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.
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.
Its shaping up to be a brilliant summer for fly fishing here in the Taupo region and the trout are going to be in great condition.
The smelting seems to be well under way quite early this year with river mouth anglers having lots of action on small Grey Ghosts, Green Orbits and Silicon Smelt. Now is the perfect time for serious anglers to get stalking along the sandy bays and if you are getting kids into fly fishing then take them to Wharewaka Point as the drop off is in close and smelting trout patrol it all day.
The river fly fishing has been nice and steady for those who have planned trips to places out of the wind. The last few mornings have started with rain but cleared to allow a range of fishing options. We have found a few rising fish here and there but no real solid dry fly activity yet . We need the wind to settle down and a couple of extra degrees and the insect life will really take off with lots of dry fly action.
We have had a crazy weather few days in the Taupo region. On Saturday there were about 100 people swimming in the lake along the Taupo northern shore, then by Tuesday it was cold again, and now its Friday we have a heavy rain warning with 150 mm predicted to fall in the catchment by midnight tonight!
Our new Fly Fishing Season started last week and was quite a mixed bag for many people, due in part to the bad weather and rain fall just a few days prior. A few of the more adventurous anglers who travelled away from Taupo found the rivers in certain areas such as the central Plateau and King Country badly affected by coloured water, while other directions remained clear.
One of the big things we have noticed this season so far is how advanced the dry fly activity has been for many anglers. This is probably due to the very mild winter we have just had. There is alot of early Mayfly activity on the warmer days and some quite solid Spinner falls later in the evenings, as well as good numbers of Caddis during the day. On the calmer warmer evenings there have even been some good evening rises for those anglers who have waited for it to happen on the right evening, they only last half an hour or so at the moment but are worth the wait on a warm evening.
Yesterday (Friday) in Taupo was a stunning day in the Taupo district and we were fly fishing in t-shirts on the lower Tongariro. Spring is a great time around Taupo because there are more options as the lakes are open, and often there are fewer anglers. There were only a couple of fishos out on the Reid and Bain pools yesterday and we had a ball with all anglers hooking up. Many of the trout were darker with a few freshies thrown in around the 4 pound mark.
Kuratau and Otamangakau lakes are open and offer options for boat and shoreline fishing. The photo below shows a nice opening day Brownie. Lake Rotoaira is well stocked and always offers lots of action too.
What a week we have had in the Taupo fishery! Mass migrations of trout up our rivers, and a mass flood of epic proportions in the Tongariro over Saturday night.
Last Friday and Saturday all rivers were fishing well, apart from the TT which was a little too coloured. Its been great to see fly fishos walking along the Tongariro with a spring in their step and tales of being smashed off by big strong trout. Sporting Life in Turangi and Hunting and Fishing in Taupo are both reporting that people are buying heavier leaders because of these big fish. If that is not a good sign then what is…
Yesterday and today the local Taupo rivers have come right and conditions are perfect. As I write it’s a sunny day with a light breeze and it’s a bit warmer than it has been. The weekend is forecast for more rain but not enough to make rivers unfishable.
Its difficult to pick out any specific rivers as all are fishing well and if you have no luck on one then jump in the car and its only a few minutes to the next. We normally recommend going lighter not heavier, but as noted above the fish do seem to be bigger and stronger, so a 10lb leader is a safe choice. Especially if you are nymphing and picking up fresh trout in the tails of pools and need to muscle them before they run the rapids.
If you had read our Taupo fly fishing report last week and heeded our advice, you would have been laughing!
As predicted the weather was perfect and lots of fresh Rainbows ran the local rivers on Friday and during the weekend. We picked the Tauranga Taupo river and it delivered with some of the best fishing of the year. Not only were there good numbers running the TT, Tongariro and Waitahanui, but they have been in beautiful condition thanks to our long hot summer. Below is a legend in the making with a fine specimen landed then released last Friday.