Hey guys, I know it’s been a very long time between reports but the website has had a few problems in behind it which has taken a while to sort out over the holiday period. It still amazes me the amount of emails I get asking to hurry up with a report as you are bored at work with nothing new to read, lucky you dont work for me. Fortunatley at this end it as been very busy with the great weather and thousands of tourists and I have been out on the rivers everyday since christmas.

Todays heading or title is going to be the new Tui beer add because as you can see from the photos attatched to this blog the fishing has been fantatic for me and my clients. If you have been reading the blogs that I posted before christmas I said that there would be big brown trout on there way up and many will start getting caught in the town pools in the next few weeks……well I hate to say I told you so but that is exactly what most anglers have been talking about in the last week.

Lower reaches and middle reaches of the Tongariro are holding good brown trout in most pools ranging anywhere from 4-12lbs and are all in amazing condition. Ok I have not seen many bigger than that but being so early into the season for these fish I feel sure they that the odd trout pushing 15- 20lb will be present eventually. I have recently written an article in the NZ TROUT FISHER magazine about fishing for the these summer browns in the tongariro which has been received fairly well with the readers and it’s nice to be able to display and supply pictures to back up the article which demonstrates they are there. If you need some extra knowledge or hints in catching brown trout grab this magazine and have a quick read as it should help you find these bigger fish.

Summer fishing on the Tongarrio has been my favourite fishing for sometime now and it seems it does not how much I talk about it and try and help anglers out they still are heading into the backcountry leaving the Tongariro almost empty of fisherman, thats cool. I know I have hit it lucky with fish numbers and clients that can fish reasonably well in the past week but I still bet that anglers heading hours into the backcountry have not caught browns like these. I was on a full day guide yesterday and although we did not actually catch any yesterday we spotted over 30 brown trout for the day all of the larger size. My clients were just amazed to watch these fish sitting in the deeper pools chasing away smaller trout which tried to enter their feeding zone or muscle in on their prized female!

During the day brownies are generally difficuilt fish to catch but are usually sitting in water which most anglers are able to polaoid into, which forces anglers to try and catch them understandbly. If you are targetting these trout try and hit the water early in the morning before the sun gets high or head out in the dark of the night as this is when they are most active with their feeding and let their deffences down. I am itching to drag a wetline through some of the deeper pools on the Tongariro at night but some of it will require deep wading which I’m not too sure about yet.

Most of the trout that I have caught with clients this week have been due to following one rule and that is dont step into the water until you have walked the length of the run or pool and polaroided the edges for brown trout. You will see plenty of brownies sitting hard in the edges out of the main lie or current at the moment as they love the slack water of the pool to rest in and will be scared or pushed into deeper water if you start casting in the tail of the pool while wading up to your knees. Once you have spotted your fish dont rush in and start flicking flies over his head but observe his feeeding movements, work out how deep he is sitting and then start adjusting your rig to suit. I like to take the indicator off and just use two very lightly weighted nymphs or use the dry dropper combo as both these methods allow you to land your leader only over the fish with minimal splashing from your flies. Keep a sharp eye on your fish as your flies approach and wait for the flash of white of his mouth opening before striking.

 I keep changing flies, leader, casts until you either catch him or he swims away but makesure you make that first cast perfect as this is when your chances are high of enticing a strike from the fish. Brown trout are all very different creatures and never act the same which is half the fun of trying to catch them. I was fishing with a client the other day which pretty much dumped 2 meters of fly line on his head, whacked it all in their quite hard and the bloody thing moved over and grabbed the nymph, others have scared their fish with  a perfect cast?

Many anglers this week have all been lucky enough to come across browns while just dredging the deeper pools with a standard nymphing rig and blind fishing. Most anglers head out for a day of fishing expecting fish and dont worry too much about what type they are and for most browns will fall into the bycatch category. Pools which are good for this are  areas like Admirals, Hydro, Major jones and the Judges pool, all are great holding pools for brownies and always have rainbows in them to keep the enthusiasim going.

Lots of anglers are asking me about the dry fly…….All I can say is that I have two fish take the dry in the last two weeks and I have seen about 6 rises in various parts of the river which would indicate to me that during the day not much action is being seen. You could probaly get fish up in the shallower faster water but I have not seen the numbers holding in this type of water.  The Caddis hatches in the evening are still good just before dark and this has produced good numbers of rising fish of varying quality including the odd brownie. Cicadas are going mad everywhere on the river but I am yet to see one in the river so I’m not sure how this year will pan out with these little critters. I think we are still comparing the Ciacada fishing which we experienced a few seasons ago when it did not matter what floated down the river it got picked up-might be a few seasons before we see that again.

I have been fly fishing for maybe 18 years now and have spent the last 4 years involved in guiding but have never been involved in true trophy fish until this past week. I was lucky enough to spend a day fishing with my Dad which does’nt happen much these days but it was made all that much better when I landed this jack over 10 pounds . Really great to achieve this with the old man so he could be involved in netting it and shouting advice while I was pulled down two rapids and hundreds of metres of river. I thought it would be another ten years beore I was involved with another great conditioned fish over ten pounds but the very next day a client which had never picked up a rod before caught his first trout……yes 10 pound! This poor angler may aswell give any trout fishing as he will forever be dissapointed with his future results especially in Australia. This fish was caught by just blind fishing the deeper holes with natural patterns so it was a real suprize when the fish appeared on the surface and came in relatively easily for it’s size and weight, well done Duncan and see you next year with your mates to catch the same fish as it was released quickly.

All this sounds easy I know but there has been many hours of wondering around and thousands of casts with no interest from fish but as you can see from the results the effort certainly can be worth it. With fishing pressure quite low and plenty of fish to atleast sight in the pools it is a great time of year to enjoy the river and try some new techniques which you might not do in the winter.

Tight lines

Andrew