Hey guys,

Well we have seen some fairly average conditions over the past week and standing in the swollen Tongariro river has been far but pleasant but for those who are brave enough have done very well as expected. As you know all rivers in Taupo have been high for the last week or so and the Tongariro is still the only real one to be at a perfect fishable level. This river has emptied out the quickest and continues to drop day by day despite natures best efforts to keep it high and flooded. We have braved strong south westerly winds which would blow the milk out of your tea, hale the size of a good tungsten beads and rain drops which only take a few to get wet but with the thought of hooking into top quality silver bullets excitement was high and we slogged it out.

I have had the pleasure of spending another week with Joe who I usually take only in the summer months but from the condition and amount of fish we have caught I think he may be trying to squeeze another trip into a year of semi retired life. Joes best trait is that he loves to get going at first light and with his enthusiasm to get on the river he usually had fish on the bank in the first ten minutes which always takes the pressure of the guide for the next hour or so. Starting early this season has been such a important thing in getting int the best fish early before even seeing another angler. The last two mornings have been classic perfect conditions for winter fishing and we had caught and released our limit before even seeing another angler at 8am. Fish have been moving through most river systems with quite a lot of pace this season and not holding up in the middle reaches like they have in other years so getting into them when you can it is important and in some cases this means early!

Another great thing about guiding Joe is that he goes his pace and enjoying a slice of carrot cake and a steaming hot latte in Turangi never gets pushed to the side and is most looked forward to by the soaking wet guide. All my clients are very different in what they want out of their day but Joe is just happy getting into it early and letting the day running it’s course and as we start at first light this means we are usually completed and packed up for a snooze by 2pm which is just perfect from a guides point of view as we can organize the next day and have lunches done before dark. I think Joe spends the majority of the afternoon tying flies and dreaming up new ways to weight lines or  invent indicators that float higher and have less wind resistance.

I really had a great time the last few days back on the river mainly as it gave me time to reflect on the trip to the uk I had just had and even when standing in the hail with a cold south westerly blowing in my face I still knew I would rather be on the river.

As I said the river is in perfect winter fishing conditions with the water holding high and slightly off coloured. All methods of fishing will catch plenty of trout just make sure you get the depth of the trout as quick as possible and use some big beautiful looking thing they cant miss. I have been running two of my favourite flies when nymphing which is a large flame coloured glo bug and a green caddis made from glister which can be picked up well in the coloured water. On most occasions I think you can just throw a glo bug and this will catch fish all day if conditions stay like they are. More attention has to be paid to where you are looking for the fish and take into account the high conditions and hunt for your fish in the edges or in by passes which are now cleaned out and flowing quite well. Fish will not be holding up in the main lies you may have found them in the past when conditions were low and clear as they don’t have the energy to be fining into that all day and night so look outside the square and make the cast a short one and reap the benefits at your feet.

Joe and I moved about over the past few days but generally all our fishing was done in the middle reaches or the lower river. I had great fish in places like the Island pool and really concentrated early morning efforts on the by pass that runs into the main pool of Judges as it is now got good flow and offers cover for tired running fish. The braids as always has produced fish but places like spot x usually had someone parked up there most days.

Today I took a gamble and moved up around the Blue pool as in the pat this area can fish very well in high water but within two hours we found ourselves at the bottom of Graces road as we did not get a touch while in the upper section. This is the key to seeing the river and working out where the fish are  , if you are not getting fish in perfect conditions keep moving until you do as they must be somewhere. Within an hour of being down river Joe had landed 5 solid silver bullets which finished our outing together. With good numbers of fish in the lower Tongariro today the weekend should fish well in the middle reaches and hopefully is being backed up with more fish running in at the mouth.

I feel certain that anglers will have an enjoyable stay while in Turangi over the next few days and if theres any hope of milking a long weekend it will be well worth the hassle. I will be about again early in the week with Phil Norman another very regualar client -lets just hope that Collingwood win the AFL grand final (game with funny rules) over the weekend or it could be more of a councelling session than a guiding session.

Get out there

Andrew