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Lake Ohakuri Trout Fishing

As the last of the typical Waikato Hydro Lakes on our list before Taupo, Lake Ohakuri was time for another overnighter. Upstream from our last excursion to Atiamuri. In typical Trout Tickler fashion we ignored the forecast and put the boats in the water not long before dark and anchored up slightly upstream of the geothermal attraction Orakei Korako.
Chef Mazzer cooked up a tasty beef rendang to warm the bellies before bed, followed by an interesting German cultural experience from Martin involving a flaming mulled wine-esque beverage that kind of tasted like Christmas pudding.

After a very stormy night, with a flailing tarpaulin and strong winds testing our anchor rope, we awoke at 6am to even worse weather.
An hour later the sun was creeping through and the rain stopped enough for some pancakes and bacon cooked on the back of the boat.
The steaming hillside a reminder of the geothermal activity in this area. Before long a small rainbow was at the boat, caught on the trusty sculpzilla.
Squally showers passed over but it was still pretty pleasant for fishing as the Lakes are always pretty sheltered so long as you stick to their narrower sections—unless your only rain jacket got rained on overnight while you were sleeping.
Other than a few follows and one hook up, it was a pretty quiet morning on the fishing front up the top of the Lake. After checking out the natural hot water swimming options Lakeside, we decided to check out a large arm at the bottom of the Lake in search of fish. If anything, it would be a break from the wind. Again fishing was quiet but then we picked up a rainbow on a yellow bodied brown marabou fly around the weed beds.
One of the boats decided to start trolling the weed beds at a fairly fast trolling speed which let to an aggressive chase and take by a brown trout on the classic black and gold Toby. Hmm, maybe flashy flies and fast retrieves are the go…
Soon after, Martin picked up a small rainbow. We decided to drift the section where we had the hookup, casting and fast retrieving from the boat. This led to a really nice condition rainbow on a fly that has a bulky olive and purple head and nothing but copper flashabou for the tail. With the fast retrieve, the take was aggressive.
On the other boat, around the corner slightly a very large brown trout in the 3-4kg range was landed on a sculpzilla. However, as Martin was holding his fish waiting for a camera man, this large brownie gave a big flick of the tail and awkwardly slithered out of Martin's arms and over the side of the boat. I can't help but think he's probably done that trick a few times over the years.
What better way to sign off this trip report than a tale of the one that got away—this fish would have easily been the largest fish of the whole Hydro Explorer Tour. As we motored back to the boat ramp, there was a rather poignant rainbow hanging over our wake, a reminder of a stormy night but also a thoroughly enjoyable exploration of the Waikato Hydro Lakes.


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