NZ North Island backcountry brown trout

Taupo Fly Fishing Report 8 April 2021

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We’ve had an awesome summer in the Taupo region, as was to be expected after such a stunning winter season with great numbers of healthy trout spawning and returning to the lake.

Backcountry fisheries are in great condition too at the moment, although the Mohaka fishing has been a bit off since a massive flood right at the end of last year.

April is a great month in the fly fishing calendar around here as we have the best of both worlds – the backcountry wilderness fly fishing is in its prime, while we also have big brown trout in local Taupo Rivers like the Tongariro and Waitahanui, and early runs of fat silver rainbows. Some of the DOC data from previous fish traps suggests some of the bigger fish run earlier in April and May, which is a great incentive to get out there after any patches of bad weather.

Fly fishing the Tongariro has been great fun with lots of brownies in the 5-8 lb range sitting in the town pools and down to the willows. Dry-fly dropper combos are doing the business with any size 16 nymphs with red in them, and of course the lacewings are working well for fish feeding on the surface. Rain and a barometer drop might see some fresh rainbows in the river this Sunday and Monday.

The Hinemaia has some trout in it but still too early, while the Waitahanui as always has some monster brown trout in it this time of year, which can break your heart and your leader.

Northern backcountry rivers like the Whirinaki have been fishing well with hard fighting rainbows and some browns up to the 4-5 lb range. This time of year it pays to wear some high-viz so hunters don’t mistake you for a deer’s bum, and scale down your leader to 5 or 6 lb. In the hotter weather the trout have been in the heads of rapids but with shorter overcast days they are moving into slower deeper water of the bigger pools. Size 16 C3 Habenero flies have been working well in tan or green about a foot off a weighted Hare and Copper.

Until next time tight lines, stay safe and remember how truly lucky we are to be able to fish such a beautiful part of the world.