Last weekend was one of my better fishing days below the control gates at Okere Falls.

The gates were wide open, though there was a gap between the actual gates and the top of the water flowing through.

This meant that there wasn't much turbulence directly below the gates. No rafts and, surprisingly, no kayaks in that area either.

This lack of activity on the water proved to be a major bonus in some ways as the spawning fish in the area had not been disturbed all I had to do was figure out where the fish were in relation to the current at the time.


Usually, when there is a lot of traffic on this part of the river, the fish get driven into the turbulent water and don't move back to where they want to be until after dark, making it difficult to get a fly down to them.

I found the majority of the fish were about two-thirds of the way down the pool and these were very good-conditioned fish in full spawning mode.

It didn't seem to matter what fly I used as they seemed to be particularly aggressive and would snap at virtually anything.

I suspect that casting a spinner across where they were would have been very effective as well, getting into areas that a cast from a fly rod would never get to.

The lack of traffic also improved catch rates further downstream, the access to which is from the true right bank just over the road bridge and downstream of the gates.

There have been some very large and good-conditioned rainbows spawning at various places throughout this part of the river, though these fish seem to move in and out relatively quickly rather than hang around for a few days as is the more common occurrence.

There have been some good catch rates out the front of the weir at the entrance to the Ohau Channel over the past week or so.

With the high lake level, long casts are required from the true right bank, out into the lake as access is still a little bit of a challenge for most.

Drifting a lightly weighted nymph and egg pattern combination has been the better option as it allows you to keep your line out of the closed water closer to the mouth.

Around the liberation points at the various lakes there are still fish coming in though they are not staying long in most cases.

The search for suitable spawning areas keeps them on the move so we are not necessarily seeing large numbers of fish milling about, something that has been common over this spawning season.

It all boils down to being at the right place at the right time, something that we are not that used to as the rainbows, especially hatchery released ones, tend to congregate in large groups when they come in.

The pairing up of these fish can take a while, up to a few days, though this year that seems to have happened a lot quicker.