Reel Life January 2021

The effects of summer’s high temperatures are being felt around the region, producing predictable, quality trout fishing at many locations.

The surface temperature on local lakes mostly exceeds 22 degrees C forcing trout to spend more time at depth or search out cooler inflowing streams where conditions are more to their liking.

Tarawera, Okataina, Rotoiti and Rotoma currently have a thermocline sitting between 15m and 20m deep so this will be the best location to target trout during the day.

Above: Some Lake Maraetai action as photographed by Dion Watts.

Downrigger trolling and jigging will be the easiest way to reach these depths although you’ll almost get there with lead line which sinks at about 1.5m per colour.

Despite the warmth, some trout will spend time at the surface at dawn chasing smelt, and coping with the heat for a short period of time before going deep.

Shore-based fishers can still be successful by concentrating their efforts into the first few hours from 5 am onward.

Any cold water inflow will be an attractive location at this time of year. Spring water, like that at Hamurana and Awahou is normally about 10 or 11C but even regular streams will be cooler than most lakes so are worth a look.

Rivers and streams in the Eastern Region are in great shape, although many are low and clear so will call for light tippets and a stealthy approach.

Cicada action 12

Some Cicada action

Cicadas have been making their presence known for a couple of weeks here now, so we hope good dry fly action won’t be far off.

Windy conditions or a little drizzle are usually all it takes to make the cicada clumsily fall to the surface of the water before being gorged enthusiastically by hungry trout! 

Eastern News Snippets

  • Watch out for our new Waikato River and hydro lake access brochure. A print version will be available soon and an e-version posted here with the rest of our access information.
  • A reminder re soft baits. Scented soft baits, including any that include “attractant” are not permitted to be used except in water where ‘bait fishing is allowed’. So, on the Rotorua lakes only unscented soft baits are permitted. Scented softbaits can be used on the Waikato River and hydro lakes on the other hand, because bait fishing is allowed there.  

Datawatch tagged trout can now be entered online.

Entries go into the draw to win one of 20 free whole season fishing licences

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QCH5ZR6

Eastern Region Fishing Diaries – All lakes and streams

Fill in your fishing diaries here to help us manage the Eastern Fish & Game region. Participants go in the draw to win a $100 voucher from Kilwell:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QRSD7D3

With summer in full force, it’s a good time to think about water safety around our rivers:

-       Don’t take anything for granted. The bank, riverbed and water flow might have changed, and there could be hidden dangers such as submerged objects.

-       Keep away from dams and other structures – apart from the agreed sign-posted fishing spots. It is illegal to operate boats or swim within 200m of any hydro structure. There are strong currents and suction effects. Water levels and flows can change significantly throughout the day and massive flows may be released at any time.

-       New Zealand’s rivers are powerful, and swimmers often overestimate their abilities. Even if the river looks slow moving and calm, the pressure of moving water is constant and can be powerful. 

Never enter a river alone. If in doubt stay out. Tell someone when you are going and when you expect to return.

Tight Lines

Mark Sherburn, Eastern Fish & Game Officer.