“Damsels in Distress” on a New Zealand Stream

Absolutely amazing footage…

“ My wife and I were fishing with friend/guide Dean Whaanga in New Zealand when a combination of bad weather and good timing resulted in a fish giving us the experience of a lifetime. I crawled on my stomach with my camera to the water’s edge, hit record, and watched what was one of the coolest moments I have ever witnessed.”

It only runs for two and a bit minutes, but my guess is you will repeat view several times. Watch in HD and full screen.

See it here.

The joys of winter angling – plenty on offer around NZ

Don’t give up on trout fishing just yet – especially with some of the crisp, clear winter’s days the country’s been served up.

That’s the message from Fish & Game NZ, pointing to productive trout fishing waters including lakes, rivers right throughout the country which are still open to anglers.

Get all the options here. New Zealand-wide

Anglers happy as Taupo trout return

Lake Taupo (central North Island, NZ) anglers are enjoying some of the best fishing in years as the world-renowned wild fishery returns limit catches of well conditioned trout.

Department of Conservation Taupo fishery area manager Dave Lumley said the abundance of smelt and zooplankton in the lake was contributing to anglers catching limit bags of good conditioned trout.

A limit bag on Lake Taupo is three fish, each over 40 centimetres (15.7”)  long.

"It’s a continuance of the good fishing which we noticed from early summer, from around mid-November. The fish are bigger and in superb condition, with many caught measuring between 42-45 centimetres."

Lumley said anglers were catching maiden fish, sometimes second spawners, which had not been takeable last summer.

The southern end of the lake, off Omori, Kuratau and Whareroa, was proving productive, as was Waihaha Bay on the western side of the lake, he said.

Climatic changes, floods and eruptions have taken a toll on the fishery in the past 10 years.

Angler numbers have fallen 22 per cent on Lake Taupo since 2005, while adult licence sales have decreased from 12,557 to 9,791 since 2006.

Taupo Hunting and Fishing owner Mike Stent said the fishery had improved each year since 2009.

"It’s coming out of a hole and for the past three years the fishing has been getting better and better.

"The fishery is in good heart, we’ve seen big improvements and there is plenty of smelt around this year for the trout."

Stent hoped the improvements would encourage people to start fishing again.

"A lot of anglers stopped because of the lean years. What many don’t understand is Taupo is a wild fishery and it slowed up because of floods and eruptions over recent years. Many of the spawning runs were wiped out."

Full story here.

My experience: I have fished the Taupo area, especially the rivers spilling into Lake Taupo, regularly over the last year and the number and condition of the trout has been very good indeed – not back to what it was 10 years ago, but certainly getting there.

Let’s face it, how many overseas anglers would love to fish an area where the trout are wild, average around 41cm (16”) long, and round and fat with it?

Four Day Trip to Taupo NZ Area Produced Great Fishing

Just back from a four day trip to fish the Tauranga-Taupo River near Taupo, Central North Island, New Zealand.

On the face of it the fishing should have been hard, the river was low and very clear, the sun was summer shining, and it was blowing hard, at times very hard.

But the river was stacked with fish. There were good numbers of rainbows making their way up-river to spawn, and bigger numbers of fish making their way back down to the lake. Even managed to bag a nice 5ish pound Brown trout – nice surprise.

The fish were not big, but big enough, and the fish in the photo was pretty typical.

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The river may have been stacked with fish, but there were very few anglers about, most of the time I was alone. Bliss!

Mostly used a ‘hopper-dropper’ setup; the dropper being one of Chris Dore’s Glister nymphs. I had these in a range of sizes and weights (including un-weighted). The ‘Hopper’ was a  butt-ugly foam fly of my own twisted imagination which despite appearances was monstered by more than a few fish.

I don’t think I casted ‘blind’ over the whole 4 days – just cast to sighted fish.

Just a quick note, my trip was timed on the basis of a very successful trip same time last year, and year before. I am not a regular diary keeper, but do keep notes on successful trips.

Do-It-Yourself New Zealand Fly Fishing

A four-part series by Toby Swank (published in  OrvisNews.com) to help the adventurous angler with planning a self-guided trip to New Zealand’s South Island.

“I’ve travelled and fished extensively around the South Island of New Zealand over the past nine years, both on my own and as a host for several groups of anglers. I do not guide on these trips because it is illegal for foreigners to work in New Zealand without the proper permits and there is simply no way that I can offer the same level of expertise—in terms of local knowledge and access—as a professional Kiwi guide. However, there are more than enough opportunities for the angler who wants to go it alone, and these articles should help eliminate some of the guesswork, while also helping American (and other NZ visitors – Bish) anglers set some realistic expectations….”

Part 1

Do-It-Yourself New Zealand, Part II
Do-It-Yourself New Zealand, Part III
Do-It-Yourself New Zealand, Part IV.