Reel Life October 2022

  • Auckland/Waikato
  • 20/10/2022

Reel Life October 2022

Fishing Report

This is the time of year to go low; many of our large brown trout have migrated to the lower reaches of local rivers to feed while.

Summer will be here soon, and all of our trout will be forced into cool mountain streams by December.

It is always tempting to go straight into the higher-elevation streams at the beginning of the season, but if you have any lowland spots now is the time fish them.

Spring fishing has been good with lots of hungry and uneducated fish out there.

Waikato streams have been fishing well and there has been heavy pressure on the Whakapapa and Whanganui with plenty of happy anglers.

If you are looking for advice to plan your next trip, send us an email and we are happy to help

Above right: Fisheries Manager Adam Daniel with a Whanganui River rainbow trout.

Now is the time to fish the Waikato River


Prize winners of the 2022 Hunting and Fishing/Kilwell Lower Waikato River Trout Contest.

Many of the large browns in the region have migrated into the Waikato to feed on smelt.

Big browns can be caught from Mercer to the base of Karapiro Dam, but don’t wait, as most of them will migrate back up the Waipa by the end of the month.

The Hunting and Fishing/Kilwell Lower Waikato River Trout Contest just wrapped up, and there were brown trout over 3 kg caught in the Waikato.

Most of the fish were caught in the Huntly area, but there are plenty of fish in Hamilton at the moment.

The contest organisers have produced a great checklist to make sure you can enjoy some good fishing at your doorstep.


A beautiful Waikato River brown trout caught by Sharnay Cocup-Huges.

What you need to catch trout in the Waikato

  • Tackle: A spin rod about 6’ to 6’6” (2-4 kg weight) with 3 or 4 kg nylon.
  • Best lure:Softbaits with paddle tails, spinners such as black or copper tobys or zeds (7g, 10g, 12g) and large streamer trout flies about size 4 (rabbits, woolly buggers etc.) in dark colours like black or olive green. Use split shot on the nylon with flies to help them sink. A licence is also needed, plus a landing net.
  • When to fish: Early morning or dusk into the evening, but fish can be caught all day.
  • Water level & temperature: The water level at Huntly Power Station should be between 7.6m and 8.4m with a water temperature between 14º and 19ºC.
  • Where to fish: From Mercer upriver in a swift current close to the bank, along weed beds, under overhanging willows, or behind structures like bridge piles.
  • To spot fish: Look for swirls or splashing on the surface or whitebait schools jumping out of the water.
  • Be quiet: Fish can hear you underwater and see you. Walk to edge of the river from downstream quietly, don’t drop gear down heavily, keep a low profile.
  • Casting: Cast above and across the fishing spot. Starting with small casts from the bank out. Let the lure swing downstream before retrieving back upstream close to the bank or current line. Try different speeds when retrieving or even pausing. If you are getting strikes but not hooking fish slow down or stop your soft bait for a second after missing a strike.
  • Landing fish: Have a landing net ready to go and net fish headfirst.

Tight Lines

Adam Daniel, Auckland Waikato Fish & Game

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