This must be one of the best summers for fly fishing we’ve had in a long time! Before Christmas saw some incredible evening caddis action, and now its all go right around the great lake.
Long hot days with the odd patch of rain in the middle have meant an explosion of insect life, and then days and days of wind blowing them all onto the waterways and into the path of our local Rainbow and Brown Trout.
It has been awesome for us having fly fishing clients come through, sometimes whole families, who have never fly fished before, and being able to get them into fish fairly quickly. And then of course the experienced fishos are having even more of a ball.
The goto technique at the moment is large cicada dry flies cast to rising trout as soon as there’s some heat in the day and sound of cicadas in the trees. In places they can be deafening and with a little breeze a conveyor belt begins taking them and other flies down to waiting trout.
The Tongariro River pools are famous for the cicada rises, but any Taupo rivers have them, including the upper Waitahanui and Tauranga-Taupo, as well as many backcountry spots both south of Lake Taupo and out towards the east. As with all dry-fly fishing, take your time to watch the river, locate the rising fish and read the drift.
If you can see one or two trout, there may be four or five others you haven’t spotted, so be careful where you wade or stand and where your line lands. The great thing with this technique is you don’t have to have perfect presentation as the flies are big and can plop on the water if needed. Try a small natural nymph dropper down from the cicada for an added bonus, sometimes this can hook the bigger wily old trout.
We have seen some donkeys of Brown Trout in the Waitahanui, and they have started heading up the Tongariro and will continue through into March and April. Large dark streamer flies and woolly buggers can be swung on a sinking line and then pulled up through the slack water. If you’re really keen get out after dark into the town pools round Turangi but ideally with a mate for safety.
The passion vine hoppers have started appearing which is a great sign for more backcountry dry action, and boaties jigging off Waitahanui have been getting a few nice brownies, which means the mouth is worth a fish in the coming evenings as soon as we get a good westerly.
Until next time, tight lines and good luck! Remember to send us any photos or stories via our Facebook page.
We can customise any Taupo or lower South Island trout fishing trip or wilderness backcountry adventure according to your personal preferences and experience. The New Zealand Fly Fishing Company provide all the gear, food and drink, and collect and return you to your accommodation.