Day Two: Trout in Hot Water at Lake Tarawera


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Nov 30, 2010
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The Hammer of Death to invasive species in New Zealand, The Admiral

Day Two: Trout in Hot Water at Lake Tarawera*.
Yes, I know this isn't "hunting" but it is the one day of fishing sandwiched between three days of hunting so I'm posting it here for continuity.

After the rigors of the Battle of Owhata Ridge, we needed to debrief and have a bit of R&R. So we met up with Dave the next morning for a day of trout fishing “plus” on Lake Tarawera. These trout are rainbows so they too are invasive species in New Zealand and thus on the Admiral's hit list. Lake Tarawera is at the base of Mt. Tarawera (funny how that just worked out), a volcano that gives rise to boiling hot springs along one side of the lake at an area appropriately known as “Hot Water Beach”. You can see steam rising along the lake front behind Gaye and Dave in the first picture. Even where they are, the water is too hot to stand in where it is only1-2 inches deep so you have to go deeper to get the mixing with the cold lake water.

Dave is “The Pro from Dover” when it comes to local trout fishing so over the morning, we caught a half a dozen beautiful rainbow trout by “jigging”. Jigging here means putting three flies on a dropper line above a small weight which you keep just off the bottom while the boat slowly drifts with the wind. We’d call it drop lining in the USA. When the fish hit, the action is great as the fish fight quite hard on the real light tackle we were using.

The biggest fish caught was about 26 inches but a bit “underfed”. The Admiral caught the “best” lunch fish, a lovely fat 20 incher that was just perfect for a very special meal for three. The strangest catch was one Dave hooked where the line got caught on the one inch thick mooring line of a marker buoy. We could see the fish flashing some 10 feet below us. We figured it had wrapped the line around the buoy and thought for sure the fish would be lost. As we were strategizing how to possibly lift up the buoy to get at the fish, it magically just “popped” lose and Dave reeled up the fish. That fish had a name – “Mr. Unlucky”.

For lunch time, we motored over to Hot Water Beach where clouds of steam were arising from the water’s edge. Dave set up a collapsible table and produced everything needed to make a glorious lunch. He fileted Gaye’s fat trout the meat of which was bright orange apparently is quite characteristic. Each filet was placed in butter coated tinfoil, covered with spices, herbs and sliced tomato and sealed in the tinfoil. These packets were then wrapped in a wet towel and the whole affair was placed in a 12 inch deep hole in the hot sand and covered over with sand down at the hotter end of the beach. Thirty minutes later, Dave carefully digs up the towel, retrieves the tinfoil packages and out comes the most delicious trout we have ever eaten.

Wow. But that still was not the end of it. We climb back in the boat, go around the next point and get off at a hot water pool where the cold lake water and hot volcanic water mix. In we go, soaking in this natural hot pool while being careful to keep mixing the water or the Lake side would get too cool and the land side too hot.

What a way to end a unique day on Lake Tarawera.
*No fish were harmed unnecessarily in the telling of this tale and even the truth escaped unscathed this time.

You can see the steam rising from where the boiling water is coming up into the lake behind The Admiral

View attachment 84704

Here Fishy Fishy

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Mr. Unlucky with Dave and the bouy in the backgroundView attachment 84699

Fish coming to boat for lunch and then Admiral with fish for our lunch. View attachment 84700View attachment 84701

Dave our ChefView attachment 84702
Putting lunch in the "oven"View attachment 84703

The best trout ever!View attachment 84705
Way to end the perfect day of fishing, soaking in a natural sauna.View attachment 84707

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Well-known member
Mar 3, 2006
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Trout is my favorite! Nice clear water that's awesome, thanks for sharing Andy....tra


Well-known member
Mar 9, 2009
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Looks like a great time and some beautiful fish.
That ain't no planter.

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