Hey how are you all,

Once again the bank of the Tongariro has been explored by myself and my guests and as usual some fantastic memorable moments have been shared by all, thanks to the versatility of this special water. We have finally got some rough weather coming through and early in the week experienced some spells of light to moderate rain which just made things sticky and humid and confused most anglers if it was worth taking the rain coat or not.

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When I woke on Friday morning I turned the computer straight on and went to the Tongariro flow only to discover that it had peaked at over 350 cumecs during the night and had a great flush out which meant guiding that day was going to be interesting. The guide was put of till ten o’clock when the level had dropped to a fishable level of 50 cumecs, perfect for hunting the edges for browns with the wetline. In many ways this is exactly what the river needed and all algae and slippery sponges would have been washed through to the delta and the amount of food turned over must be amazing so I will expect the fishing to be awesome over the weekend if your valentine has let you get out.

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The week of guiding has been flat out and work every day is bound to give me some memories that stand out from others and I have a couple of stories that should keep you wishing you were here and not stuck in front of that computer or filling papers. All week all clients have caught fish and to be honest it’s just about all been on those Cicadas so exciting times would be an understatement. I have finally got some good Cicadas with great hooks from the South Island and continuous hook ups is now starting to happen which is making me feel alot more confident in using the dry as not too many fish are not feeling the point so that’s what we want.

I guided Sarah during the week a blonde bombshell from the gold mines in Western Australia that was travelling through New Zealand and found my brochure and just knew she had to spend the day fishing our famous trout stream. Sarah works in the middle of the desert as a Gynecologist sorry I meant Geologist( both dirty jobs) and fishing and be around water was always going to be a novelty to her. With no experience we started from scratch with water loading and eventually working up to double hauling which she picked up quite well (sort of).

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The fishing was slow and we had been going for a couple of hours with not alot of action but Sarah’s enthusiasm was sky high and her love for the outdoors and will to catch something pushed me on and I knew I was not going to leave until she had what she wanted. Chatting as you do when fishing and moving up the pool Sarah was tripped up by one of those rocks that just stick their leg out which ended up with Sarah being fully submerged and hanging onto my feet, I was a little worried for about 3 seconds until she surfaced with a great smile on her face and soaking wet but she was still keen to keep going. Finally she hooked a fish that screamed of down the river almost to the backing and as she had so long to work out and learn how to land trout on fly gear she pretty much did it perfectly and it wasnt long before she had a lovely lucky fish on the sand which was sacrificed for dinner.

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It’s so nice to fish with people like Sarah and to see someone so keen to learn something new truly is awesome and a you all know it’s days like these is why I keep enthusiastic about my work, and the fish got a kiss which I puckered up for aswell but it didn’t happen. The pool we fished for the majority of the time was the judges and I have nearly been there everyday this week but have not seen any sign of the mermaid that was spotted last week, will keep hopeful tho.

The next day I guided another Aussie that rang me with  a bit of a busy schedule as he was trying to fit in fly fishing, white water rafting and bungy jumping all in the same day and was wondering if we could do something in the way of catching a trout. Hard ask but we agreed on 2hrs and headed to a pool that never fails me and hoped for the best as producing such sport in that amount of time is usually  a hard ask. Daniel insured me that he could cast a decent line and no coaching would be needed and true to his word he was as he soon demonstrated awesome casting skills covering great amounts of water in just a few casts. I had him fishing my secret Cicada pattern and had briefed him on the 3 second rule which he knew all about and promised he wouldn’t whip it out of it’s mouth straight away, which of course when the first Rainbow smashed the fly he did just that-nothing said a look was enough.

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The first fish hit in the first 4 casts and it gave me a good feeling about what might just happen in the next hour and I was exactly right as Daniel brilliantly and skillfully extracted 14 fish from the same stretch of river, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Most fish were small silver bullets in great condition with the odd spent fish mixed among them and one special stand out fish which happened to be  Daniels best ever fish a 5lb brownie. Daniel had only ever fished stocked Rainbows and is now going back to Aussie with fond memories of possibly the best fishing he will ever see. This was one of the hottest two hours I have ever seen in the Tongariro and in New Zealand, you just don’t see this type of sport anymore and I  have been buzzing on the morning ever since. You just never really know if you don’t come up and try and now is the perfect time for this sort of fishing to happen as we have not had a Cicada season quite like this one for ages so maybe you should make the most of a good thing, don’t miss out guys.

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The next couple of days like I said should be fantastic as the river cleans up after the biggest flood scince December and as it clears the dry fly should be back to normal as even with all that rain the Cicadas are still singing in the trees, god I hope they stay around for a while yet they are making my guiding exciting and rewarding.

 

Ok guys got  a few very quick tips for you to try next time you see  a brownie sat in close to the bank not moving or not feeding, these are only guidelines and is just something I have found useful when trying to encourage these lazy fish into feeding or striking

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. Number one rule I think is not to let the fish see you and stay away as much as possible take cover if you can, select a fly and make sure you are using some sort of tapered leader weather it be home made or bought it needs to roll out nicely, do not cast at the fish or over the fish but stick the fly 2 metres to the side of the fish and slightly up but make sure there is no slack in the line and the fly is drag free, the movement out of the corner of his eye of the splash of the fly should attract him over for a look if you get him that far and interested he will generally have a bloody good look at it and slurp it down, drag free presentation is the key with these boys and just be patient I get about 1 out of 6 or 7 that I even bother casting at so don’t get put of if it is ignored.

Sorry for going in but it has been a busy week, hope you enjoy the read

Be lucky, Andrew Christmas