Small Stream Afternoon Rewards

Being First On The Water Is Not Always Important

Often being first through the water is especially import if you are chasing fresh run rainbows in winter. This means early starts, sometimes frozen rods guides and the need for a hot drink by mid morning to thaw out! While this effort is usually worth it, sometimes – particularly in high water conditions – its not necessary and can even be counterproductive; because as as the day progresses, the water levels drop and the sun comes out the visibility of the fish and you catch rate can often improve.

The Lake Taupo catchment is blessed with a number of smaller streams, which seem to remain a mystery to many… too many snags, limited access, no backcast etc are often the usual excuses. Thats a pity as there really is very little mystery to fishing these streams and nothing to fear. What is needed is a sense of exploration to find good water and access and an ability to understand water levels and time your expeditions accordingly.

A couple of common mistakes anglers make on these smaller streams is because they are smaller its assumed less weight is needed to get your flies down to the fish, and that a ‘tennis ball’ size indicator is necessary! The reality is that these rivers are often deceptively deep and swift and the drift of your flies is generally shorter than on larger rivers, so this means get down deep and fast. Also ditch the large indicators and go for a smaller sliding indicator on your leader, as especially when the water clears the fish school up in some pools and become very spooky. Some stealth is often the difference between success and failure.

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