Winter Fishing in Taupo

WINTER: May through October

May through to October is when the main spawning runs occur. These winter spawning runs are what make Taupo trout fishing world famous. People have traveled from all parts of the world ever since the fishery began to sample some of the best winter trout fishing in the Southern Hemisphere.

Expect exceptional nymph fishing as the winter spawning runs can be very different to the summer fishing. Good numbers of fish are caught during these winter months and you can expect when conditions are right to have a tired arm at the end of the day from playing plenty of fighting silver bullets.

Fly Fishing on the Tongariro River


A variety of methods are used. At this time of year the priority as with most spawners is to get the flies deep. Traditional wet line and indicator and egg fishing is most common in Taupo but fly fishing methods from Europe and the States such as Cheq Nymphing and Switch rods with Scagit heads and sink tips have made big inroads in New Zealand on catch rates for many anglers both local and visitors alike.

A good technique is essential during the winter months as you require heavier tackle but it can be fantastic fishing when you get the drift right. Different weighted and sized nymphs are used to fish as the depths and water flows can alter almost daily. Natural nymphs are used, some weighted and others not but typically nymphs such as Copper John’s, Prince Nymphs, Hare and Copper, Pheasant tail, Bead head patterns and the famous Glo bugs all work on different days but don’t be afraid to change regularly.

Expect having company of other anglers along the river banks, however the trout are tolerant of the angling pressure. During winter, the best runs occur after some rain when the rivers start to recede after a 'fresh'. If your timing is right you can have some tremendous fishing as fish rest up in pools or "lies" when they migrate up the river. These "lies" change from year to year especially if we have had flooding so be careful with any river crossings. 

If you want some expert advice on the best places to fish in winter or some local know-how we advise you to book one of our great Taupo fishing charters or invest in a fly fishing guide in Taupo.

With so many rivers and river mouths to choose from, Taupo is a fabulous fly fishing New Zealand haven minus the crowds in the winter months.

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