Is there an angler who hasn't heard of Lake xxxxx? Probably, but that's not the point. Lake xxxxx is a crater lake. The last time it blew up was about 2000 years ago (the Romans wrote of magnificent sunsets - that was all the particles it threw up into the atmosphere... the stuff you learn from museums and the internet!). The lake itself is surrounded by smaller volcanoes and thermal areas. The xxxxxxxx National Park caused havoc to anglers and skiers with recent eruptions of xxxxxxx in '95 and '96. It's an exciting place. But it's the average weight of trout that generates real excitement. Lake xxxxx itself used to average over ten pounds. But unfortunately the trout ate all the food and the average weight started to decline rapidly. Smelt (an indigenous small fish) were introduced as a food source and this has been successful. The average weight of trout is probably just over four pounds, but some of the spawning runs can average 7 or 8 lbs. As well as the lake there is plenty of river fishing. On the whole the rivers are considered best as winter fisheries, however good summer fishing can be had too. Also part of the xxxxx district is Lake xxxxxxxxx ('The Big X') which is managed as a trophy water.

Lake xxxxx

Fish in the lake feed predominately on smelt (up to 90% of their diet). Larger trophy size fish make up a greater proportion of their diet on crayfish. Fishing is mainly stream mouth fishing, although it is possible to catch fish from the shore the lake over.

During late November / early December, the smelt move inshore to spawn. The trout follow them. Good fishing is to be found around xxxxxx and xxxxx river mouths. Sometimes the spit at xxxxxx fishes best. Early morning is the preferred time, although as summer progresses so do the night time opportunities. In xxxxx district fishing is restricted from 5 am to Midnight (which partly explains the low catch rate of large browns).

The methods are floating lines (and occasionally slime lines) and rabbit lures pulled fairly fast. Or fished sink and draw. If this doesn't work try silicon smelt patterns fished static amongst the activity. Smelting trout is quite dramatic (although perhaps not quite as exciting as fry-time in the UK, but close). Floating fry doesn't seem to work: smelt don't float when stunned.

The mouth(s) of the xxxxxxx is called the 'xxxxx' and access is difficult: you really need a boat/canoe. The method here is the booby (!). Kiwi's got into this a few years ago. There doesn't seem to be quite the same strong opinions about the method. And there is no subtlety either. Orange boobies on HiD's cast into 20 to 30 feet of water. Usual stuff. (If you don't know much about booby fishing there is an article on this site)

The mouth of the xxxxxxxxx is another famed mouth. Anglers queue up in a long line down the 'rip' and it's called the 'picket fence'. Rabbits will work fine, otherwise silicone smelt.

For night fishing these (and the other streams - and all the other streams seem to fish best at night) use black minkies or rabbits on floating lines. Lumi-flies are very popular. Light them up with a torch or a camera flash gun (in your pocket!).

The xxxxxxxx River

Huge spawning run in the winter. Two methods work well. One is to fish downstream using lures, such as woolly buggers. The other is to fish upstream using an extremely heavy nymph, a glowbug and an indicator.

Alternatively you can do something a bit different and use a slime line and goldheads (works for me).

Problems occur when the lure man meets the nymph man mid-pool. In some of the more popular runs they start fights; sometimes they just throw fish at each other, other times, pumice (volcanic rock which floats - neat stuff). Generally the bigger chap wins.

During summer good fishing can be had in the lower reaches of this river for the brown trout using dries (cicada patterns) amongst the willow trees. Upstream it is possible to raft or canoe the river (it's a grade 3 section, running through a gorge) however I wouldn't really recommend this as it is quite popular and the fish are not in tiptop condition.

The xxxxxxxx

This is an interesting river. It gets a bit of a hammering (because there is an easy walking track up the side). It helps to have waders to make the most of this river, because although there is a track, there is also lots of scrub. Leaded nymphs and (later in the summer) dries work well. Fishing blind is the accepted practice although it is often possible to see the fish.

xxxxxxxx-xxxxx River

Nice river which gets an evening rise! Get your sedges out.

Lake xxxxxxxxxx

A very cold, shallow lake containing a good head of trophy fish. Most seasons fish into 20lb mark a caught. If you catch a fish it will quite likely be a large one!

Float-tubing is a favoured approach. Try around the canal inlet. Fish are full of damsel nymphs, snail and midge. So it could well be your sort of fishing! Slime lines and floaters.

Lake xxxxxxxx

An interesting dam. Worth a day trip if xxxxx is off. Small fish averaging perhaps 2lbs. But you should catch plenty!

During summer blind dryfly fishing can work well.