Taranaki Reel Life Mar 2017

Ringplain rivers 'very fishable'

With only one significant fresh in the last month, Taranaki ringplain streams and rivers have been very fishable – and there’s even been a nice period of settled weather to get out and enjoy the fishing.

But at time of writing, with the second southerly blow in a week bringing cooler conditions, it seems that autumn is now upon us after one of the shortest summers on record.

But…April, the last month of the Taranaki main season, is usually a productive month for fishing, with water temperatures falling back into the range preferred by trout, and generally favourable river flows. Fish are still actively feeding on passion-vine hoppers trapped in the surface film.

Top right: A fine south Taranaki autumn rainbow (photo Michael Bakker).

Head south to fish...

South Taranaki rivers like the Waingongoro and Kaupokonui, which support a mixed population of brown and rainbow trout will be well worth a visit, particularly on fine sunny days when fish are more easily spotted on their feeding lies or holding under foam-lines.

The section of the upper Patea River running through Stratford and out towards Toko will also provide good fishing for brown and rainbow trout in April.

The deep runs and pools downstream of the Kahouri Stream confluence hold some good brown trout and higher up there’s still a scattering of two year-old rainbows left over from the mid-December kids’ fishing release into the scout den pool in King Edward Park – and even some larger fish from the previous year’s release.

While these upper Patea River rainbow releases have occurred every year since 1998, it’s only in the last few seasons that anglers have reported catching wild fish originating from successful natural spawning.

It remains to be seen whether a significant wild rainbow population will develop in the Patea, but there’s little doubt that the wild juveniles often grow into exceptionally good fish.

TRL2April2017. A well conditioned wild rainbow juvenile from the upper Patea River photo Tarn Mack McEwen.

A well-conditioned wild juvenile rainbow trout caught recently in the upper Patea River (photo Tarn Mack-McEwen).

Further afield in the Ruapehu district, the Manganuioteao River downstream of the Orautoha Stream confluence will be well worth a visit in April, as fish start to move upstream in preparation for spawning.

There is good access available from the Ruatiti Domain camping area, but otherwise please obtain permission to cross private land to get to the river.

For anglers who haven’t bought a 2016-17 whole season licence, there’s the option of a reduced price winter season licence available from April 1st, which allows anglers to fish their local rivers to the end of the main season, plus waters that remain open through to 30 September, including the Rotorua lakes – see http://www.fishandgame.org.nz/content/fishing-licence-info

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