Flooded rivers and heavy rain, what now? (Part 2)

Updated: Mar 30

If you haven't read part 1 click below and go read it now.

Saturday ended with the Tongariro river reaching a flow of 424 cumecs overnight. On Sunday we woke up with the Tongariro still at 125 cumecs and the Tauranga-Taupo still high and dropping. It felt a bit hopeless. I didn't think we would find a fishable river as we expected everything to be flooded.


So we headed for the only rivers we thought may not be as bad. The Hinemaiaia was our first stop and it looked perfect, to my surprise. We had good success there the day before and a bit of extra water and colour is never a bad thing in winter.

One of many solid winter rainbow trout for Pawel
One of many solid winter rainbow trout for Pawel

Snags


I was initially plagued by snags but it seems that is just a part of fishing this river, so take a lot of flies. It is worth fishing heavier for this reason. I was fishing straight 3x (8lb) to the first fly in my double nymph rig. In these conditions, I could probably have gone up to 2x without issues.

Hooked up swinging streamers, black woolly buggers proving successful
Hooked up swinging streamers, black woolly buggers proving successful
A good rainbow trout taking some line from Pawel
A good rainbow trout taking some line from Pawel

Getting down and dirty


Pawel found success after putting on some heavy flies he was given by Barrie a while back. He never thought he would use the flies but they were just the right weight to get his point fly - an egg pattern - down to the fish. In winter and in high flows that is the key. Get the flies down to the fish. I had success with both egg patterns, squirmy worms, and orange beaded hare and coppers. If you are not getting fish consider adding weight to your rig as you may not be getting down. Split shot or tungsten putty may just do the trick.


We ended up having a fantastic day with lots of good fish coming to the net. Toward the end of the day Pawel landed three nice fish swinging black woolly buggers on his single hand trout spey setup. What a great way to close out a great trip.


Watch the action from the day in the video below:


or learn to tie some of the egg patterns below:


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