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Taupo is fishing really well, pretty much over the whole lake, now that the main holiday traffic has quietened down. Fish are also reported as gaining better condition as we head into autumn. I predict that we will be in for a bumper March, April, May period as the fish seem to be really starting to hammer the smelt now that the thermocline has settled. The thermocline is pretty much set at between 30-35 meters so setting your drifts between 20 and 40 meters should get you in the zone.

All of the traditionally popular smelt patterns seem to be working really well. I would say it pays to leave a darker koura type pattern on the bottom dropper as these bigger darker flies often pick up some very large koura feeders especially in or around structure.

Trolling is still going well with the downriggers really coming into their own this time of the year targeting 120-140 foot depths.

All of the favourites such as baby brown, lemon & white, orange & gold, green & gold, along with chinook lures are producing fish.

Harling is best done at the crack of dawn at the moment. 1-2 colours of lead with smelt or rabbit flies, or the ever faithful red bodied green orbits seem to be the flavour of the day.

Well, this cicada season has eventuated for some and not for others. The backcountry rivers that I have visited have certainly been going hard on the big black stimmies but the local rivers seem to have quietened down on cicada action.

The passion vine hopper hatch is now in full swing and is gathering momentum. Last year was just phenomenal on this insect so let’s hope we get the same again this season.

Beautiful rainbow for the author Gary Lyttle

As I look at my weather apps I see we are in for some much needed rain which is great timing as a lot of the rivers are now very low and clear with fish getting quite wired to normal leaders and set ups.

It pays to go into super stealth mode in these low water conditions changing to as longer leader as you can turn over, as light a tippet diameter as you feel you need, and pay close attention to matching the hatch as close as possible. Put these factors all together and this should keep you in the game.

Still waters have been going really well especially the deeper ones that get some breeze on them.

Lake Okataina is now at 24 degrees as I look at the gauge so I have not fished this all summer as it is too warm for the fish to sustain any handling at all.

Most anglers that genuinely love that lake have also stayed away I am glad to say. The other lakes Kuratau and Rotoaira have had good chop on them all through summer and the fish are well oxygenated, the water cool, and the fish are in awesome condition. Great sport to be had pulling loch style floaters on intermediate or DI3 lines with small wooly buggers, crunchers, boobies, cormorant etc doing the job. Even the odd day on English dries such as the carrot, hopper, bobs bits can be productive.

Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year as a fly fisherman living in Taupo. Everything starts to fire as the temperatures start to go down but most of all the trout, whether on Stillwater or rivers, are all in pristine tip top condition from the bounty that summer has to offer.

Tight lines to all

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