This year the new trout fishing season gets under way on Friday October 1, which means anglers have the opportunity to take a long weekend to get back out on their local rivers and enjoy the peace and solitude that comes with the fishing.
Taranaki ring plain streams have had regular freshes throughout winter and spring and most will be in good condition for angling.
There was one intense rainfall event on July 17, which affected rivers on the southwestern ring plain and unfortunately the Stony River and the Waiaua River at Opunake remain full of sand from erosion in their headwaters within the National Park.
They're also still running grey with ash during freshes, but it's expected they'll make a gradual recovery over the next few months.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
While the Waingongoro River and Kaupokonui Stream also had high flows during the July flood, they came through pretty well and anglers report good success in the winter season reaches below SH45, which demonstrates the resilience of these valuable fisheries.
Further north on the ring plain, the Patea River at Stratford just reached the average annual flood level, while the Manganui and Waiwhakaiho Rivers were only in moderate fresh. So even though a couple of rivers are out, prospects for the new season still look promising on the rest of the Taranaki ring plain.
If the rivers are fresh, Lake Mangamahoe will be worth a visit for the fly fisher and has had a recent top-up with Hāwera hatchery rainbows up to 1kg, as has Lake Rotomanu in New Plymouth.
For a relaxing backcountry experience, the lower Patea River downstream of Patea Dam is well worth a visit.
In recent years Fish & Game has released tagged yearling trout into the river downstream of Patea Dam on behalf of Trustpower Ltd, as well as some larger 2-year-old rainbow trout.
The reach between McColl's Bridge and the dam provides 15km of accessible water and the landowner is happy for anglers to park on the side of the road and walk across to the river, provided they don't bring any dogs.
The lower Patea fishes best at flows below 25 cumecs and flows at McColl's Bridge are displayed on the Taranaki Regional Council's website. For more information on the Taranaki trout fishing opportunities go to fishandgame.org.nz and click on the Taranaki ring plain tab.