Reel Life December 2021

  • Eastern
  • 19/11/2021

Reel Life December 2021

Classic spring weather has dominated the last few weeks of fishing in the Eastern Region.

Showers interspersed by warm sunny periods mean the raincoat shouldn't ever be too far away!

The winds, which can hamper spring outings, have mostly been favourable for boating, however.

There are several good wind forecast sites, but I've recently taken to using the Windfinder App and found its forecasting to be remarkably accurate.

Lake surface temperatures are sitting about 15 or 16 degrees meaning fish and their food are happy to live at various depths from the surface right down to below 30 metres.

Dawn has seen some good smelting activity at the surface and spinning, fly fishing, or shallow trolling and harling is the way to go here.

A Tassie and smelt fly combo will work a treat or simply harling a large Silver Dorothy or Parsons' Glory behind a short section of sinking fly line or LED line.

RL DEC 2021 E image 1See our graphic here for how to set up a successful trolling rig.

The good news is that trout grow exceptionally well when the water temperature is in the mid-teens.

I've been impressed with the condition of the 2+-year-old (Rp and Rpad fin marked) rainbows from the lakes thus far.

If they continue to grow at an impressive rate, we'll see some great fish this summer and in the autumn of 2022.

With gradually increasing water temperatures, we are starting to see browns congregating at the Rotorua stream mouths.

As the lake nears 19 Celcius, expect the numbers to increase, and the fish begin to enter the Rotorua tributaries in volume.

The upper section of the Ngongotaha and Waiteti and Utuhina open to fishing on December 1.

The action will mostly be for late spawning rainbows; there will be some spent fish among them and the odd early running brown.

We've done some work clearing and spraying access tracks too, and where possible, cleared in-stream debris to make pools a little more fishable (Above Right).

Eastern rivers are in fine shape, although the east coast did receive a significant rain event earlier in November, which has caused some high and coloured flows.

Anglers are reporting good catches of high country fish, and terrestrial insect activities are increasing.

Te Urewera and Waikaremaona remain closed to visitors currently. However, we understand there is a possibility of re-opening for Xmas. Please check the Te Urewera Facebook page for details.

RL DEC 2021 E iimage 4Our hatchery team has been busy completing liberations for local lakes.

September and October saw almost 35,000 fish released, including several groups moved by boat to stream mouths on Lake Tarawera.

Here our tanker liberation seems to be blessed by a rainbow – a good omen, we hope!

Boat Fishing How To – Tarawera

We will be holding our Boat Fishing How to talk at Tarawera on Saturday, January 8th 2022, at 10 am at Stoney Point.

As always, it's a basic tuition talk and demonstration for boaties who are new to trout fishing or experienced anglers who are having trouble catching fish!

The event lasts for a couple of hours, and we finish by boning and smoking a trout.

No bookings are needed; bring a fold-out chair or picnic blanket.

In the meantime, check out our Boat Fishing Brochure for some tips.

Note, due to Covid-19 alerts, this event may be restricted to a maximum number of entrants or cancellation!

Keep an eye on our Facebook for information or contact

Datawatch tagged trout can now be entered online. Entries go into the draw to win one of 20 free whole-season fishing licences.

Eastern Region Fishing Diaries – All lakes and streams

Fill in your fishing diaries here to help us manage the Eastern Fish & Game region. Participants go in the draw to win a $100 voucher from Kilwell:

Tight Lines

Mark Sherburn, Eastern Region Fish & Game Officer.

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