Getting started – fly-fishing in and around Taupo

Getting started – fly-fishing in and around Taupo

 

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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.

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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.

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There are two kinds of trouts – browns and rainbow. As you can see this is a beautiful rainbow 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.

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We always ‘catch and release’ so handling the fish with wet hands for as short amount of time as possible is important.

So where so you begin…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

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Jane Jeffries

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