Taranaki Reel Life January 2019

Summer angling still productive in ringplain streams

It's been a windy old summer so far, but constant sea breezes interspersed with southerly gales and some cooler nights have meant water temperatures haven’t reached the extreme highs of last summer.

Right: A typical summer ringplain brown (photo Mike Bakker)

While farmers have received just enough rain to keep the grass growing, ringplain streams have been sitting at their average annual low flows for some time, with only the occasional minor fresh providing some relief.

However, trout fishing can still be very productive in these conditions. 

In smaller streams, brown trout will often abandon their usual feeding lies and cruise the pools and deeper runs in a well-defined beat. 

Ambushing these cruisers with a dry fly cast well ahead of the fish can make for some exciting angling.

In the larger streams, trout will also seek out well-aerated riffles, and with cicada now beginning to emerge in numbers, an imitation drifted through riffles and pocket water in the middle and upper reaches of streams may well bring success. 

A small hare and copper nymph on a dropper below a bushy dry fly is another good rig to try.

With the cooler nights we’ve been having, there can be up to 70C diurnal variation in water temperatures, with trout definitely more catchable in the early morning at 170C, than in mid-afternoon at 240C. 

The tail end of freshes is also a great time to fish, as water temperatures drop and there's an increase in trout feeding activity. 

Check out the TRC’s website here for detailed flow and water temperature information on ringplain streams.

Hard fishing at Stratford kid’s trout day

TRL2Jan19. McKenzie Reed plays a trout at the Stratford fishing day with volunteer Kingsley Young at the ready

McKenzie Reed plays a trout at the Stratford fishing day with volunteer Kingsley Young at the ready.

It was hard fishing at the Stratford kid’s trout day on December 15, as a small fresh in the river on the Friday night allowed about half of the 300 good-sized rainbow trout to escape downstream. 

But kids that turned up early still met with good success.

TRL3Jan19. Success Adan Ashcroft with his catch

Success for Adan Ashcroft!

With the trout now well distributed throughout the reaches of the Patea River running through Stratford, there's good fishing available for the rainbows and the resident population of brown trout.

Don’t forget to Check, Clean & Dry

Please check, clean and dry any clothing, equipment and fishing gear before moving between waterways to help prevent the spread of didymo, lake snow and other freshwater pests.

Taranaki is still didymo free, but not all catchments are tested and the only safe option is to act as if the water you are fishing in has didymo, but the next one you’ll visit, does not.

For more information click here.

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