Hi there,

Well the rain came as promised and we saw our fare share of it pushing the river well over fishable conditions for a couple of days but I would expect tomorrow to be awesome as the river comes down and retains a bit of colour for a few days. This rain would of almost most certainly pulled some more fish from the lake and I’m sure it has pushed some of those big browns into more accessible pools for us to cast at them instead of hiding under those hard to get at areas. Night fishing must be great at the moment although I have not been bothered to venture into the darkness mainly because of the sleepy mode that I get in after a few brewskies in the evening.

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Last report I think I said that the Cicadas in my opinion have just about been and gone and I still think that might be the case with the rain we have just received and cooler temps but as usual someone is always there to prove me wrong  and had good fish numbers in the lower river just using a black Cicada, so they are obviously still willing to have a look at one if presented correctly.

This week I would like to write about a feature angler as he is starting to get alot of publicity through different sites for catching many and great fish from the Tongariro and surrownding waterways.

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Mike Hughes is a Welshman that emigrated here a few years ago with his wife Geale for her work reasons and as most fisherman do he has fallen in love with the Taupo fishery and especially the Tongariro. You can find Mike up the river most weeks as he trys to get away from Waikanae as much he can while his wife goes to work to pay for his fishing expeditions,oh what a life. Mike has been fishing for many years and has some fantastic stories of catching trout, roach, dace, tench, eel, carp, salmon and many other sea fish but he speaks of none more highly than the fishery we have here, the mighty Tongariro. If you ever think the quality of fish are low and they are to small you should stop Mike on the river and have a chat about what those poor buggers catch over in the UK and then you will see we are spoilt for what we have here.

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Mike is now retired and in order to do what he loves the most he finds himself up at 4.30am in the morning going through all the old people movements so he can be on the river at daylight. He shows nothing of his age and will fish harder and longer than alot of young guys I know which pays of as he is always coming back with fish under his belt and many released or lost. He will hammer a pool until fish finally take and has an uncanny ability to work out if there are fish in the pool or not, quite often I work through the pool and give it away but he will have faith that they are about and tease them in taking with some special welsh patterns. I hate guiding in the same pool as him as my client will always ask why he is catching fish and we are not, answer is always quick and sharp with f#%^/ng Mike mumbled under my breath. His fishing just does’nt stop when leaving Turangi but when he gets home and has done the daily chores he is straight to the tying vice stock pileing for his next trip or inventing some killer patern to try this winter on the spawning rainbows, he quite often looses alot of flies due to a certain person peering into his box.

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Mike is miserable when not on the Tongariro and hates the drive home or packing up as he knows it is all over for another couple of weeks and has a real problem with me ringing him with the days results with my clients, quite often he wont even answer tho curiosity gets the better of him.

Mike has just gone back so our fish will be safe for another week or two but I’m sorry to  say he en-counted some beauties while he was here and our fishery is less one monster brown due to his stealth mode fishing abilities. This brown was caught on the dry fly in the lower river and gave one hell of a pull before being beached, you could hear Mikes celebration from Taupo as it was his biggest Tongariro fish and biggest ever Brown. Next time you come across him stop and have a chat and a cigar with Mike he is a gentle giant and a wealth of knowledge, we can all learn from him. Looking forward to our next adventure mate I know it wont be to far away you just cant help yourself.

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Pool of interest this week is the Sand pool which everyone seems to overlook as the drift is a little swirly and hard to get at but if you approach it properly it can be very profitable as it always holds fish of some discription. When the river is low like it was before the flood and it will get back down to that level in the next few days you can quite safely and easily cross the tail of the pool above the rapid. By doing this you open up the opportunity to fish the true right from standing on the Cliff and is  a right handers dream as this puts you right in amongst the best lie of the pool. Standing on the cliff edge you will realize how deep this pool actually is and have under standing why guys dont take alot of fish from here by fishing from the sandy bottom on the left as it needs a longcast,early mend and dream drift to have any chance. I know not all of you will be able to stand on the edge of cliff and cast but the option is there if you are willing to try and results can be worth it.

Thanks for reading my report for another week, will try and keep them regular for you.

Till next week, Andrew Christmas 0211162752