Reel Life February 2020

  • Eastern
  • 4/02/2020

Reel Life February 2020

From one extreme to another!

Scorching temperatures and almost no rain for two months have seen conditions in the Eastern region again be dominated by the weather.

High country rivers are extremely low and trout are being condensed into tight locations where conditions are more favorable.

Right: Demanding conditions in Eastern high country waters.

In particular, warm water is tough on trout during hot summers so you will find them where cooler in-flowing streams or deeper shaded areas provide some relief.

Bubbly white water runs are also good habitat at this time of year as trout seek the oxygenated water and the shelter provided by the white water – so it will be worth putting a few casts right into the head of the pool with a dry or nymph.

Despite the testing conditions dry fly and nymph action has been intense in the region.

Cicadas are only moderately common thus far this summer, but lace wing are more than making up for them in Bay of Plenty waters.

It’s worth noting that trout are very vulnerable to stress during periods of warmth too so please be particularly careful handling them at the moment if you plan to practice catch and release.

Avoid lifting them from the water at all – those grab ‘n grin photos can wait till it’s cooler.

Rather, play them as quickly as you can, keep them submerged at all times while you remove hooks and make use of a quality knotless landing net.

Click here to take a look for some good catch and release tips.

The annual Lake Rotorua stream mouth fishing is now all go.

Swinging wind directions have kept anglers guessing where the trout are located at the Hamurana and Awahou mouths and fishing has sometimes been patchy but good numbers of fish are now congregating.

Successful anglers are using small smelt patterns, Wolly buggers or a team of small, dark coloured nymphs inched along in the cooler water.

Most of the fish are rainbows in the 1-1.5kg range but there are also some great browns which commonly tip the scales to 3kg, so be prepared for a battle!

Jigging on the deeper lakes too is in full swing with the warm water pushing fish to 20 and 30m depth.

We have had some cracker catches reported from all of the deep lakes including fish in excess of 4kg for Okataina recently.

Rotoiti continues to produce consistent, fat healthy fish around the Narrows, West bank and Hauparu bay.

Expect fishing at the eastern end of Rotoiti to improve as the weather cools and fish begin to think about spawning.

Have your say on the Fishing Rules

Eastern Fish & Game have commenced its biennialreview of the regional fishing regulations (know as the ‘Anglers Notice’), and we are seeking feedback form interested parties.

The Eastern Region Fish and Game Council are keen to remove barriers to participation and to make the fishing regulations as simple as possible to encourage all anglers and new participants into the sport.

For more information or to view a ‘issues and options’ paper please click here

Eastern news snippets

  • We have completed our annual summer fish release to Lakes Tarawera (1,000 fish) and Rotoiti (500 fish). This small liberation which has been in place since 2000 makes the most of a good food abundant growth period on the lakes. The fish are fin marked Ad and tagged X20 and N20 respectively.
  • We have been advised that the DOC camping ground at the Lake Tarawera outlet remains temporarily closed. Contact DOC for more information.
  • Our hatchery grounds at 1130 Paradise Valley Road, Ngongotaha are now again fully open to the public. The office is open Monday-Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm

Check, clean, drain and dry!


Maple Liang enjoys a day jigging on Lake Rotoiti

Catfish are in Lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua and it’s critical we prevent them from entering other waterways in the region.

If you are boating on any of the lakes, carefully check your boat and trailer including the anchor and anchor well for signs of fish, eggs or weed fragments.

Clean off any obvious foreign materials, drain any water and dry before entering another waterway.

The lakes are ours to look after!

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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