Hawke's Bay Reel Life Mar 2017
Trout in 'good nick' and feeding
After another hot dry summer, it was refreshing to get some decent rain in early March to give the rivers a flush out and add some volume to their flows.
This has also had the effect of moving the trout out into more likely lies.
Cicadas are still chirping away on warmer days and despite the increased flows, the trout are still looking upwards for these tasty morsels.
This river took slightly longer to clear after the early rain but those anglers that fished it did well in the slightly coloured conditions.
Nymphing with a heavily weighted bomb and a trailing nymph such as a pheasant tail did well during these slightly turbid conditions as many of the trout were feeding hard off the bottom.
Similarly, stripping dark brown woolly buggers up over drop-offs and through deeper pools encouraged a few strikes from larger trout.
A sample of 10 rainbow trout caught by anglers this month on the Ngaruroro averaged 452mm and 1.5kg (3.3lbs).
The heaviest was a hen measuring 510mm and weighing 2.2kg (4.8lbs) caught in the section of river between Fernhill and Whanawhana.
Overall the trout reported this month have been in excellent condition.
The Tutaekuri River cleared quickly after the rain and fish have been re-distributed throughout its length with reasonable numbers in the lower river downstream of the Mangaone confluence.
The weed has been an issue for some anglers nymphing but a dry fly and dropper rig has been productive.
Small pheasant tail nymphs and hare and coppers will work along with a small blood worm pattern at this time of year.
A number of smaller fish were reported caught this month (<350mm) but the best fish was a rainbow hen measuring 550mm and weighing an impressive 2.8kg (6.2lbs).
Some anglers have reported that some rainbows already have well developed roe (eggs) inside them and don’t appear too far away from spawning.
A solid 6lb rainbow caught fly fishing during March on the Tutaekuri (Photo Blair Whiting).
Big Tukituki fish
The Tukituki River has also produced some large fish this month as reported by anglers with a sample of 16 rainbows averaging 542mm and 1.8kg (4lbs) all of which have been in good to excellent condition.
The heaviest rainbow reported was a hen measuring 585mm and weighing 2.2kg (4.8lbs). Good numbers of fish have been reported in the lower to middle reaches of the Tukituki during March.
The Mohaka River still contains a good volume of water at the time of writing this report and although clear still has a greenish tinge to some of the deeper pools in the upper reaches upstream of the Blue Gums.
In this upper section of river, the trout appeared to be more spread out than earlier this year, perhaps due to the increased flows since the last period of heavy rain.
Care must be taken when attempting to cross this river especially during higher flows.
Kids fishing day fun
A successful kids fishing event was held at the Game Farm in Napier during in early March with more than 40 children taking away a trout.
The rainbow trout averaged 440mm and averaged 1kg (2.2lbs) with Grier Hoffman catching the largest trout of the day – a whopping 2.1kg (4.6lb)!
Fish and Game would like to thank the many volunteers for their support and efforts on the day.
Top right: Grier Hoffman with a 2.1kg rainbow that she caught fly-fishing in the Game Farm pond.
Winter licence bargain
Anglers are reminded that winter licences on sale from April 1 provide six months’ worth of fishing to the end of September 2017.
This is a great buy for anglers who want to take up the sport again, or give it a shot for a reduced price for the remainder of the fishing season.
With some very well-conditioned trout to be found in local rivers at the moment, and some warmer weather expected in the Bay for at least another couple of months, anglers yet to buy a licence this season are encouraged to take up this great opportunity.
Winter licences cost just $75 but are only available to adults.