Hi guys, The wet and blustery conditions that were forecast certainly has arrived and the central north island has received a good amount of rain which has made the rivers interesting. Although being wet we are still very warm so its hard to know what to do in the way of coats and rain vests as it all ends up thrown on the bank with anglers dashing back and forth to try and stay dry. With the amount of rain we have seen we should have seen some big runs of spawning fish but it just has not happened just yet,maybe the warmth has something to do with it?

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Yesterday I spent another great day fishing with my mate Mike Hughes on the Tongariro and had an absoloute blast not by the numbers of fish but the quality and size. The river was up around the magic mark of 30 cumecs ad had slight colour to it so we thought we would intercept some new fish as they came through the braids. After two hours with not  a hook up between us we decided that we had made the wrong move and decided to head up above the bridge and see what was holding in the larger pools.

The river had to be holding fish somewhere so this is where if you don’t catch straight away you just keep moving until you find a patch and then stick with them. We were using bright orange glo bugs and it was not long before Mike was hooked up and had a smile on his face once again while fighting a feisty rainbow which is still in the river due to Mikes heavy handed attitude with them. I should not say to much actually because Mike went onto hook into 5 more without me even getting a touch and as you can see from the photos they were fantastic conditioned fish.

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I was only thinking about how long the Brown’s were going to hang around for but as you can see they are still in and still feeding well if you can present that fly into the right drift. I think the jack that Mike is holding with the lovely golden appearance has the best spots I have seen on a fish from the Tongariro-just a tagg bigger and it was mounting material. In the end we targetted browns as they were holding in the shallows of this particular pool and were quite actively taking the glo bugs. When you hook into browns of this size there is no mistaking what you have on the other end as they react so differently to  a Rainbow and you will not dick-take there next move, such strong smart fish. I know Mike takes his fishing very seriously and really is at home while pursuing his sport on the Tongariro, he’s always grumpy when he has to go home.

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The rain kept on long into the night and the next day the river was un fishable and as luck has it I had two ladies booked in for a full days fishing (great). I love fishing and guiding the Tongariro but was forced to spend the day on the Hine at Hatepe which was so different to what I am used to. This river is quite often clear when the rest of the Taupo region is dirty so it really is worth knowing the access points and a little bit about the pools. I picked my clients up from Huka Lodge and we set of in the rain and was greeted by a high but perfectly coloured up river so maybe we were in with a chance. As the girls had no experience whatsoever the first thing was to get them casting and running a decent drift down the river which they roughly picked up fairly quickly. I set them up with a standard nymphing rig and a bright orange glo bug which did the trick in the Tongariro the day before with similar fishing conditions.

Our friendly and famous Doc officer David Cade was not far behind us decided to stop in and chat to the girls about the spread of Didymo and the effect that it has on rivers and what impact it could have on the Taupo region. After that he was getting along so well with the girls he decided to show us around the river and get the girls into some of the best water that this river has to offer . This man knows every inch of this river and it was not long before he had one of the girls into a very strong hen which fought and won her freedom by wrapping the leader around a willow branch-tricky! Throughout the day we had an absolute ball with Dave entertaining us with his humour and the will to save and retrieve every nymph from every tree, the poor bugger was drenched.

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We encountered some nice fish and both the girls caught there first trout which is now being cooked at the lodge by fantastic chefs. All up I think they may have hooked 6 fish and getting three of them to the bank which I think is pretty good going considering the skill level of a beginner and the river they were fishing. We nymphed all day with bright glo bugs and weighted bombs and it looks like this could be the way forward for the next few months.

My hat goes of to the indidvidals that care about the river at Hatepe as it was absoloutley spotless   from litter and was  a pleasure to fish with clients. We all felt safe, loved the scenery, the company,the fishing and generally had  a perfect day with eachother,this is what places should all be like and it was not just because we caught trout.

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Lake O had some good fishing in the canal when the rivers were all up and I did hear of some fantastic fish of about 7lb coming out and falling victim to the black nymph. This lake had generally been very low and the rain we have just had would have done it wonders and got fish moving about again.

This is likely to be my last blog for a few days as I have got a thousand things to do and the weekend will be taken up with lowering the duck population so will report back on that one. As you can see by the pics we have a fantastic fishery at our doorstep so get out in that rain and cold starts and really experience some great sport. The fish are there but you wont catch them by sitting inside reading the internet, take some time off and get away from the daily grind.

Pleasure as always

Andrew Christmas