Fussy trout forcing careful choices in size, shape, colour
It has been a long time since we have had so many smelt, and for such a long time, through the O¯ hau Channel.
Unfortunately there hasn’t been a corresponding amount of trout feeding on them, though there are enough to provide some interesting fishing. It would seem that the trout that are there have become very picky with what they are taking so your offering must be very close to the size, shape and colour of the smelt to be able to catch fish during the day.
After dark it is not as important to have the proper shape and colour, though the size is very important still. Browns have been coming out after dark in reasonable numbers and these fish have been holding very close to the bank so it is important not to get right up to the bank when fishing the channel, at least to start with.
There have been some fish caught outside the weir as well as inside and, at the moment a slow sinking or floating line is best as there is a low volume of water leaving the lake.
Harling along the drop-off out from the channel has been successful when the wind has allowed. It would seem that the smelt that have made it through the channel are heading out to the drop-off before heading either left or right.
A good sign of where the smelt are is the number of shags working together when feeding on them. There are still rainbows being caught around O¯ kere Falls, although the fishing has been hard during the day. After dark, use a doll fly or #4 or #6 rabbit, black marabou or similar.
There has been good numbers of browns and rainbows entering the Ngongotaha¯ Stream over the past week, with many of both species being in superb condition. With this stream being quite clear, the rainbows tend to be very easily spooked so an option is to fish after dark, once they have settled down.
There are some very nice, and easily accessed, pools where trout have been holding in reasonable numbers along the reserve, accessed off Streamdale Rd. Places where night fishing is easy due to the open areas on the true left bank. Some of the pools are deep enough to not be able to see the bottom easily so a slow or medium sinking line is best.
Nymphing during the day is worthwhile but, after dark, the use of a bully or smelt pattern is likely to catch better.
The erratic weather of late has not put off some fish from coming in to Hamurana. It may be the smelt that have drawn them in as the lake temperature is still a little cool to drive them in, but either way it is worthwhile fishing there.
The fish are in good condition and are taking nymphs, smelt patterns and are being caught by spin fishing as well.