Hi again,

The past week has been an enjoyable time to be on the Taupo rivers with conditions being perfect with heavy frosts and stunning days. Perfect meaning perfect for me to be fishing and guiding maybe not so perfect for encouraging fresh run fish into the systems. Plenty of angling pressure during the week due to school holidays especially on the Tongariro but most of this was generated about easy access spots.

All rivers are very clear and sometimes extremely low again as we have not had any rain until this morning which even them we need alot more. Clear skies and bright days have made fish easy to see in most pools but they are soon onto anglers and scatter at the first nymph or line hitting the water. I had a very frustrating day with clients on the Tongarrio on Thursday for these very reasons and it was lucky the Hine fished ok or I may have been looking down the barrel of a skunking which is not good at this time of year.

With school holidays going back on Monday pressure on most rivers should drop giving others a wee bit more opportunity if they are lucky enough not to be at work. The Tongarrio desperately needs some rain and some more fish to enter the system or there will be some very unhappy winter anglers about. The river has got fish in it they are just twice as hard to catch at the moment. Small groups of fish have been pushing through and anglers that are in the right spot at the right time do very well and head home with silver fresh fish but you must be there to enjoy them. Quite a big percentage of anglers have been skunked on the Tongariro in the past week, so if you ‘re one then you are not alone.

The Waitahanuie has picked up a bit in the last few days and some nice fish have been seen running the straight which will now be deep into the river. Night fishing has been productive here and good fish are taken from just on dark right through to midnight. Rainbows are loving those boobies which light up and attached to a shooting head or slow sinker can be deadly in here.

I have guided the last two days and done very well again in the Hine with Bradd and Damien. Bradd is  a fantastic fisherman with heaps of experience and willingness to learn and he really destroyed the fish in here with his perfect casts and drag free drifts. Drag free drifts is so important when nymphing and especially important when fishing water which has been fished once or twice before you. It is quite common for me to fish in behind another angler and pull fish from the pool just because I concentrate and take care with my drifts. Drifts are essential to making your fly life like and getting your fly into the strike zone so take care of all that line as you retrieve.

While fishing with Brad and Damien we found a mixed bag of fish from different pools but it was obvious that the higher in the water we got the darker the trout became which is perfectly normal. Most hens which were fairly low down were in fairly good nic still but nearly all the jacks were already coloured up and sporting a impressive racing stripe down their flanks.

Glo bugs have been really working well down low and naturals seem to have their own place higher in the river. Quite light front flies are now being used due to the water being so low which is a nice change for this river-I can even get some of my lost flies back at the moment. The edges of some of the main pools on the river are starting to look like a christmas trees with all the different sized glo bugs stuck in them. Had alot of luck with a certain colour of glo bug with Bradd and he has now named it the LOVE bug so will be busy tying up some of those for him to try back in Aus in rivers like the Thredbo.

Anglers are still generally staying away from this little river which suits me just fine but I just cant work out what scares them about it. The access is pretty good and some pools are quite defined but I must admit casting at times can be very confined. Spending time on new rivers can be very exciting as you never quite now just what is around the corner but blind fishing in here can be a costly exercise due to the snags.

The Tauranga Taupo has also produced some lovely fish and I have heard some great reports from anglers but it is again very low and fish are fairly spooky. It has also been a popular river to visit over school holidays and the car park has almost always has several cars parked up in it. Getting on the river early is still in my mind the key to a good days fishing and applying this attitude to your fishing should see fish numbers increase I would think.

Something of interest which I have been thinking about for a few days now is the thing or growth which has attatched itself to this poor fish. This is quite a fresh hen from the Hine I caught during the week and I was shocked to find the black slug like thing which was sucked onto one side of the trout. I have seen plenty of small growths or scars from shag worm over the years which effect quite a few of our trout but this was just out of this world. I’m sure it will have something to do with those bloody horrible black shags which spread shit and disease through all Taupo rivers. This trout fought quite well and apart from that thing it looked like a normal fish so if anyone has seen it before and nows what it is please drop me an email-YUKK.

Tight lines

Andrew