Reel Life February 2024 - Northland

  • 26/02/2024

Reel Life February 2024 - Northland

Northland waters are still fishing well as the summer progresses.

There are still plenty of trout to be found in the usual likely spots in the streams and they are still willing to take a variety of flies and lures.

Recent reports have been received of fish being caught on soft baits, spinners, dry flies, nymphs and streamers, so if you put something in front of them you are likely to get a response.

Above:A Whau Valley trout from the 2023 liberation. This trout is approaching two years of age and is now well over takeable size.

Dry fly time is coming into its own and a lot of the fish are looking up for their food which can make for exciting fishing.

Don’t be afraid to go big with your dry flies as you will be imitating large terrestrial insects such as cicadas, blowflies and crickets.

Fishing a dry/dropper combo is a really effective way to fly fish at this time of year.

A big dry fly with a trailing nymph tied on a 50cm dropper from the gape of the dry is a great way to search pool heads and runs and enables you to hedge your bets by matching the hatch.

See the photo for some classic fly patterns that lend themselves to this style of fishing.

Flies that catch fish, clockwise from top left; cicada variant, bluebottle fly, cicada variant, stimulator, prince nymph, green caddis, hare and copper and pheasant tail.

The trout in Northland streams are generally not fussy and will jump all over these patterns most of the time.

At the time of writing, there has been very little rain for three weeks, aside from the odd localized shower, and the weather has been hot.

This will see our rivers and dams warming and getting lower.

To increase your chances of success look for cooler water – such as inflows into the reservoir dams, or streams that are shaded.

Pools and pocket water in the Waima River – perfect water for the dry/dropper approach.

Trout will congregate in areas of cooler water and will be more active than in the warmer areas.

Whau Valley reservoir has lowered significantly but continues to produce fish of good condition and eating quality.

The yearling rainbows liberated in 2023 are now above the legal minimum size and look to be healthy and growing well.

There are plenty of options for getting out to wet a line in Northland so get out there and make the most of it.

Tight lines

Craig Deal, Northland Fish & Game

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