July 18th 2012
Autumn arrived on the Taupo fishing scene like the usual change of seasons, golds on the poplars around the lake edge and rivers.This is my favourite time of year on the Taupo rivers, the air has that slight crispness to it, the rivers sparkle with a new sense of life and fantails hover above the surrounding kanuka.Its as if nature is anticipating something, waiting for those first bright fish to arrive from the lake. April then May typified this scene on our local rivers and as is usual early in the spawning season most of my attention turned to one of my favourite rivers, the Hinemaiaia.
The Hine is beautiful water to fish on any occasion but on a crisp autumn dawn its a special place to be.Through out April and May the river remained low and clear most of the time however as this little river always promises, the fish slowly arrived.We had a couple of good freshes with a moderate increase in flow and colour, I had a few return customers, their timing was right.Two gentleman both Barrys, one from the U.S the other Australia fished the river with me on seperate occasions, both were treated to the spoils only the Hinemaiaia can offer.Most of the rainbows were in the 3-3 1/2 lb range, bright, lively and spending a fair amount of time airborne.Jacks tent to sneak into this river early even with the river under low flows but on occasions with river flows falling most of our fish were hens.I'm glad to say there have been differnate signs of improvement both in size and quality of the rainbows in the Hine over the last two seasons, sure not the big fish of years past but some good sized jacks were present and the hens have been consistently around the 3lb mark in good condition.One pool we approached just continued to produce fish after fish through out the morning and has remained a favourite.Both Barrys were broken by rainbows in the 6lb plus class.As is usually the case on the Hine all were taken on small natural nymphs, the hare's-ear in sizes 14's and 16's deceiving most fish.
On the other rivers a few early runs came through also, the Tauranga-Taupo fished well end of April as did the Tongariro for a short period.These two rivers tend to fish best late in the season through Spring with more consistent runs arriving Aug to Sept/Oct with the Spring rains.As I write all our rivers are recovering after recent floods and should fish well over the next two to three weeks.
On wearing another hat my other work has continued with the Dept Of Conservation over the winter months both working in the fish traps on the Te Whaiau at Lake Otamangakau and on the Waipa Stream on the upper Tongariro.The Te Whaiau trap at lake O has early runs of both rainbows and browns, we have had several floods to keep us busy and a number of one hundred fish days through the trap.Lots of fish in the 5-6lb range, some spectacular coloured browns and two impressive fish in particular, one brown jack of 12 lb another of 14lb.Both were fin clipped, weighed and measured then carefully released to carry on their spawning run.Part of my work with DOC involves talking with anglers and surveying angler effort on the Tongariro River so finally 'Tight Lines' and I hope to see you on the water, Peter.