Hi again,

Thanks to all you caring readers which have emailed me wondering if I am ok and still alive due to the lack of fishing reports but as you can see I am alive and well and have just been very busy guiding and exploring new backcountry blocks. I think its great that I have  such a strong following with my blogs and that people do look forward to having a read about the local fishing that I have been experiencing with clients. Hopefully this lot will keep you busy on that slow Tuesday in the office and give you something to talk about at smoko or maybe even spurr you into booking your next summer adventure.

Tongariro has been hard for Mike and I over the past week and there has been no part of the river which has given fish away easily meaning that we have covered huge amounts of water to find just the odd trout. Other anglers have walked to the first pool that has come into their heads and done very well but thats fishing for you . The braided area has always been a favourite place of mine to get out of trouble and this is where most of the fish we have taken have come from. Quite a few coloured up fish have been finning in the faster riffley water of this river giving us good polaroiding opportunities and the chance to fish dry fly with a trailing dropper underneath which can be a deadly combination.

Larger pools such as the Stag and the Admirals have been fishing quite well if you can be the first through the pool in the morning or hit it right in the afternoon but again there is no set time nor method which will guarantee you a catch at the minute.

Even though these pools are slowing up with summer flows and crossings are becoming easier it is still important to get nymphs to the depths of these pools thats where you are going to find lazy fish willing to take very small nymphs. I have been using very small flashback PT’s tied on  a size #16 and this has worked quite well but have also found when using slightly smaller hooks than usual you really have to get a good hard strike on these fish to ensure they stay on for the length of the battle.

Just when you are certain there are no fish to be caught in a part of the river a evening rise will strike and you will be standing there wondering where the hell all these fish appeared from. Evening rises have been pretty good lately when given the correct conditions with a warm evening and no wind. As soon as that sun drops in the horizon and the dull light of evening sets in you should start seeing rises appearing all over and through out the pool as fly start coming off the water. I try to always use a fly which will support a small nymph underneath as this will make sure you are covering all bases and catch fish which are locked in on emerges and also the trout that only have eyes for surface food. This can be exciting fishing and if you have not experienced a Tongariro evening rise you are missing out on one of the most action filled frustrating sessions of your life. Just because fish are rising all around you this does not mean that they can always be caught and you should be changing your fly every couple of casts until you start getting takes or hook ups as lot of the time it is only one particular fly hatching. Use a tappered leader so your fly roles out sweetly and does not sit in a bunch on the surface with the end tippet being as light as you are comfortable fishing.

Backcountry has again been awesome this week and any clients booking full days have been cartered out to the Wanganui or the Mohaka  to enjoy some strong wilderness fish. Occassionally we see another angler but generally you will have the river to yourself and you really get a sence of solitude out there while slowly making your way up the river fishing any available pocket water which may be holding fish.

Like I have said before these fish are hungry and will have no problems with accepting most nymphs which get the right drift giving the angler confidence with most casts especially when approaching a new pool.

Wanganui fish still seem to be the bigger specimans with most fish being in the 3- 5 lb range and in great fat condition which will only get better in the next couple of months when they start feeding hard in the evenings. Mohaka fish are always in great condition and I have never landed  a lean fish in here but are mainly in the 2-3 lb range with the odd fish making it into the 5lb range. Mohaka fish are always pretty silver and will give  a hard fight to the end and seem to be masters at finding fast water and getting the angler into interesting positions which makes for a good laugh. Brown trout in this river are very pretty and are generally a little bigger but seem to be slightly easier to land with instinctive head shakes and solid but short runs which anglers can stop and turn quite easily.

Last week I walked a client up the Waipunga which is  a smaller river out on the Napier Taupo highway and experienced some fast exciting fishing. The Waipunga runs into the Mohaka fairly low down so I think quite  a few fish jump from river to river as many fish in this region are of similar. 

This is  a very cool looking back country river with freestone wading and slow deep pools which all have resident trout in them varying from half a pound to 3lb which the odd exception. Nymphing is my favourite method in here at the moment as fish still seem to be deep with the slightly high water still being in here from rain and the snow storm the central plateau was hit by a month ago.

Generally the Waipunga offers fairly easy freestone wading and has many access points that fisherman can get at without crossing maori or farming land. All methods can be fished here and dry fly in the summer with really big Royal Wulffs cab be an exciting way to spend an afternoon. There are not to many days that you will fish here without seeing and hooking multiple trout and the river generally holds  a large number of fish for a fairly small stream.

Once again I have been blessed with some great clients and we have shared some very interesting days on different rivers both being backcountry and Taupo rivers like the Tongariro. Here are just some quick snaps which have been taken while out guiding showing all of you that if enough effort is put in the rewards can be awesome. I think one of the funniest snaps here would have to be of Courtney who is a newspaper free lance journalist who I quickly gave a crash course on fishing in the Tongarrio.

I saw this as a perfect opportunity to take the new puppy and get him used to clients on the river the only bad thing is he has taken a liking to retreiving strike indicators and as you can see  from Courtney in the water it can end in tears!

I have a big week ahead with the opening of the raft fishing tomorrow so will try and get another report on for you mid week with plenty of positive talk about this new and exciting venture for both “Christmas on the river” and New Zealand River Rafting.

Tight lines

Andrew