Hi guys,

Another busy week on the guiding front has passed with many hours spent on local Taupo rivers and plenty on backcountry streams which have now got low enough to access and can be fished effectively. Over the past couple of weeks I have finally made up my mind on backcountry rivers and have decided that they just don’t fish well while they are high and dirty. Many anglers and guides may argue the point but I have just been on the water too many days not to see a trend on this argument and it is simple, they fish better when they are low and clear which most are now.

I have given the Tongariro all of my time this week in the Taupo area and have had some reasonable days but this river is still really struggling after the flood but can only get better. A good day for me at the moment will be to see some good browns, catch a reasonable rainbow and land many little fellas which would struggle to be half a pound. Some anglers are good with this and on world standards we are still ahead of the eight ball but when your used to so much more its hard to swallow.

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With bright, hot days and the water temperature warm we cant expect many rainbows to appear again so quick but a huge motivator to me at the moment is the big browns which are slowly pushing up every day. Again hard to catch and you will scare more than you will even get a cast at but occasionally the stars will line up and you will be into a fish of a lifetime which will keep you on your toes for quite sometime.

Reports from other local rivers have been few and far between as many guides are again pushing into their backcountry secret spots or are like me sticking to the Tongariro. Angling pressure on the Tongariro is almost non existent during the week and only a handfull are about on the weekend so if it is solitude you want now is a good time to explore the new changes to most of the river. The river is back to being low and starting to look very clear so polaroiding trout is very easy if you know what to look for, browns being the easiest as they are about two foot long.

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Some dry fly action has been available during the day especially when the wind has dropped out and the sun has been at its brightest this encouraging trout to look up. Cicadas are still roaring on most of the river but I have not seen too many on the tracks or in the river but trout seem to know what they are when flung into the bubbly riffles of broken water. The quieter backwaters I always use a blow fly which I find very effective if it can be cast high in the pool and made to float high, a slow take can make the hairs on the neck of the most composed angler stand up.

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Lake O has been a popular place to be this summer with weather conditions generally being pretty good to be on the little lake. Fishing clubs, tourists, locals and boaties all know the potential of this little gem and have been giving this place a hiding over the past month. One angler reported over 30 boats including float tubes and other buoyant contraptions during the week which is huge pressure for such a small fragile fishery. Fishing pressure is fine if the trout captured are being carefully released but this has not been the case as I have seen heaps of pictures of bins of dead trout which are headed for the smoker. The fishery has seen a decline in the past couple of years and activity like this will not help with the recovery. Fish being killed are in great condition and many are in the 6-7lb bracket which any angler should be proud of but lets just try and take  a good picture and let that fish put on the vital pounds it deserves. Smoked trout is ok but better from a fishery like Lake Taupo where they feed on Koura so lets better our skills on rivers such as the Tongariro and take  a few fish from the river as a good alternative.

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Sometimes as a guide you can really hit it right with clients which are just fantastic fisherman and Bill and Thomas were no exception to that. They spend a few weeks per year in our wonderful country away on father son time just like I do with mine. Thomas knows the river as good as anyone and his enthusiasm to fish was amazing. They spent every morning in the lower reaches of the Tongariro targeting big browns from sunrise to sundown with good results. My day with these two amazing anglers was just perfect and I was so happy we decided to try a backcountry river which had dropped to a perfect level.

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Thomas had never fished out this way before and after fighting 21 for the day I think he may spend a few more days away from the Tongariro exploring on his next trip which may be again this year. Thanks for a great day guys it was so nice to be busy with the net again.

Back closer to home the Tongariro produced a very rewarding day while guiding Lindsay, Steve and Ian for the second day this week. These guys are professionals in their own fields back in Melbourne and like many fisho’s escape every year for mantime wondering around rivers flicking fly rods. Day 1 was a bit slim with some decent fish lost and plenty of smaller fish landed especially by Ian which seemed to have found the nursery pool for a while. Day 2 was a different day so it was treated differently and we stepped outside the square and moved about the river fairly quickly hooking fish in most pools.

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Judges had good numbers of fish in it with the best being a brownie hooked but not landed. A little secret run has developed up river which is just perfect for the dry fly and when Lindsay dropped the blow fly in there it got swamped upon three times but only one stuck and was dispatched for dinner, a nice little rainbow of about 3lb.

Bigger and Better things were to come and I know you will all be looking closely at this amazing brown which was hooked and landed in the Upper Birch pool. Several browns have called this home in the last couple of weeks and thus was by far the biggest that we could sight fish to. After a very good fight, high leaps and screaming runs we were able to control the beast just before it was about to dissapear down to Barlows. This awesome looking creature pulled up just short of the magic mark and weighed just over 9lb, a great fish anywhere in the world. What a great photo to stick on the wall in the office guys. Look at the condition of the trout, just goes to show they are about you just need to be lucky and patient.

After a few pictures and a slow recovery this fish was released and swam away unharmed to get to that ten pound mark next year.

Anyway-Tight lines guys and thankyou to those who I have worked with in the past week.

Andrew