Notable Waters: Lake Tarawera and Ruakituri River

This vast region extends from Tauranga Harbour down to Huka Falls on the Waikato River and across to Wairoa and Gisborne.

The range of fishing opportunities is incomparable. Huge trophy rainbows lurk in the depths of Lakes Tarawera and Okataina and abundant fighting browns and rainbows reside in spectacular wilderness rivers and lakes.

The Bay of Plenty fishery has exceptionally good fly and spin-fishing rivers such as the Kaituna, Tarawera, Rangitaiki, Whakatane, Waimana and Waioeka. Downstream rapids and gentle pools are accessible from local roads but the headwaters constitute a physical challenge, with long tramps into pristine native forest. The reward is finding superb pools that show the promise of a trout at every cast. When they do take the fly and storm downriver with a show of strength, leaping clear of the water, it is a magical and unforgettable experience.

The Rotorua lakes are a remarkable special attraction that draw anglers from around the world. The 13 fishable lakes offer shoreline fly and spin fishing and boat fishing all year round. They are a nirvana of peace and solitude – oases of crystal-clear water, rippled by miniscule streams trickling out through overhanging native bush, where trout cruise in the shadows. Lake Rotorua is reputed to have the highest lake fishery catch rate in the Southern Hemisphere. Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoiti regularly produce fine trophy trout over 5 kg. Rotoma and Rotoehu shelter wily tiger trout and Tikitapu (Blue Lake) has a population of brook char.

Urewera National Park has splendid trout fishing in remote bush-fringed lakes and rivers. Lake Waikaremoana has shoreline fishing for brown trout and boat trolling for rainbows. You can stalk the shallow lake margins with a dragonfly imitation lure or fish the small streams with weighted nymphs. Mist-shrouded valleys, tall trees and the lilting song of the bellbird and tui all enrich the fishing experience. The Ruakituri River is a classic wilderness river, favoured by local and international anglers alike for its renowned fighting fish, averaging 2-3 kg. and extending to excellent trophy size trout.

Guided lake and river trout fishing safaris can be arranged in Rotorua, Ngongotaha, Whakatane, Opotiki, Motu, Gisborne, Murupara and Lake Aniwhenua.

Danny de Hek @newzealandnz

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