Another great week has passed on Taupo rivers and many great sessions have been had on rivers such as the Tauranga Taupo, Waitahanui and the mighty Tongariro.

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Fishing conditions have just about been perfect all week apart from some very strong winds experienced on Wednesday which made casting for even the most accurate angler near impossible. The Tongariro is still running at natural flow and we are seeing some great conditioned fish running through thesystem and holding well in pools such as the Judges, Major Jones and the Kamahei, making for plenty of options for anglers. It really is amazing what a difference the extra flow has made on this river and we have seen a constant string of fresh rainbows appear since the canal was drained. Wednesday also saw the Tongariro colour-up due to rain experienced on the desert road so I’m sure that would have also encouraged another run of fish for us to target over the weekend.

Strong north-westerly winds and a drop in the barometer would have done most rivermouths good and I know for a fact that the Waitahanui is currently holding some fantastic fish and is not seeing much angling pressure at all so this is also a good change of scenery. /There’s also the added bonus of maybe getting onto a slightly larger fish. If you are not experienced on this river it can be frustrating and may leave you feeling a little despondent. It has some mean snags in a lot of the pools and knowing when to pull out of a drift is vital to keeping the fly box intact. Makes us appreciate the Tongariro doesn’t it.

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Once again this week I must report on the braids being very productive and fish seem to be on the feed while they are in this area. I keep saying I shouldn’t report on this area being good as it is getting quite a lot of attention from anglers and the rest of the river seems to be left alone.

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I have had another great week with meeting some great individuals and have tried to show them as much of the Tongariro as i could with the time we had together. Tristan and Rachael from London had a fantastic and rewarding day, catching their first fish each on a fly rod and great conditioned fish at that. We spent the first half of the day in the braids and got them both off the mark in spot X which took the pressure off the rest of the day. The scenic option was selected for the afternoon and we made our way to the Blue Pool carpark and fished from there up to the Fence Pool. Fishing was a little quiet but when we got to the Sand pool we spotted 4 fish close to the bank, as usual we spooked them to deeper water but Tristan managed to get 3 in quick succession from the head of the pool. I think this pool is fishing fantastically and you don’t seem to have to get so far across to reach the lie on the true right like we did before with a lower flow rate. The upper Tongariro, to me, is one of the most beautiful stretches of river i have had the pleasure of fishing on and i’m proud to show this area to people of the world.

Glo bugs, I must admit, are still my first choice when i get to the river on any given day and usually we end up with a fish fairly fast but towards the end of the day my rig has usually changed to pheasant tails, hare and coppers or green caddis patterns. If these naturals are presented to the fish in the right way they are easily accepted as this is the staple diet of many fish that are passing through the system - glo bugs are just treats like Tim Tams. My other guests this week both had fun with many fish using flash-back pheasant tails in the later part of the day in upper pools of the Tongariro. Chris from Wellington had good mid-morning action in the Breakfast Pool using naturals, as did Buddy from Texas, USA fishing a favourite bypass of mine.

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In the last two weeks I have personally seen more fish and more larger fish than i have seen all season so I think that the guys and gals of DOC were very correct in what they predicted for the months of October and November and they deserve to be congratulated on that. They have taken quite an ear-bashing over the past 6 months with fish-related issues and they said that the major runs are getting later. That’s when we will see better fish, which we have, so they were right. Well done DOC and keep up the good work.

All in all I think we had another good week and I expect that the week ahead will produce more great sport for those who brave the conditions and get out to wet a line in our precious commodity. If you see me on the river, take the time to come on over and say hello. I have plenty of time to meet new people and have a chin wag.

Tight lines and stay safe Andrew Christmas