Central North Island - Freshwater

fishing report

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Hunting and Fishing Taupo

Hunting & Fishing Taupo - Fly & Gun

Taupo / Tongariro 4th March 2024
Note: If map is showing it is created by LINZ / New Zealand Hydrographic Authority and made available by Creative Commons 3.0. Maps should not be used for navigation
Cracking brown trout - image from top Taupo angler, Gary Lytte.

Anglers adapting to fluctuating thermoclines and increased boat traffic, finding success in deeper waters and looking forward to a more consistent March as fish put on condition for winter.

Fishing on the lake has been quite mixed throughout this holiday period, several factors occur every year at the same time. The thermocline is still very hit or miss as the warmer layers are still mixing which keeps fish at very different feeding levels. Boat traffic as it peaks I’m sure puts fish down which is why the early birds do consistently well. In saying that once summer finally settled we got solid areas of thermocline at 35-40 meters and we started to get some seriously good fishing with both visitors and locals having some absolute bonanza days.

The last couple of weeks of Feb have seen the fish go much deeper during the heat of the day. Some anglers saying they have been catching fish at 60-70 meters from 2-7pm. March can be a much more consistent month as the water cools again and the fish go into full feeding mode in readiness for the arduous winter ahead. Something to look forward to as winter approaches.

The fly fishing has also been affected by the fluctuating weather conditions that plagued us at the start of the season. The much anticipated cicada season that we were so looking forward to seemed to peter out to nothing yet again on the central plateau. That aside we still caught fish on dries throughout the summer and had some excellent days on dry/dropper combos on most of our local rivers between the wind, rain, and low water conditions.

Good numbers of browns have now entered the Taupo system. It’s been great fun with these challenging fish and to get the odd one up to the dry is always a bonus.

The river mouths have now become popular as good numbers of fish gather for their relief and to feed in the cooler water coming down and into the lake. There is no hard and fast rules to what are the best nights to fish, you just have to give them a go. A heads up to anglers wanting to give night fishing a go. Keep you headlight down to a minimum and turn away behind you when you do need it. Most locals are a helpful bunch if you are new to night fishing.

A lot of our rivers are now quite low and clear so a stealthy approach is now needed with long leader as long as you can efficiently manage required. Lighter tippets, smaller slimmer flies with no bling will help maintain you sport until the next rains arrive.

Our next event on the flyfishing calendar is the passion vine hopper dry fly fishing period usually mid Feb to mid March. Again longer leaders, small tippet, and tiny dries are a must. This technical dry fly fishing is most challenging and is one of my favourite times of the year.

The lakes will start to cool down now and fish will start to feed aggressively as winter approaches. Lake O reopens on the 1st March and can perform really well going into winter.

There is still lots of summer fishing to look forward to!

Tight lines from the team and Fly & Gun Hunting and Fishing

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