Just when the majority of die-hard anglers had given up on the winter fishery around the lakes of Rotorua, there was a surprising arrival of rainbows at most of the liberation points, including the Okere Falls Arm.

In the closed area above the gates large shapes could easily be seen just prior to the discolouration of the water by the sou-westerly wind and the effects of the start of the annual drawdown of lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua.

Below the gates there were good numbers of fish as well though the majority of these fish were not interested in taking flies, though spin fishing, using rapala type lures, did produce some results.

Further downstream, at the end of Trout Pools Road, reasonable numbers of rainbows could be seen pairing up or actively spawning.

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There were also good numbers of trout in various pools and rapids upstream of the last waterfall.

Lake Rotorua's water level has made access a bit of a challenge out the front of the Ohau Channel as the water has been a bit too deep to be able to get out into the lake far enough to fish legally.

Those with a longer cast did best when using a lightly weighted nymph and wet fly pattern, when the flies were allowed to drift back down the weak current as the lake water is drawn towards the weir.

Elsewhere there have been some good catches from the lower Ngongotaha Stream as fresh fish moved in just prior to the weather change.

As usual night fishing has been better than during the day at times with both brown and rainbows being caught.

Most of the browns being caught are post spawning fish and are on their way back to the depths of Lake Rotorua where they will, mostly, survive and put on weight for next year's spawning run.

These fish are quite aggressive and will take larger flies readily, even during the day. In areas where casting a fly is impossible a flick of a spinner can bring out some sizeable fish from the narly-est of snags with the challenge being not to let them get back in there.

With the sudden change in the weather late this week, from biting cold to, almost, balmy weather there was an upsurge of insect life around the street lights close to the lake edges. This should keep recovering and maiden fish close into the shore where the weed beds are so harling in relatively shallow water could be productive.

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Two to two and a half colours of lead line or even a fast sinking line should be enough to pick up a few fish depending on the depth of water.

With NIWA predicting a warmer than usual start to the Spring/Summer period there is hope that there will be better fishing at the Lake Rotorua stream mouths from late September onwards.

If we do get the weather as predicted there should be fish in close to the shore, feeding over the weed beds, as insects prepare to hatch.