Lake Rotorua/Lake Hawea/ Upper Clutha River

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wannabekiwi
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:41 am

Lake Rotorua/Lake Hawea/ Upper Clutha River

Post by wannabekiwi » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:45 am

Hey guys,

Going to New Zealand next week and looking to fly fish and catch a trout or salmon. (I am from Maine and our trophy fish are 45 cm). I will be in Rotorua for a couple days and on Lake Hawea for 3 days. Has anyone fished Lake Hawea, Upper Clutha River, or Lake Rotorua? I know guides are the way to go but I don't have the time for one, nor the $800 NZD for one. I honestly could care less if it is 3 lbs or 8 lbs just want to catch a NZ salmonoid on the fly.

Any advice, tips, locations, or people who want to fish down there would be amazing.

(Let me preface by saying I HAVE cleaned my rod and reels, they are all brand new flies, and I am not bringing felt soled boots nor waders. I will not be bringing anything invasive in and I will only be leaving NZ in the same condition I found it minus some alcohol and food. Catch and release and appreciation only! New Zealand is a life long dream that is finally happening and catching a fish is a big part of it)

-thanks



Andy W
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 2:01 pm
Location: Christchurch AKA Quake City

Re: Lake Rotorua/Lake Hawea/ Upper Clutha River

Post by Andy W » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:30 am

If you search this board you should find some advice on Wanaka (which applies to Lake Hawea). Hate to say it, but you are coming here when that area gets the most pressure and the fish react accordingly. The other thing to put you off will be the sand flies, as the prime spots come with lots of them. Use spray, don’t touch your leader and persevere. Anywhere you can find a weed bed on either lake you should find a cruising fish.

They are both big lakes and sometimes the “good” spots will be dead, so be prepared to have your ego destroyed.

I would not give you tuppence for the fishing on the Upper Clutha over summer, the best time of the year to hit that is during either shoulder season. The exception might be if you get there one summer evening (not sure when that will be 😊) and there is a good caddis hatch, but they are no longer as prolific as they were years back. On a good night camping on the shoreline the tent no longer fills up with caddis any longer.

If you do still want to try and catch fish on the Upper Clutha don’t be afraid to go to the dark side and swing a fly and pick a spot that has difficult access!



wannabekiwi
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:41 am

Re: Lake Rotorua/Lake Hawea/ Upper Clutha River

Post by wannabekiwi » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:07 am

Thanks Andy! Will stick to the lakes. And I know all about flies, in Maine mosquitoes are our state bird haha.



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fraser hocks
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 3:25 pm
Location: Queenstown

Re: Lake Rotorua/Lake Hawea/ Upper Clutha River

Post by fraser hocks » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:00 am

Yea pretty much as Andy said. I cant speak much about Rotorua up on the NI but iv been there a few times. Typically I fish the tribs of the lake, and not bother with the lake itself.

As for Lake Hawea and the upper Clutha as Andy said they aren't great places to fish in summer. You have to remember that in winter the fish are in the lakes and larger rivers where as in summer they tend to move up into the smaller rivers and creeks and become resident through the summer. You would be far better of to target the smaller rivers that flow into the lakes than the lakes themselves. Not to say you wont catch fish in the lakes, but the rivers will offer far better fishing.


Bucking trends in fly fishing since 1970!

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