‘Avid anglers’ all set for Rotorua streams opening

Anglers are making plans to catch some big wild trout in particular, as some of Rotorua and Waikaremoana’s best known streams re-open for summer. 

The popular Lake Rotorua tributaries open on Saturday, December 1, later than other local waterways, to protect the late spawning that occurs on these streams.

Top right: Fish & Game Officer Anthony van Dorp checks an angler's licence on the Ngongotaha Stream last opening. 

They are the upper sections of the Ngongotaha Stream (above SH 5), the Waiteti (above Hamurana Road) and the Utuhina (between Devon Road and Pukehangi Road). 

Fish & Game Officer Mark Sherburn says these streams are closed from the end of June to protect the wild spawning that occurs there.

“The upper sections of these streams have good gravel which is vital for trout spawning.

“Avid anglers, typically fly fishers, turn out to target a mix of fish from post spawning rainbows to big brown trout on fresh runs upstream.

“The streams are noted for good runs of browns into December and our monitoring trap on the Ngongotaha Stream has shown there are lots of browns from 2.5kg to 3kg, and some even bigger.

“There are a few fresh run rainbows in good condition too.”     

Mr Sherburn says that brown trout from the Ngongotaha Stream are regarded as some of New Zealand’s best.  

Most experienced anglers will be nymphing or using globugs but big traditional wet flies fished downstream on sinking lines work well too.

He says that anglers who take advantage of the change of light and fish the streams in the early morning or late evening usually do the best.  

While some areas are fly fishing only, spin fishing is permitted on some streams.

Mr Sherburn says anglers are advised to check their regulation booklets for where they can spin fish, or phone Fish & Game on 07-357 5501 to ask.    

Fish & Game officers will be out ranging at the opening of the streams, and in the weeks that follow, talking to as many anglers as possible, and checking their compliance with licence and other regulations.

“Please remember to have your fishing licence with you,” says Mr Sherburn.  

At Waikaremoana, the Mokau and Hopuruahine Streams open on December 1, providing anglers with exciting prospects for the summer.

“Many of the fish will have left the Waikaremoana streams by December after spawning over winter, but it’s likely there will still be a few present for keen anglers to pursue.”