Hello there, The long weekend has certainly taken it’s toll on the Tongariro with plenty of anglers still hanging around hoping that everyone else would go home. I guided on Tuesday and hardly came across another  angler and enjoyed the odd fish that had not been spooked beyond control but Thursday was an absolute nightmare. I would have thought mid week would have been the best time to enjoy a  day on the river with a friend but could hardly find a free pool to run the lines through, this may be a sign of the times as winter spawning mode kicks in.

Through out the week most anglers that have put the effort in seemed to have caught a few fish but as usual moving around and trying new things that you wouldn’t usually has been the difference between success and failure. The rivers of Taupo definitely have not got spawning runs in them yet and we have not been treated to the fishing we are expecting to come just yet. There are drips and drabs coming through but they ae in that fewer numbers that they are pretty spread out by the time I have found fish. All week I have caught no more than 2 or 3 fish in any pool which tells me they are pretty spread out and sitting in your favourite pool may not work well.

Oh my god it’s been freeeeezzzzzing and very hard to crawl out of bed especially when you have the electric blanket on but the mornings have been amazing and stunning to say the least. Turangi has spent most of the morning frozen over which is making tying leaders and flies on difficult. Guides are freezing over in the pools which are not getting sun early and rocks remaining slippery for quite some time so be careful when rock hoping with neoprenes on. The ridges are all covered in snow and the ski season may be opening early so the cold is here all we need is a bit of  rain to get things moving and fill our beautiful river with fish.

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All the anglers that I have come across this week have been very friendly and fishing etiquette has been perfect so lets hope this carrys through the season. I generally find everyone on the river great in the winter and it can turn more into a social session chatting about life than a fishing session. One gentleman this week even offered Julie (my fishing friend) a cup of tea from a clean cup with a biscuit!. The thing is he did not offer this to me so I’m thinking this may be because of the blonde hair and female hormones in the still Turangi air?.

No secrets to taking fish this week and most of the standard fly patterns known to Taupo should entice a strike just keep changing until you end up with one. Glo bugs in the still cold mornings are pretty standard now and have been fairly good in small sizes fished behind large Hare and Copper bombs.

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Green Caddis has also been good during the week and will always be whatever time of the year it is the key is to make sure that the nymphs and rig is getting deeper enough to run into the fish. I see alot of anglers from week to week and always cast my eye over the terminal tackle and quite often am suprised how light they are fishing, they must be good casts and great menders or these flies simply wouldn’t penetrate the water to correct depth.

Favourite pools have not changed a great deal from last week as I have been a little short sighted and concentrated on areas that I love to fish. Judges once again being the clear stand out for me and I’m excited about what this water will bring in the spawning runs this coming winter.

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The stag has also been kind if you hit it right but it is getting a lot of attention by anglers so if you are not into it early be prepared to be fishing someones backwater. Under the road bridge has been the best pool this week and has been holding heaps of fish which locals have been hooking into at first light and  must admit I had a quick chuck in there when the water was free with success.

There is still some fantastic opportunities to hook into back country fish and these areas will generally be getting less pressure as the spawning madness hits Taupo so the rivers that are still open could be great options. I have a couple of first class spots available to the right people so don’t be scared to make contact and talk this over with me if you are keen for  a change of scenery and learn some new water. New water is always special and a great way to get away and refresh after a tough period at work and the daily grind.

Another big weekend ahead I should imagine so lets all remember our manners when fishing, tie good knots and play our fish with style . You’ve seen the photo’s, We’ve put snow on the mountains,  You know you wanna come……. So where the bloody hell are ya!

Tight lines people

Andrew