Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Fisherman hooks rare tiger trout (+video)

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A top English fly fisherman's holiday in Rotorua has seen him hook a very rare prize - in the form of a tiger trout caught in the Ngongotaha Stream.

The catch was made near the Ngongotaha trout hatchery on Tuesday by fly fisherman Scottie Roberts, who hails from Deal in Kent.

Mr Roberts is in New Zealand with his wife and daughter celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary. The avid fisherman is also a maker of split cane fly rods, which are making a big comeback in England, marketing them under the brand Ruby Split Cane Rods.

He and his wife were married at Bethells Beach 10 years ago and came back for their anniversary with daughter Ruby.

"I couldn't really believe it when I got it in the net. They are very rare here, as well as in England.

"I knew it was a tiger trout, but until I got back to the motel I was staying at and Peter the owner told me how rare they were, I didn't know how lucky I was to catch one."

Mr Roberts said he released the fish back into the stream, as he did with all of the trout he caught.

I get as much pleasure in catching them as I do in putting them back.
Scottie Roberts

He said he used a corxia-style fly, similar to a water boatman, to catch the trout, which he photographed and sent to local Fish & Game staff.

"It was a lot of fun and the fishing here has been excellent. The fish you get here are much bigger than what we get in England, I'll definitely be coming back," he said.

Eastern Region Fish & Game Officer Mark Sherburn said it was indeed a very rare catch.

"We don't release any tiger trout to the Ngongotaha Stream so the only way it could have got there is that it has escaped from one of our hatchery ponds.

"It's the first time I've heard of one being caught in there. They are raised at Ngongotaha and we only release them into Lake Rotoma."

Mr Sherburn said tiger trout were not naturally occurring as they were a hybrid cross between brown trout and a brook trout. They are also sterile, so they can't breed.

"It's extremely rare to have this happen," he said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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