Hi guys,

The weather has again opened up for a few days and we are faced with rainy, misty overcast conditions which is fairly wide spread in the area at the moment which can be looked at a good or bad thing depending on where you intend to do most of your fishing. If you are a Tongariro fisherman the rain would be very welcomed and has improved the fishing with some fresh runners in the last few days. If you are planning some remote back country fishing you maybe wanting things to ease of a wee bit as they always fish best when river levels are at a  consistent level and you can navigate your way around water without solid built tracks on both edges of the river. It pays to know your river when freestone wading as there is nothing worse than wondering if you should attempt a crossing or not, you nearly always bite of a chunk you cant chew and end up worrying about getting back for the rest of the day.

Tongariro anglers are still staying at home for some reason and the pressure on the river is very low at the moment which is opening up endless options and stretches of river for anglers to wonder at peace. Those who have been out have found some nice fresh fish which have pushed up since the last flood which has now settled to a very fishable level and left the river looking good for the summer. These events are always welcome by Tongariro fisherman as it gives the entire system a good wash out and leaves the river in prime condition and hopefully encourages a few more trout into the river to take residence for the summer. Summer fishing on the Tongariro is the best kept secret around these parts and you have not lived before you take part in a Tongariro dry fly session just before dark.

This time last year we were starting to get stuck into the Brown trout so hopefully with slightly warmer conditions and the rain we have just had we will start seeing some of these amazing sport fish turn up. The lower river will be the place to catch these beasts out early but as the summer roles on they will push further up the river making it easier for us to locate them and get a decent cast at them. Always check the edges of pools you are about to fish and keep  a good eye out under overhung banks or willow trees as they will be lazing about during the day but are still catchable with the right approach.

If blind fishing the deeper holes is your thing  you will know when you hook one of these trains and he will almost always leave you shaking your head and wondering what went wrong. They are one of the most wiliest species of fish I have ever targeted but also at times one of the dumbest, they are so unpredictable. I have not personally seen any in the system yet but they have been picking the odd one up at the mouth of the Waytoohardanuie at night with wet flies so it wont be long and they should be poping up all over.

Evening rises on the Tongariro have still been quite impressive despite the wind and sometimes the rain which leads me to believe when we actually get the perfect night it should be amazing. Everyone has their special little dry but I have just been using anything that will support a dropper as the strike rate between the two flies is about half each. I actually purchased a couple of sporting caddis from Sporting life the other day as they are supposed the killer dry at the moment but I must admit I’m struggling to work out what it actually looks like or resembles, not that it matters if it catches trout eh.

With all the rain we received in the past week Lake O would have been the place to be and it certainly has produced some stunning fish in the last month or so. The canal is the place to be when the levels are up and just standard nymphing will bring many fish un stuck, that’s all I can tell you very secretive place you see.

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As you would know if you have been reading the blog recently we rafted the river this week for the first time this year which ended up with a very positive feeling between the New Zealand River rafting and the anglers which took part. We are rafting again this week and look forward to getting Matt and his father into plenty of trout just as we did. I will expect the fishing to be fairly consistent in the upper reaches for the next couple of months so keep reading the blogs about and if you are tempted let me know and we can try and get you down.

We may have a small problem with the rafting as we did not really look after our raft guide and I just hope he turns up on Monday for us. John has amazing skills with the raft and keeps everyone dry, warm and safe while having to contend with white water, different currents, dangerous rapids and men wielding dangerous lines with hooks attached. I should have briefed John on Mike’s casting ability as he very quickly becoming old and careless with all aspects of his fishing ranging from ability to tie his own fly on, stand up on and stay dry on rivers and cast his line in the right direction.

John made the fatal mistake of putting his head up at the wrong time which ended up with Mike hooking the poor bugger in the forehead with a 4mm tungsten hare and copper. Many have fallen victim to Mike’s surprise casting technique including himself and his poor dog. As you can see from the photo he does not trust himself and now wears  a life jacket and crash helmet while stalking trout. haha

Will be guiding solidly this week so will try and up date you all when I can with some great stories and photo’s of Matt’s week.

Tight lines

Andrew Christmas