Hi again,

Finally tomorrow will be a day in peace with no work or commitments so will probably be catching up on fishing articles, tying flies and washing down the car getting ready for the opening of the backcountry rivers this coming Friday. Life has been very busy in the last ten days since arriving back from the UK but some good times have been had while guiding on the mighty Tongariro. Phil Norman and his friend Phil have just been over for another two days on our wonderful river and have enjoyed some good fish with stunning weather.

Finally the weather in Taupo has settled and today I received my first set of sunburnt fore arms just to prove that the day was clear and well over 20 degrees. Phil has been travelling around New Zealand with his close family and has seen some pretty ordinary conditions until they came to Turangi-always great weather in Turangi. The girls have been receiving massages and enjoying some relaxing horse riding while I have been dragging the boys over quite a high but perfect looking river.

Last week the river fished very well and many hard fighting silver fish were pulled from most pools as there were good numbers of fish pushing up from the lake spurred on by the high and coloured levels. Much of the river was actually unfishable last week thus giving plenty of cover for schools of trout to shoot up pass the popular pools and reach the “no fishing zone” which they can relax in until the 1st of December. Joe, who I guided for three days fished the margins and by-passes and intercepted many of these fish which were sneaking up the slack water trying to go un-noticed. These trout must have really motored to the top as to be totally honest we found the last two days tough going!!

Phil you will remember from many other pictures and blogs as he gets over at least three times per year and almost knows the Tongariro like the back of his hand and for him to really find things hard truly says something. Obviously this photo of Phil on his lap top on the bank of the river catching up with work proves that he was not trying hard enough and knows too much if he can fish and type at the same time.

 We hooked fish in most pools and the fish that were landed were in very good condition and had not long been in the river. In two days we must have covered at least ten different pools and stretches of the river but never really found a pod of fish which we could obtain any big numbers from. Sorry I tell a lie- the bridge pool is full of fish and before the official guiding started of the day we managed 6 fish each morning between us fishing from the true left. Why do these fish seem to hold so well in here? I’m sure everyone has a theory but what makes this pool so different to the rest of the river? It receives more pressure than any other yet the fish still keep coming-could it be the street lights?

Fishing pressure seems to be quite high at the moment and most pools which we visited had been fished or we fished with other anglers.  We dropped into Boulder Reach to see how this piece of water has been effected from the last flood only to be watching 7 anglers waving arms about in attempts to snare a trout. I know it is school holidays but most of the anglers are not kids but are old enough to be at work mid week leaving the fishing for holiday makers or very privileged individuals. I believe angling pressure makes a huge difference and will have heavy effect on your daily haul, so make sure you get up and hit that river really early.

In general the river is in perfect condition and there should be no reason why enjoyable days cant be had by starting early and moving around alot if the fishing is slow. With higher water conditions you will have to take the plunge and use extra weight to penetrate the deeper fish holding pools, if you learn to cast weighed flies you will most definitely catch more trout from most pools. Spawning fish hug the bottom for most of their life in the river and really need to be enticed to strike out at your flie which simply means you need to be fishing deep and put the fly in his mouth.

I am a little disappointed with the numbers of trout which seem to be in the river at the moment but that’s not to say someone somewhere has not had some great fishing in a pool I simply did not think of hitting. I have fished a fair chunk of the river in the past couple of days and anglers seem to be singing the same song but one area which I will recommend will be the Big Bend. There has been cars parked in the car park for the last week with anglers flogging this water like shift work so there is no secret no more unfortunately. We managed to hit multiple fish in here fishing quite deep natural nymphs in the bubble line on true right.

I would assume the river will be slightly less crowded this weekend as all other water ways open this Friday for our so called summer fishing which most are champing at the bit to get into. Unfortunatley most of these rivers would have received huge amounts of rain last week and might still be slightly high to really access properly but with good weather ahead I have my fingers crossed.

Speak soon

Andrew Christmas