Trout at Taupo
by O.S. Hintz (‘Budge’ to his friends)
Publisher: Max Reinhardt, London. First Published 1955 (186pp) 2nd impression 1956, 3rd impression 1959. New Edition 1964 and 1970 (239pp).
Size: 205mm x 135mm. 239pp total. Including 12 pages of black and white photographs. Numerous line art illustrations. Hardcover with colour dust jacket. (1970 edition shown in photograph)
One time editor of the New Zealand Herald and President of the Waitahanui Angling Association, O.S. Hintz had successfully fished Lake Taupo and it’s tributaries for three decades before penning Trout at Taupo. The book is a celebration of the magnificent Taupo trout fishery and those who fish there. A fishery so productive that well over 500 tonnes of trout are taken from it every season. According to the author the predominate rainbows average 5 lbs and the substantial numbers of browns probably weigh on average 7lbs or 8 lbs.
Lake Taupo is enormous. The Maori call the lake Taupo Moana – the Sea of Taupo. In covers and incredible 240 square miles at an altitude of 1,200 ft above sea level. All around the shoreline rivers and streams replenish the lake from distant catchments.
This is big water and most anglers prefer to fish it with the big streamer flies known throughout New Zealand as “lures.” Partly because small fish make up a substantial part of the trout’s diet, partly because big fish need plenty of protein and therefore something substantial to attract their interest, and perhaps also because such big lures seem somehow in keeping with the vastness of the setting!
According to Hintz “…Taupo trout like flies that they can see. I do not suggest for a moment that they would always, or even often, take such shark bait as my Durham Ranger or Dick Smith’s feathered monstrosities, but they will generally take flies dressed on No.4 or No.6 hooks in the day-time, and on a No.2 or even larger hooks at night.”
He goes on to cover the origins of some of the Taupo lures and the methods used to fish them. He suggests that the matuku pattern, the origin of most Taupo patterns, probably dates back before the First World War. He also suggests that it was originally made by the cunning hands and keen fishing sense of some anonymous Maori. There is a colour plate at the front of the book showing a number of the better known Taupo patterns actual size, including Tiger Ross, Craig’s Night-time, Green Rabbit, Lord’s Killer and Mrs Simpson.
Trout at Taupo is a “work of art.” Like any such work it has a special timeless quality. It is superbly written. Trout at Taupo will appeal to trout anglers the world over. Highly Recommended. Available from second-hand bookstores for about NZ$40.00.