Have you ever had one of those fishing trips that has been pure magic?

It happened to me during one rainy weekend in May 1999 the weekend that 12 inches of rain fell in 15 Hours canceling the Rotorua Marathon.

On the Wednesday prior I was eyeing a huge depression slinking across the Tassy heading our way accompanied by what the forecasters said was “a lot of rain”, my wife had graciously given me a weekend leave pass and I was dead keen to nosebag a few trout. My destination, Lake Okataina as I had heard that this Lake can fish very well during heavy rain. Friday Afternoon and I was on my way. A quick call onto O’keef’s on the way and the word from Pat was that there were a large number of fish cruising just off the main beach.

I arrived at Okataina at 4.00 P.M. and by 4:30 P.M. the first trout fell prey to my “Tarawera Special” Wooly Bugger. I was fishing off the jetty. After tea I went for a night fish and another three added to my tally. These were caught from the beach beside the jetty all taking a rather large Lumo fly Nickname “chenoble”. At 11 P.M. it started raining so I called it a day.

It rained solid all night and on Saturday morning it was still bucketing down. The heavy rain has created surface water run-off at the left-hand end of the beach the fresh extending well out into the lake, which had brought the trout into this area in droves. I donned the wet weather gear and started fishing at 9.00 A.M. trying a variety of fly’s but went back to the “Tarawera Special” That proved to be the correct choice. I was fishing back from the shore and casting no more than 30 feet. I had 5 magnificent trout on the bank by 10.00 A.M.

I thought I would then target a trophy and released the rest of the fish I caught (I released another 10 fish all victims of my “Tarawera Special”). I stopped at 11.00A.M. As the thunder and lightning arrived and wishing to live to tell this incredible story. I made a call to Mrs. Beecher to let her know I was OK. Mrs. Beecher was quite concerned about the state of the road between Rotoiti and Okataina urged me to stay put until the weather cleared. Wise thinking I thought as I spied the trout crashing about the lake edge, so I tied a few more “Tarawera Specials” and watched the Spectacular lightning show outside my warm Campervan.

Saturday night the Thunder and Lightning stopped and I again targeted trophy trout and released five and kept three finishing at around 10.00pm with my limit of 8 for the day!

Sunday morning saw three caught before 7A.M. I headed home mid morning with aching shoulders and arms and a satisfied soul.

This is more than just another fishing story, it demonstrates the benefit of reading the weather conditions, selecting the correct fly and whenever possible keeping out of the water. I have been able to get back to Okataina on a few more occasions since this momentous weekend in May and on most of them been very successful. I was there recently fishing about 20 ft back from the lake edge targeting the cruising trout, a comment of a fellow angler (wading up to his armpits in the lake) was “why don’t you fish from the top of your Campervan at the car park” (about 200Meters away). I was rewarded a couple of seconds late with a magnificent take. The trout was no more than three feet from the lake edge. My guess is that the main spawning runs at Okataina are almost over for the year so keep this story in mind for next winter. Next month I will tell you about spring fishing at Tarawera. Till then

Tight Lines

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This page is copyright to Bryan Beecher 1999