The Winterless North

by Tony Bishop on March 24, 2007


The Taupo region, central North Island, is best known as a winter (May – August) fishery. This is the time trout move out of the lake into the many rivers to spawn.

But this ignores the wonderful fishing that is available over summer, when the restriction on sections of most rivers to allow uninterrupted spawning are removed. It also ignores the fact that many fish enter the rivers to spawn all year round, although in nowhere near the numbers of winter. It is also true that there are far fewer anglers as well. A couple of weeks ago I fished the upper regions of the one of the most popular rivers and saw not one other angler, on a Sunday, and 7kms each way up and back.

The fish in general will be smaller than the winter on average – but big fish do lurk in deper pools. From Febuary on, browns move up river, some of these fish are really big.

There are also so-called ‘resident’ fish. These are fish that have moved up river to spawn and then stay upriver.

The only real annoyance is likely to be hordes of 8″ to 12″ fish, last winters crop feeding up before heading down to the lake in Autumn.

As an idea of the fish available, here are two photos of fish caught by my youngest son a few weeks back. The silver fish is a maiden hen on her way up to spawn. She would be close to 18″. The other darker fish is a hen that has very recently spawned and is on her way back down river. She would have been over 20″.

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