Hi guys,

Mixed reports still coming through with some rivers gone dead quiet and others still having fish slowly moving through which is typical between good and bad weather patterns. I have personally found it hard to get onto fish in all the rivers I have tried but as usual it is a case of being in the right place at the right time. Most rivers are back to a very clear fishable level although I did see a bit of colour in the TT today with a heap of cars parked at the entry point so just maybe it went well in there.

The Hine was fantastic while conditions were high and plenty of good fish were taken between the road and the lake but things may have slowed down in here till the next rain. There are plenty of trout up high but they have turned on their spawning colours and are quite dark which will not be any good for smoking but still ok for sport if you are stuck for options. This river will fish again with the next spell of bad weather and high water levels and is definitely not over yet.

The Tongariro is a funny old place at the moment and it is easy to get frustrated when fish seem to be flying through here not giving much opportunity for fisherman to get at them. The river is at a perfect level at the moment and is very, very clear with all the stones turned over and looking like diamonds which is not giving fish much cover while trying to get up high. These fish which are trickling through in small groups are very catch-able but don’t intend on staying with the group all day as they are flying up river at speed. Mike Hughes hit a good patch of fish in the lower river and could actually see them going through the pool and they were not stopping for anyone especially with him throwing glo bugs at them.

I have fished about 6 hours this week on the river and have landed about 6 fish in 5 different pools which would have to be considered as fairly slow. Again the size and quality of fish are all very good this year and we should continue to see this through all of winter. The winter runs for the Tongarrio are generally very late these last few years and I will expect the bulk of the fish to come through in September -October which leaves plenty of time for practice.

This morning was a perfect winters morning down the braids with plenty of fish to be had before 8am as they must have moved in over night. These fish are very vulnerable to the first lines which run through these pools and a small glo bug will almost always do the job. I arrived at 7am thinking I was going to be close to being the first on the water but as usual there was several anglers already at it scattered throughout the shallow runs. Mike Hughes had my favourite run and I joined him on the opposite bank and watched him pull three or four from the best lie in quick succession. To my surprise one of the best fish was a very good conditioned fresh run Brown which must be one of the last running the system at the moment. This year has been really good for Browns but the deeper we get into winter the less of these amazing fish we should see as they mainly spawn in the summer months in slightly warmer conditions.

All anglers that were fishing the lower river this morning had some sort of results for their efforts but all the action seemed to be over by 9am. Again it pays to be on the water early and get to those fish which have moved in over night. Angling pressure has not been too bad on the Tongarrio but it certainly was getting it’s fare share of anglers picking it over by 10am this morning.

Unfortunately it seems the local boys are back to their usual tricks under the bridge and taking more than their limit of fresh fish when they are running. This only cuts into everyone else’s fishing and rubs anglers which are generally doing the right thing up the wrong way. I remember watching these ediots last year ferrying fish back and forth to cars, friends and relatives just so they can keep fishing and fill the freezer for the whanau. We all know it goes on in this pool but yet nothing seems to get done about it even when they are caught they just deny it and all is forgotten. Taking fish out of the system is a good thing but when it is done on this sort of scale it just leaves a bad taste in the mouths of most anglers.

If you are planning a trip in the next few days you will be needing  a new fishing license as your old one has now run out and ready for renewal. Permits have gone up slightly this year but still very much worth the money when you consider it to other fisheries in the world.

Heading away for the next few days to experience  a very different sort of fishing on the coast so will make sure I take plenty of photo’s and show you exactly what goes on. I am fishing in a shore based comp and have got myself a guide for the first time ever so lets hope he knows what he says he does, expensive day rates as well.

Tight lines

Andrew Christmas