Hey all,

Well the day I have been waiting for has finally happened and the upper Tongariro has opened for summer fishing which has given all of us some fantastic opportunities to experience something just a little different. I actually missed the opening day as I had a full day guiding on the but was sure to get the raft out and head down on the 2nd which was still just as good I think.

I don’t think I could ever get sick of fishing this water as the scenery and surroundings make you feel you are a million miles away in the back country but you are only just out of Turangi! I bet the majority of anglers would not even know it was there and would be blown away if I ever get the opportunity to guide them on here. As expected most pools were holding big numbers of fish and it was not long before double figures were reached using the traditional Tongariro nymphing method. Fish are in pretty good condition up here and I remember saying to myself  if I caught this in the lower river at the moment I would be fairly happy which is weird as you would expect the fish to be tired and in poor condition after spawning but that was not the case.

I was again fishing with my fishing partner Mike Hughes and we reached 20 fish before lunch after taking at least one fish from every pool as we slowly made our down stretch after stretch of awesome river. Something that everybody always asks me about is if the rafts going through the pools scares the trout or puts them off the bite but with rafts going through every day and sometimes up to ten per day the trout really do become used to them and you will not scare any fish by rafting over them.

I have pulled rafts up in the tail of the pool and fished the water we had just been through and hooked up first cast so I am convinced that they are fine with rafts passing through every now and again.

The first few days of the season are always busy on the upper Tongariro and we did see some other anglers on rafts  but still we managed to stay out of each others way giving all parties great fishing. Not only did we have great fishing but once again we had an amazing ride down which is always a buzz between pools sometimes ending in very cold water shooting down the back of the waders which is not so nice.

I was impressed with  the variety of sizes of trout up here and it looks like they had a good spawning season with heaps of fingerling trout residing in the pools at the moment, it’s amazing what size fly they can stick in their little mouths. Other trout ranged from 2lb through to 4lb with the average probably being about 3lb which is still a nice little fish and a rewarding scrap.

I’m not sure how long these fish will hang about up here but it will certainly be a rewarding season for those who want to try something different and experience the upper river. I think that there are more fish up here at this time of year but that’s due to all the spawning which has just happened in the river and they should start moving around and back to the lake fairly shortly. There will always be fish which decide to stay in the river due to the huge amounts of food available up here and they will be getting better with condition as the season goes on.

Nymphing was the preferred method by us today but we probably should have tried the dry fly in certain pools as the odd fish was splashing about at Mayfly coming of the water but nothing which made me feel confident enough to change the rigs. The river up here is great dry fly water but we just need a few more hot days and warm nights to encourage these fish to look to the surface all the time.

I am guiding Matt Martin from the raft next week so if you are reading at the moment Matt start getting excited as you will be amongst it in no time and should have a great day with your old man and plenty of awesome memories.

Just a quick report today to let you all know that the trips have started and they are working out well so if you are interested be quick to get into contact and secure your day or overnight trip on the majestic upper Tongariro.

Tight lines

Andrew