Giving fly-fishing a go appeals to many people but if you aren’t fortunate enough to know someone who fly fishes it can be a little daunting knowing just where to begin.
I can talk from experience as many years ago we bought a house at Kuratau on the Western side of lake Taupo near the centre of NZ’s North Island. I was a skier and with a young family the proximity to Mt Ruapehu was appealing but with a husband that didn’t ski, a piece of the puzzle missing.
As Father’s Day rolled around I hitched him up with a guide for the day. He reluctantly went but thankfully came home with a smile (and a fish) and that was the beginning of our family’s love affair with trout.
I still fish with our son and have had a couple of memorable days in the last 12 months up the Tongariro River and on the western side of the lake.
So where so you begin…
- Find a local guide. If you’re in the Taupo region, guides are plentiful as the area is famous for its fly-fishing attracting many local and international visitors each year. Guides will take you somewhere easily accessible if you are a novice and as part of the package will provide the gear – waders, a fly fishing-rod and all the tackle required.
- You’ll need a fishing licence. An adult licence for 24 hours will cosy $17 (a season licence is $90.) They can be purchased on-line or at several local stores. It’s important you know the rules and where you can fish (as it changes at certain times of the year) so take a look at the Department of Conservation’s website.
- Go out with a guide several times. There’s a lot of technique required to mastering a good cast. It’s all very well casting well in perfect conditions but it’s a different matter when the winds blowing. The better your cast, the more chance you have at catching fish.
- Buying equipment. If you are going to pursue the sport you’ll eventually need to buy your own gear. You will need waders, a rod and reel, a waist belt, net and flies, nylon, clippers and all the bits need to tie tackle. There’s a good range of fishing shopping in Taupo and Turangi.
- Shop at the same store. If you shop at the same store and show a little loyalty you’ll eventually become privy to the local’s invaluable knowledge. Those that work in the fishing stores are typically passionate about fishing, spending a lot of time on the water and you can glean at lot of information about the river conditions and which pools are fishing well.
- Learn about the etiquette on the river –Like every sport there are rules and etiquette. NZ Fishing has a comprehensive site on how to behave while fishing so you don’t unset other anglers.
- Be prepared to move around to find the trout – The life cycle of trout is interesting. Typically, a trout born in one of the many tributaries flowing into the Lake Taupo will return to spawn in the place it was born. The Tongariro National Trout Centre is a great place to visit and learn about the life cycle of trout and the kids will love it.
- Local recommendation – If you are looking for a great recommendation for a guide, call Andrew Christmas – Taupo Trout Guide. He won’t disappoint. Also. if you’re in for a real adventure try rafting the Tongariro River and fishing the pools as your drift down. It is a great day out –Tongariro River Rafting