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For the sake of this article we will divide Rotorua's fishing between the local fisheries and the backcountry fisheries we have in our region. I will highlight a few of the fisheries that are attractive options for the overseas angler. To make the most of your time in around Rotorua fishing be sure to book a guide for the day to make the most of your opportunites.
Our backcountry fishery is probably the only region in New Zealand that is underutilised. To the extent that some stretches of our true wilderness rivers will not see an angler throughout the season and makes our back country something truely unique compared to the rest of the country which sees alot of fisherman hours even on the most remote stretches of rivers.
As the season progresses into the warmer months the trout begin to move up in the water profile and typically into the faster stretches of the river. They also begin to look towards the surface for their next meal. Very rarely do these fish hone into a particular insect hatch requiring the angler to match exact colour and size of fly to be successful, more important is the presentation of the fly. The only notable time of the season the trout become a little more selective is late in the season when the fish feed in the surface film for vine hoppers. The best dry fly fishing is from December through to February when the fish are feeding freely on the big terrestrial insects such as cicadas.
Helicopter access is the best way to access our wilderness fisheries. We are fortunate to have some of the most experienced pilots in the country who have an indepth understanding of our remote fisheries at our disposal. Theres alot great options accessible by 4wd to compliment the helicopter accessed fisheries.
Our local fisheries consists of 13 lakes and numerous rivers that are positioned close to the city of Rotorua, giving the angler options throughout the year. The Highlight of the local fisheries is the summer runs of trout from Lake Rotorua into the adjoining spring creeks. The shallow nature of Lake Rotorua which significantly warms once summer arrives in combination with the diminishing oxygen levels drives the trout into the cooler waters of these spring creeks . Once the lake temperature reaches somewhere near 18.5c through most the lake profile the trout head in big numbers upstream to seek refugee from now unhabitable water of the warming lake.
The most significant runs of fish are the brown trout that tend to be affected by the warming lake more than the rainbows. Among these migrating schools of fish are some true trophy fish with fish up to 8kg making their way upstream to enjoy the cold spring creek water for the summer period remaining in the streams until spawning commences anytime from March.
To make the most of your fly fishing trip to New Zealand consider booking a guide during you fishing vacation. At the very least get a guide for the first few days of your trip. This investment will ensure your time in New Zealand is not wasted on unproductive water and you have an understanding of the protocols we have on our waterways and no doubt alot of very useful tips and advice for the rest of your trip.