Bay of Plenty
June is a month of change - the last chance to boat fish on Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina before the season closes on June 30.
It's also the last opportunity for fly fishers to get into the upper reaches of the Rotorua tributaries. Add in big mature fish around the winter fishing areas, and it's one of the best months on the lakes - albeit on the cold side!
The big fish have been turning up at the winter beaches with enough regularity to start getting local anglers excited about fly fishing. There have been reports of several 4kg-plus fish from Ruato Bay on Rotoiti, and some nice fish off most of the other lakes. These reports are backed up by Fish & Game data from the winter fish traps. At Tarawera there had been 137 fish through the Te Wairoa trap in April - well up on recent years, and with one fish weighing over 4kg.
However, it is not the easiest time to catch good numbers of fish. On average one fish will be caught every three hours by winter fly fishermen - but they are magnificent specimens!
A few fish are still being taken jigging, but with fish heading to winter sites, it's a case of prospecting rather than targeting fish concentrations. Ruato has been producing, with the Dump, Transformer and Pipe all traditional favourites. The cooling water temperatures will also encourage immature fish into shallower water, which should boost harling prospects.
The rain that followed the dry autumn encouraged Rotorua fish into the tributaries. In one night 105 brown trout and two rainbows went through the Ngongotaha trap, the biggest being 5.1kg. With the upper reaches of Rotorua tributaries closing at the end of the month, it is the last chance for a crack at these big fish until December. The stream mouths will fish best during the drier weather as fish hold up close to the lake.
On Okataina there has been reasonable pressure at the Log Pool, with anglers doing well. Water levels are still high and there is not a great deal of area to fish on the main beach due to the vegetation.
Expect some good fishing on Okareka, Rotoma and Tikitapu for smaller fish.
Rotorua by Steve Smith, Upstream Services Limited
Ph: 021 888669
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