Rotorua Lakes Update for 22-May-2013
What a blessing the rain was for anglers. Good runs were reported in all of the three main spawning tributaries of Lake Rotorua, with the Ngongotaha Stream producing some outstanding browns and rainbows. It seems that this year, trout seem to be coming later than usual, probably due to the higher water temperatures in all lakes up until early May. Some great fishing was to be had on the Ngongotaha Stream over the weekend and this should continue while the rain is here. Egg patterns and hare and copper flies accounted for quite a few fish, though other nymphs caught well too.
The upper Waiteti, accessed off Hampson Drive, is holding a lot of fish, though two anglers working together, i.e. one casting and one spotting, works best when the water is clear. Both browns and rainbows are prevalent throughout this stream at the moment.
Most lakes are now well below the temperature required for trout to move into the streams and lake edge spawning areas and with the addition of a decent drop of rain, catch rates have increased dramatically. Thankfully some of the lake levels have dropped as well so that anglers can now access places that have been denied them for over 12 months. A great example is Lake Rerewhakaaitu where the level looks to have dropped at least one metre, judging by the high tide mark on the trees that were in water for all of last year. Gumboot Point is accessible and there are a few fish spawning there already, both DoC camps also have plenty of access to the lake edge, where there are plenty of rainbows harassing the local smelt population. A floating line, green orbit, black woolly bugger or giaconda flies, retrieved very slowly, has resulted in some very good conditioned fish over the weekend. The right-hand end of the beach at School Arm is starting to fish well as there are a number of two plus kilo fish coming back to that liberation point.
Lake Okaro is a little slow as far as catch rate is concerned and some of the fish are either over-ripe or post spawning fish and are not in the best of condition. Olive woolly buggers seem to catch well in this lake.
Lake Ngapouri has a lot of surface activity at the moment as trout feed on smelt, which in turn are feeding on zooplankton on the lakes surface. There seems to be a few fish around the boat ramp at the moment.
Okere Falls Arm is patchy, with great catch rates one day and nothing for a few days after. Some of the fish there have been in excess of 3.5 kg and most of them are in great condition. With the low water flow through the gates, a floating or slow sinking line is best in order not to get hooked on the rocks in this area, Size 6 olive woolly bugger, ginger mick or green orbit during the day has a good chance of catching fish here and after dark a doll fly or other lumo type fly should bring results when the fish are in. Below the control gates there seems to be a lot of fish around the one kilo mark, though larger fish are expected to arrive at any time. A few fish have been caught from the pool at the end of trout pools road, mainly on tokoroa chickens for the spinning fraternity and grey ghosts or woolly buggers for the fly fishers.
Some better runs of fish through the Te Wairoa Trap have been reported by Fish and Game. Apparently the second best run of the trapping season happened over-night Tuesday, with fish up to three kilos. This should mean that there are fish moving into all of the liberation points on Lake Tarawera, though the numbers returning may vary from a few to 20 plus fish. The heavy rain and low cloud should make these fish a lot less spooky in the shallow but be aware of any artificial lighting nearby as strong shadows can be cast on the water if an angler is between the light and the water. Car lights sweeping the bay at the landing are always a challenge, though the deep water just off the beach helps as returning fish are often just over the drop-off at the moment.\
The boat ramp/jetty at Kennedy’s Bay has fished well with the rain with fish around the two kilo mark being caught after dark. There are fish not far out into the lake from the jetty during the day so it is well worth casting a grey ghost or rabbit fly on a floating line there. When casting, allow your fly to sink, usually a count of five to ten is sufficient to allow the fly to sink to a good depth. The retrieve is usually slow but erratic, but vary the retrieve every second cast if nothing is happening.