Reel Life February 2022

  • Hawke's Bay
  • 12/01/2022

Reel Life February 2022

Happy new year! It looks like a lot of anglers have been out over the break and got into some of the great fishing the Bay has to offer.

Rain that had been promised this week from Cyclone Cody never arrived and the rivers are all in good condition and sitting quite low.

The heat of summer is in full swing with most days getting into the late 20s.

We are hearing of some great fish being caught all over the region with good numbers of fish in all of our major catchments.


After running high for most of the 2021 season, the Ngaruroro has finally dropped down to a perfect 8m/sec flow rate.

Sight fishing has been the go-to since the last flush before the new year.

Rainbow trout are now in every deep pool, making finding the fish significantly easier.

Whanawhana cable and above holds less algae than the lower reaches down at Fernhill.

Fish are often found under willow trees, so if you find a deep pool next to the trees, chances are the fish won’t be far away.

Rainbows seem to like feeding throughout the middle of the day in even the hottest weather.

Please make sure to keep fish in the water if you plan to release them.

Top January Flies: Water boatman, Pheasant Tail, Cased Caddis, Cicada, Adams Irresistible

Top January spinners: Veltic, CD1 Rapala, Cannibal Soft-bait (8cm)

Recommended Access point: WhanaWhana Cable


The Tutaekuri copped a few big flushes near the end of December but has settled down to a very nice 5m/sec with very clean water.

With the heat, rainbow trout are confined to deeper pools and backwaters, only occasionally coming out into the open to feed.

Nymph and dry fly is the best way to fish right now.

As with the Ngaruroro, fish congregate around the willow trees.

When you have located a good spot, either drift a nymph through or sink a small lure into the groups of fish.

The condition of the fish is improving as we get closer to Autumn and there are sure to be some big fish pulled out of this catchment.

Top January Flies: Hare & Copper, Pheasant Tail, Cased Caddis,

Top January spinners: Enticer 7g, Zed 7g, Savage Grub (8cm)

Recommended Access points: Dartmoor Rd


The Tuki-Tuki definitely fishes best during the summer since the water drops right down and you are able to sight fish on the many winding corners that the river has to offer.

During this time of year, many juvenile fish like to feed on the surface in the shallow riffles along the Havelock stretch of the river.

This can provide a great opportunity to catch your first fish on a dry fly.

Above Right: Torin Griffiths with a Tuki-Tuki brown.

The fish aren’t too fussed about presentation and will happily smack a small Adams off the surface.

For spin fishing, I like the vibrating type lures on the river.

For whatever reason, it just really gets the attack trigger going on trout.

Throw one in any deep pool and you might be surprised at what comes racing to eat it.

Top January Flies: Willow Grub, Cased Caddis, Goddard Caddis Dry, Elk Hair Caddis Dry, Cicada,

Top January spinners: Veltic #1, Spinmax 8g, Vibrax 6g

Recommended Access point: Kahuranaki Rd (583)


Aaron Groube with a Mohaka brown.

Aaron Groube with a Mohaka brown.

This is the time to head up for a day trip to the Mohaka.

The river is low and wadable and fish have really condensed down into more targetable groups.

Brown trout dominate the upper river and are significantly easier to get a hook into compared to their Tuki-Tuki cousins.

Deep nymphing with two tungsten nymphs in the deep water or a dry dropper for the riffles will catch browns and also the odd rainbow.

Spinning is particularly effective since you can cover a lot of water in a short amount of time.

Browns tend to be more aggressive on the lures too.

Try to put on something that imitates a bully.

As for nymphs, stoneflies make up a bit more of the food up here.

Simons Ugly are a good fly for plunging down into the deep water. Attach a pheasant tail behind and you are good to go.

Top January Flies: Cicada, Parachute Adams, Stimulator, Simons ugly, Hare & Copper

Keith Bedford Savage Cannibal Paddletail

Keith Bedford used a Savage Cannibal Paddletail to great effect.

Top January spinners: Toby (Black/Gold), Cannibal Softbait 8cm (Black) Savage Grub (Motor Oil)

Recommended Access Point: Pakaututu Bridge

Tight Lines

Blair Whiting

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