Hi people,

Funny old week on the river with some fantastic clients from New Zealand holidaying with their families in Taupo and of course overseas visitors that have heard about the amazing Tongariro and just had to experience the charm of the majestic Tongariro. Fishing had been fairly difficult with hot sunny days and low clear conditions and the two Peters from Palmerston North despite their best efforts only walked away with a couple of fish which were hard to come by.

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Both Peters showed great casting skills and determination so we were able to cover alot of the upper river fairly quickly in our hunt to locate groups of trout and it wasn’t till late in the day we started  seeing consistent hook ups from the Upper Birch pool. This water always holds good numbers of fish but can be hard to get deeper enough to them as they do really love to sit in the deep turbulent eadys that are hard to penetrate with nymphs and even harder to get a good drift through. Our luck was finally in and we managed a couple of fish one of which was a stand out from the rest and was worthy of any fresh winter spawning Rainbow with big shoulders, silver flanks and great fighting capabilities. The Upper Birch is famous for holding big fish and it just shows that you never no what you are going to get if you persist long enough with the right methods, this river never stops surprising me and that’s why I love fishing and guiding it.

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Saturday saw the weather go rather pear shaped and my two clients from the UK were wet through to the bone and wondering if the rain and bad weather was following them around the North Island. While fishing in the constant rain I was able to watch the water rising and with pine needles and pumice regularly passing us I knew that we must be getting alot in the hills and should see the river dirty up, having made some interesting and deep crossings I decide to pull the pin where we were and head for somewhere a little more safer. I later discovered on top of the pissing rain they had also let the canal go to wash out the gates and clear the dam so it was bound to get dirty anyway.

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This was great for the fishing and all trout that were in the river seemed to be jumping on our hooks just as planned which made for a very rewarding, exciting and wet guiding day. Mark and Amy had not fished before but took to casting like ducks to water and managed to land 9 for the day which is great in any ones books one of which was over 4lbs and again worthy of winter spawning fish. The Tongariro peaked at 40 cumecs but within a couple of hours had dropped back down to normal level but the dirty appearance tinted the water till late the next day and I know for sure that it has encouraged more fresh Rainbow and Brown trout up the river from the lake. I have been sighting alot of large browns in the lower river just waiting for some reason to push forward into more catch-able positions so it will be interesting to see if the fresh rain has encouraged the big boys to move up, I hope so.

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Fishing in general has been really quite good and if you move around and find the fish you are bound to eventually get into them, especially with the amount of anglers around as I have hardly seen a soul in the upper reaches. No surprises with flies or secret weapons just try and keep them as small as you can when the conditions are clear and use nice light fluro and that will ensure you at-least get hook ups which is better than not even feeling fish.

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Hare and Coppers and Pheasant tails seem to be as good as any especially with different variations like rubber legs or tied with a green flashback in them, sometimes the flash of gold or green can make all the difference and spur a trout into striking.

I was able to fish for half the day  with my mate Mike the day after all the rain and have something pretty special to share with you guys which I will write about in the next couple of days. This is a must see and will show you all that you should not under estimate the Tongariro as being hopeless in the summer months. Anglers seem to flock to backcountry areas and leave the Tongariro to  me which is just fine but this may change your mind and thinking.

Hope everyone is settling back into work well and not having to many problems to sort out and we might just see you in Turangi soon.

Be lucky, Andrew Christmas