We update this Taupo fishing report as often as we can to reflect the changing seasons, locations and techniques in the Taupo fishery. If the rainbow trout have started running the rivers we'll tell you here, when the big brownies start rising to cicadas we'll let you know. Add this page to your favourites, link to us on Facebook and pass this Taupo fishing report on to your friends.
We've had a patch of clear weather with no substantial rain over the last couple of weeks, which means lower clear conditions in most Taupo rivers, but also some stunning days to enjoy. The weather is breaking today with low cloud and drizzle overnight and rain expected to settle for the next few days which will undoubtedly trigger more fish to enter the rivers. Over the last decade or more over half of all spawning trout have run in September or later. This is a great time to fish as the days are longer and warmer and there are less anglers on most rivers.
We’ve had some good heavy rain over the last few days and nights which will get more fish moving, along with the extra flow in the Tongariro river from the recreational releases. You can see river flow graphs on our river flow page here. Before the rain, conditions have been low and clear and rivers like the Tauranga-Taupo and Waitahanui have been quite difficult for many.
Over the last few years the Department of Conservation reports have shown the majority of trout, particularly Rainbows, don’t move into the Taupo rivers until September and later. This makes Spring fly fishing some of the best in the year as there are more fresh fish, often fewer anglers, and the days are a little longer and a little warmer.
With higher flows the wet-liners have been doing well on the Tongariro, with the usual flies being green and brown Woolly Buggers and size 8 red Rabbit also getting results. When the flow is up remember to fish the fringes of pools before charging in past your knees. We have guided novices many times who have been unable to cast far but have hooked trout in close when the water was slightly murky. If the river is racing then trout are naturally going to seek the most economical flows with least resistance so they can preserve energy. The town pools on the Tongariro fished well on Saturday and those fish will have moved up further, whilst fresh runs will have come in over night. This is good news as it means there are fresh run trout all through the river. If you have a favourite pool then get there and have a crack. If you are unsure then try the Bain or Swirl pools down lower, or up round Red Hut are good choices. If you are nymphing test out the size of Glo-Bugs you use in these conditions as you may be surprised that a larger size attracts the fresh runners.
Local Taupo and Turangi fly fishing waters are still very hit and miss at the moment with low clear conditions. We keep getting promises of rain but they never eventuate to much so we only get very inconsistent and small runs. We need some real big heavy downpours to last for a few days and get the water table higher, then we might get some proper runs. Looking at last year this was around the end of July so it will be interesting to see what happens this year.
When the runs do happen though there have been some very good quality fish being caught, just a case of being Johnny on the spot !! Our pick of the week would be the Waitahanui as some fresh fish headed up last weekend and as we noted earlier there are some stonkers in there, but as always hard to land. As the moon gets less the fishing at the Rip should improve too. There is no question a lot of good fish are waiting to run so get out there after work at change of light with a white or orange Boobie and you might snag a screamer.
The rains have come!! Hallelulah!!
Fly fishing in local Taupo rivers over the last few weeks has been a bit unpredictable. Compared to this time last year the Waitahanui has been quiet, and fish have moved through the Tongariro and not always held where expected. The river mouths were even a little tough and daytime clear conditions made it more difficult for beginners on local rivers.
This all changed during the week when the rains came and got loads of trout heading upstream. While we feel sorry for parts of New Zealand that were damaged by strong winds, for Taupo the rain was a welcome relief for fly fishers and the wider community.
Well it has been an amazing summer and we have had little time in front of the computer, but we do have a whole stash of new fishing stories to tell and some new friends we have made. While many Kiwis would say it hasn’t been the best summer weather-wise, it has been great for fly fishing with lots of smelt in Lake Taupo and loads of big fat noisy cicadas in the trees on the riverbanks.
The cold snap and rain last week may have been enough to stop the cicadas, but they are still worth a try with a small natural nymph dropper such as a size 14 Hare’s Ear. After three months of munching them, some trout will still have a reflex reaction when they see a big dark shadow float down their food line. Any big bushy impersonation will work as an attractor, but if you tie on a nymph dropper then a foam Cicada will give you more flotation than a deer hair pattern.
The cicadas have been out singing on the last few warmer days. They are a terrible distraction when you have to mow the lawns or dig the garden and you wish you were down on the river casting a cicada imitation to a big Brown trout!
Taupo has had some wacky weather over the last week, with rain followed by very hot spells, and a couple of big thunder storms with dramatic lightening shows.
As we have reported earlier, there are tonnes of smelt in the lake at the moment and you can have a lot of fun walking the shoreline looking for ‘boil-ups’ as the sea fishermen call them. We don’t get the diving Gannets but you will see trout carving through the middle of the schools of smelt. If you have a kayak or boat get out and drift and cast to them. Anywhere from Waitahanui up to Wharewaka point is a good starting point.
We’ve had such a great start to the summer season that many are saying it feels like late January fishing instead of late November.
There are more smelt around than we’ve seen in about five years and most fish caught on the lake edges are chock full of them. Walk around Boat Harbour or the local boat ramps and you can see big schools of smelt and the trout carving through them like supercharged mini-Tarpon.
The local Taupo fly fishing is going great with lots of fish now looking up for smaller dries. There are no Terrestrials yet but we are hearing Cicadas everywhere which is awesome and there are lots of Green Beetles being seen and Brown Beetles in the evenings. The humid weather has been great for the Caddis hatches with this humid calm weather at the start of last week. There were some beautiful fish caught last week on the Tongariro in the evenings, with some good Brownies over five pounds coming in.
The last few days in Taupo have been stunning with some hot sunny weather which has been great for insect activity. Many local streams are experiencing evening rises which provide some of the most enjoyable fly fishing.
The Tongariro and Tauranga Taupo rivers have been fishing well in the upper reaches, with less activity lower down. The Bridge Pool at times have no anglers on it during the week which is an indication that there are fewer fishermen about at the moment and there are fewer fresh fish coming through the lower pools. The spawning runs are by no means over, but we have not had good rain for over a week.
Lake Taupo is providing some beautiful fat healthy trout for boat fishermen jigging and harling small smelt flies. Many trout are chocka block full of smelt which is a great sign for the fishery. The Western Bays are brilliant this time of year, if you can get over to Waihaha you may have some amazing fishing with the stream mouths bubbling with trout. If you can camp or stay on a boat it is worth it as the night-fishing at the mouths can produce enormous Brown trout.
We finally got some hot weather over the weekend, with the temperature at 6pm on Saturday still at 25 degrees Celsius. It’s a great time to be fly fishing in the Taupo district as there are so many options right now – we are getting spawning trout in the big rivers, heaps of great conditioned trout in the lakes, and dry fly action on local streams and backcountry rivers. There are dozens of great fishing options all within an hour and a half drive of Taupo, and many are alot closer.
Earlier in the week the weather was rough which limited fly fishing options but the main spawning rivers were still delivering. The Tongariro has a lot of trout in it with many in the 4-5 pound bracket and still lots of fresh fish turning up amongst the spent ones. Wet-lining and nymphing are working equally well. You can try anywhere up and down the river and the pools will be holding trout.
The Tauranga Taupo has large concentrations of trout in its upper reaches but they have had quite a bit of pressure and spook easily. We had some interesting fishing there on Thursday with fork lightening cracking around us so the decision was made to rest the rods for half an hour until the storm past. Luckily the trout were not bothered by the storm.