Reel Life December 2022
- Hawke's Bay
Summer, where are you?
Hawkes Bays December has been full of thunderstorms, downpours and wind.
Opportunities on our rivers have been few and far between, but the odd clear patch of weather has enabled anglers to fish mostly the tributaries that have taken less of a beating.
Fish condition is improving with each week, and many fish should be getting back towards their best.
Above Right:Aaron Groube with a Central Hawkes Bay brown.
Early in December, some students from Tamatea High School came to the Hawkes Bay Fish & Game’s grounds to learn about trout and how to catch them.
Simplicity and enabling the students to do everything themselves was the goal of this program.
Several large fish were caught, including a hen, a shade over six pounds and a jack of five pounds.
A few other fish were caught and released to promote the importance of returning fish to the water.
Finally, the students learned how to properly take a fish for the table and got to take it home to eat after it was smoked.
The mid to lower Ngaruroro has been fluctuating from downright unfishable to clear on the edges making fishing tougher than usual for December.
The amount of water present in the system is more of a blessing than a curse, as it will keep algae levels down.
Spinning and swinging streamers in the slower water has been producing the odd fish.
The tributaries have been fishing well, and this should be the location of choice if main river levels are up.
The tributaries down in central Hawkes Bay continue to avoid much of the rain, making them a popular spot as the levels have kept steady, reducing algae and water temperatures.
Nymphing with small pheasant tail patterns has been the go-to in the smaller water where fish have seen other anglers.
With warmer temperatures, that means damselfly hatches and our premier dry-fly lake; Kuripapango is heating up.
All the Brown trout are leaping into the air to eat both dragonflies and damselflies.
A red damselfly dry fly is an absolute must for fishing this water.
This is one of the few places you can go where a fish could eat your hook while it is still in the air.
The average size looks to be up, with plenty of fish around 40 centimetres making a large splash after they rocket out of the water.
When planning a day up here, look for a warm or hot windless day. Blue sky is essential as it seems to help the fish track the damselflies in the air.
As soon as it becomes dull, the fish stop feeding.
Try hanging a small damselfly nymph or chironomid underneath your dry as the fish will take this too.
Happy fishing over the Christmas and New Year Break.
Blair Whiting, Hawkes Bay Fish & Game