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Winter Fishing in the Central North Island

Poronui spring fishing

Did you know that it’s quite possible to fly fish for trout in New Zealand throughout the year?

While the northern hemisphere basks in summer it is a little cooler down here in New Zealand, but certainly not unpleasant. And you can be assured that a frosty morning will usually unfold into a crisp clear day with little wind and a blue sky. There are also way less fishermen around on the rivers, but the locals know it’s a good time to be fishing.

Options include some excellent lake fishing and plenty of river and stream fishing. The area is blessed with lakes with the largest, Lake Taupo, open all year. Charter boats (and guides) offer an easy entry to the lake or you can fish the small streams and river mouths that run in to the lake. These are a great place to catch rainbow trout as they enter the rivers to spawn. The Tongariro River mouth is a favourite for this, with a large area to work in, either by boat or off the shore.

Tongariro Lodge is right where the action is and is famous for its trout fishing. They say, “Lake Taupo is one of the most productive trout fisheries in the world. May to October is the prime time to target the large adult rainbows averaging 2 – 4 kgs (4 – 8 lbs) running up Lake Taupo’s tributaries to spawn. The days are crisp and temperatures average 12 C (55 F), and it is often possible to fish wearing only light winter clothing in mid winter.

“The main method is upstream nymphing and truly magnificent sport can be had targeting these bright silver, hard fighting fish; they cartwheel, jump and run just like a steelhead! Truly exceptional numbers and size of fish can be taken during these months.”

Poronui is just 40 minutes from the lake and, although they down-scale their fishing a little over winter, it is still possible to enjoy some good winter fishing from there as well. The back-country rivers are closed over winter but you’ll get an enjoyable day out on Lake Taupo throughout winter. And come September the pace begins to pick up – although the headwaters of the backcountry rivers are still closed the fishing in the mid and lower reaches are open and provide some excellent early season fishing. While predominantly nymph fishing the occasional trout will rise to the dry. Poronui also offers excellent horse-riding, mountain biking and hiking in the cooler months.

Take a look here to learn more about the local fishing conditions and regulations.

There are also lots of other activities to bring you to the Taupo area through winter. The Tongariro National Trout Centre gives an interesting interpretative experience, especially for those wanting to know more about the trout in the region. It’s a great spot for a family visit as well.

Mt Ruapehu in the nearby Tongariro National Park has excellent skiing from July through to September and is one of the few ski areas in the North Island with reliable, ski-able snow throughout winter. There are also some very beautiful low altitude hikes (the higher altitude hiking is under snow through winter) and mountain biking is very popular with some easy and challenging tracks in the region.

Email us here if you want to know more about this fabulous outdoor and winter trout fishing area.