Nathan Pollard takes out the Hydro Lakes Champship- Lake Whakamaru

The last stillwater competition of the calendar year took Sport Fly-Fishing New Zealand to Lake Whakamaru, a recent addition to the roster, normally characterised by the number and size of brown trout in the catch results. This year, however, and similarly to the competition fished on the nearby Lake Maraetai, rainbows exceeded browns on the scorecards in the event.

SFFNZ President and competition organiser, Damon Taylor said “it has been interesting to see how many more rainbows have shown up in the Waikato system competitions this year, presumably
related to the cooler weather experienced last summer, with 61 rainbows caught and returned at Whakamaru this year compared with 22browns, a reversal of both the previous years’ fish mix”.

Youngster and last season’s Lake Nationals’ third placed Nathan Pollard took the event by the scruff of the neck, winning both of the first two sessions and then held off newcomer Andrej Banas from Slovakia in a much tougher third session to take his first lake title in New Zealand. Nick Lyon continued his good form after finishing third in the Manic Pairs to complete the podium.

Biggest fish was a 60cms brown caught by Tim Anderson and the highest placed female was Heather Carrington in eighth.

Nathan said “it’s a really good venue with the bigger browns mixed in with some nice rainbows. Key this weekend was to keep moving the boat given the lack of wind, to cover fresh water and find fish
and the hang was especially important. I learnt from Aaron West’s video of the pairs how to keep in better contact through the hang and that paid off this weekend, so shout out to him”.
“I would also like to thank the organisers, as well as all my boat owner captains, without whom I could not fish competitions”.


Hydro Lake Champs Winners 2023-2.jpg
1st Nathan Pollard (centre), second place Andrej Banas (right), and 3rd Nick Lyon (left).

Hydro Lake Champs 1.jpg
The flotilla departs. (photo - Damon Taylor)