Fly fishing and New Zealand rivers have an international appeal.Our crystal clear waters, their remote often wilderness quality and of course fish, those large wild rainbow and browns that inhabit them draw anglers from around the world. Kia Ora, Welcome I'm Peter Wilton a fly fishing guide of twenty eight years, passionate angler of twenty more but most of all an advocate for New Zealand's beautiful wild places, namely ' Wild Fish in Wild Rivers ' This alone stands at the very heart of the New Zealand fly fishing experience. While travelling throughout our beautiful country it quickly becomes obvious that rivers dominate our landscape. Some carve their way through majestic gorges on their journey to the sea while others flow more sedately winding through hill country boarded by sheep farms and forest. All are unique in the fishing experience they offer the visiting angler but one aspect unites them making each visit truely memorable, they are all captivating, they draw you back time and time again to make that perfect cast in some perfect fern fringed pool. ' Welcome to my World '
The winter spawning season of 2022 was nothing less then superb, a high point for perhaps the last twenty years in the Taupo Fishery not only in numbers of fish returning to their spawning grounds but also in their superb quality. This was clearly seen in not only the numbers of happy anglers on all our Taupo rivers but backed by fishery management involved in angler surveys and data taken from fish trap operations.
Early summer 2022 saw a period of lower then normal productivity in the lake, this also from data taken by echo sounding on the lake by DOC. Lake anglers showed higher then normal numbers of spent and recovering fish in their catches, a result of the higher then normal numbers of spent fish that dropped out of our rivers into the lake following spawning after spring. Drift dives taken by DOC staff that help count spawning fish and collaborate the success of our spawning runs, known as escapement counts are also taken on our rivers well upstream above angler winter limits. This data showed some of the highest counts on all our spawning rivers taken over the last twenty years.
May 2023 echo sounding taken on the lake showed a different picture and a large improvement in productivity both in plankton mass and smelt numbers and this would have greatly benefited the smaller maiden fish and those still recovering.Now approaching November and the end of our 2023 spawning season I can say all our rivers have fished well. With predominantly low clear rivers over June, July, August as a result of low rainfalls in our catchments this winter, the fishing has for some been a little more challenging. The fish still arrived however and this continued into November for some late run fish. As I write reasonable numbers still hold in the Tongariro, upper Tauranga-Taupo and Hinemaiaia rivers. Most are now recovering after the riggers of spawning but will offer a new challenge to the dry fly angler as our weather warms. Try a green beetle or an adams November to Christmas and then from Dec to March fish the cicada dry fly an exciting way to fish if you haven't yet experienced it on a Taupo river over summer. I hope to see some of you out there on one of our Taupo rivers over the next few months maybe I'll just be browsing or wearing my Dept of Conservation uniform but I'll be sure to take a little time to have a chat and maybe give you some local tips on our Taupo fishing, ' Tight lines and have a great summer to all my readers, As a final thought before venturing of on your angling adventure, PLEASE ' CHECK, CLEAN and DRY ' all your fishing gear before entering Taupo waters.There are always new threats to our fresh water environments and fisheries out there, one presently being the discovery of Asian Gold Clam in our Waikato River catchment, so lets all be vigilant, Cheers Peter. Click here to contact Taupo Fly Fishing Guide Peter Wilton for a day or half days fishing with a local Kiwi guide.
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