Fussy trout forc­ing care­ful choices in size, shape, colour

Rotorua Daily Post - - Outdoors - Bert Robin­son

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.

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