Hi guys,

Another busy few days has passed and many hours spent on the mighty Tongariro which has been nothing short of fantastic. I have fished nearly all the river with different clients this week and have had fish in most pools which is very surprising for the time of year and conditions. Bright sunny days combined with crystal clear water does not always spell plenty of trout but the river has fished well with all methods including some great dry fly action at lunchtime in the slower flowing pools such as the Cattle Rustlers.

With nearly every job coming through at the moment only being half day bookings it really confines us to the Taupo region as clients shouldn’t have to spend half their trip  sitting in the vehicle trying to get to a back country river so the Tongariro has been my pick. With the Tongariro only having  a few anglers about each day and the river fishing very well I don’t even think I would bother driving to a back country location as it sure is alot busier out there. The trout have not been in bad condition either, with some lovely silver fish mixed in with some very tired recovering trout which are on their way back to the lake to put on condition for next year.

Brown Trout are in the system and can be caught from now through to June in good numbers as this is the time of the year they run the river in their quest to find suitable spawning grounds. Compared to last season they are a bit late but every week I am having encounters and spotting  a few more so it wont be long and they will once again be a regular occurrence to anglers. When caught these fish are in great condition and will fight to the last flick of the tail so total patience and skill is needed to outsmart these terrific fish.

Sean who is travelling New Zealand with his mother and Father and is just getting started in fly fishing drew first blood this week when he hooked into a fresh run stream train which after a long and nervous battle managed to get the Brown into a possession that I could net him for him. The Hen was in superb condition and was by far the largest trout Sean had ever hooked and landed and was by far the highlight of his family holiday. Fly selection for Browns can be hard but I always seem to have more luck when using a dull small fly like a simple scruffy Hare and Copper or Sawyers PT, try and stay away from flashy leggy flies.

Rainbows seem to love green, purple or a red flash in the fly but when fishing for big old smart Tongariro browns you will generally get most of your fish on a ugly basic scruffy nymph fished in the edge of a main current or feeding lie. Polaroids are in valuable tool when trying to find these fish and your catch rate will be a lot higher if fishing to these fish instead of prospecting.

We have had some quite nice weather but are still getting some dirty winds in the afternoon which seem to annoy anglers with casting and  put an end to hope of a good afternoon hatch. Westerly wind is not bad in all cases and helps the Wayttohardanuie as fish will push into the lower reaches with no anglers standing in the picket fence.

This river has some huge Browns in it at this time of year and it is just amazing to see them let alone hook one.  I must admit this is not my favourite river but with the presence of such fish just occasionally I find myself wandering up the middle reaches in search of  a trophy. Apparently you can watch spear fisherman in here from time to time as-well which really does the fishery harm as these are the main breeders for Lake Taupo and it needs to be looked after. If you see anyone fishing this way or in any other maner that the rules do not allow be sure to ring it through to DOC as they have rangers waiting to act upon these people.

The back country rivers will all be fishable with good levels at the moment and should start to fish well again after the heavy pressure it has received over the holiday period. Most fish just need a few days to recover from angling pressure and being caught, that is if released of coarse.

Dry fly on most back country rivers will be in full swing and anglers should be able to find trout that are looking up in most rivers for the most of the day. I’m not a fan of carrying hundreds of different dry flies and tend to stick with just a few being Para Adam’s, Royal Wullf, Stimulator and a Cicada in a few different variations. With this sort of break down in different sizes you can usually get some attention of a trout which is on the feed and if not it will be floaty enough to suspend a small nymph under.

Hope you are all settled into work again or enjoying a extended break and managing to get some fishing in. Again my pick of the rivers at the moment is the mighty Tongariro and that is where you will find me for the remainder of the week.

Tight lines

Andrew Christmas