimens around. After dark and out the front of the weir, when using an intermediate fly line, should pick up some of the larger fish. Brown trout are also feeding in the channel with most of the few being caught, being after dark or early in the morning.

Lake Okataina provided some great fishing earlier in the week, though a lot of fish were feeding on the surface, a number were caught by jigging and trolling in various parts of the lake. Casting a fly or spinner to surface feeding fish could be a very successful when the wind dies off or changes direction, though hugging the eastern or southern shore line might be possible, especially early morning before the wind gets up. With the lake being so high it is anybody’s guess as to how well the beach will fish this winter as the weed bed is quite a long way out. Fish moving along the beach should be easy to spot from the car park if conditions are right though.

Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 28 March 2012

By Bert Robinson

As long as there isn’t a lot of boat traffic at the accessible parts of Lake Okareka there is a better than even chance of catching a fish or two as rainbows are feeding on the surface throughout the day. Smelt are still being rounded up and eaten over the weed beds, with a lot of the action happening within casting distance of the shore, even for novice flingers of the fly.

A size eight ginger mick, jack sprat, green orbit or olive woolly bugger should take fish if retrieved with a fairly fast motion. Thankfully, with this lake there is somewhere to cast a line in safety regardless of the wind direction. Harling over the weed bed from a small boat should be successful and it is probably worthwhile to fish from an anchored boat as well.

Blue Lake is another lake that tends to get overlooked by anglers, especially those with boats. Harling and jigging are only two of the successful methods used to catch some of the great conditioned fish in this lake. As long as there isn’t too much in the way boat traffic there is always a reasonably quiet spot to fish this lake.

The size of the flies used is fairly critical as the size of the bait fish in this lake is relatively small compared to other lakes. Size eight to ten smelt patterns are best and the use of fluorocarbon, due to this lakes clarity, is very important also.

Lake Ngapouri was fished fairly hard over the weekend and some very nice fish were caught as a result. Though carrying a bit of a sediment load and prone to algae blooms this lake is always worth visiting if you are passing by or have a small boat and have a few hours to spend. Though I haven’t fished this lake after dark I suspect that the catch rate and size of fish would make it worthwhile. It is a very challenging lake for shore based anglers to fish when the wind is from the South.

Reasonably close by is Lake Okaro which should start to fish well anytime soon. The boat ramp and the inlet stream nearby are the two prime fishing spots over the winter but a walk around the track to the left gives anglers some extra fishing areas, especially if spinning. Small smelt patterns are best fished from a floating line in this lake and the use of doll flies after dark is usually very successful.

Catch rates in the Okere Falls Arm is not as good as one would expect at the moment but then the water temperature is still a little high. Fishing should improve once the water temperature drops a couple of degrees and there is an increase in the volume of water. Ginger mick and grey ghost patterns have caught fish when they are there. During the day a fast retrieve is required to get fish interested but after dark a much slower retrieve works best.

The wind has been something of a challenge, being from the South-East over the past few days. Little or no wind is a lot easier to fish in from the exposed position on the jetty. The water quality varies from day to day, though mostly is very clear with no sign of algae this year.

I had the opportunity to fish parts of Lake Whakamaru during the week and was pleasantly surprised to find fish at almost every spot that I could get a cast into. Access from the shore is not easy on this lake but it is worthwhile hunting around to find some. The walking track along the lake edge is worth investigating as it runs the full length of this lake on the true right side and some parts are accessible from the road. There are also several creeks of varying sizes entering this lake though most require some work to clear them enough to be able to fish easily. The biggest challenge is finding the lake at a reasonable level to fish as it drops enough to be unfishable from the shore at certain times of the day.

Fishing around the weed beds and in between them should be great if using dragonfly nymphs as there are literally hundreds of them flying around and as there are a large number of koi carp in this lake there is the opportunity to try larger lures in green, gold or combinations of carp-like colours.

  Rotorua Lakes Fishing Report: 14 March 2012

By Bert Robinson

Smelt continue to move through the Ohau Channel, though not in huge numbers, the fact that they are is very encouraging. Small to medium sized rainbows are taking advantage of the food source and are putting on a lot of condition fairly quickly. Browns are also feeding in the channel but most are recovering fish and not in any great numbers either.

Once the water temperature of Lake Rotorua drops below 14 degrees or so and larger rainbows will venture into the channel looking for spawning areas, though based on the last three years or so I don’t expect them in large numbers.

The higher than expected number of recently released rainbows being caught in Okere Falls Arm is interesting. All seem in great condition and are fighting well above their weight in the slow moving water. Should any of these fish venture too far down the Kaituna River they almost certainly will end up below the last set of falls on the Kaituna and then spend the rest of their life in the river.

One of the pluses of that is that these fish will move upstream to spawn and should be available to anglers fishing at the end of Trout Pools Road. Wild rainbows around the one kilo mark are also being caught from this waterway both above and below the falls though few in number at the moment. As the water temperature drops below 14 degrees C there will be an influx of much larger rainbows to this area as it is a well-used area for spawning over the winter months.

The recent rain did bring a few fresh fish into the Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams. For some reason there is a higher number of brown trout moving into these streams as well. This is a little unusual as the number of browns moving upstream from the lake at this time of the year is usually dropping off quite sharply.

A few very good conditioned browns have been caught at both mouths over the past couple of weeks. One good way to see if there has been a good run of fish up the Waiteti Stream is to have a look from the access points off Hampson Drive. A quick walk down stream will soon show you whether there are plenty of fish or not.

The Utuhina is producing brown trout in reasonable numbers so it looks like there may not be a reduction in brown trout numbers between now and May when they traditionally start to climb in number.

A few rainbows are moving in and out of the Hamurana Springs mouth both day and night. Most are fairly small and there has been a limited amount of surface action during the day from time to time. With the temperature holding around the 17.5 to 18.6 degree mark and a period of settled and sunny weather forecast for a couple of weeks at least there may be an increase in action at this mouth.

NEWS FLASH! With the summer like weather this week, predicted to continue for perhaps another week, Lake Rotorua’s water temperature is rising again throughout the water column. Currently it is above 18 degrees C at 20 metres so it could be worth a visit to Hamurana over the next few days.

Apparently there has been some great fishing on several of the Waikato River hydro lakes over the past week or so. The water temperature is lower than usual for this time of the year and the rainbows are in great condition, being one to three pound in weight at Lake Whakamaru. Most of the hydro lakes have limited shoreline access so a small boat or canoe is best used, particularly on lakes Waipapa, Maraetai, Whakamaru and Atiamuri, though where there is public access can be quite good fishing.

Generally there is access to some degree below most of the hydro dams, with the river below Lake Ohakuri having the most and easiest access. For those looking for new fishing spots, Eastern Fish and Game have a very good pamphlet that has details of fishing spots between the Huka Falls and the top of Maraetai Dam. From Maraetai Dam downstream the river/lakes are covered by Auckland/Waikato Fish and Game, who have a detailed pamphlet that covers from lake Karapiro downstream.

Fish & Game New Zealand

 

 

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