Hey again,

Looks like we are in for a few days of rain with much of the North Island receiving mixed weather as I sit in my office writing a new blog. I don’t think the rain will be enough to spurr any real run into the rivers but will definitely be helping the rivers turn into winter condition. I still feel the Taupo rivers are a few weeks away from seeing their first winter run fish and we should still expect to enjoy summer fishing targeting big browns until this happens.

I cant wait for winter fishing this year as things look like it will be good amounts of better fish this season going of what the fish are like in the lake at the moment. I love those mornings of mist coming of the river and the crackle of the frozen grass as you make your way to your favourite pool in hope that it has loaded up with hard fighting rainbows over night. The changing from natural nymphs and small indicators to bright glo bugs and indicators like small budgies for me is  a welcome change as this is where my favourite memories of the Tongariro  and fishing with my Dad lay. Those mornings which make your bones in your fingers ache from the cold and ice gathers on the guides of your rods are not nice but is quick forgotten about when attached to an angry silver bullet stripping line down river leaping high from the water with a glo bug in his lip. This is how I remember winter and after some great fishing with different methods through out the summer I am ready for the change.

I have had some amazing fishing in the last week with Bryan and Rob which travelled all the way from Las Vegas for the second trip in two years. These guys are fishing nuts which travel the states together every few months in pursuit of different experiences and have declared the trout fishing in the North Island to be some of the best in the world. These guys are very, very good anglers but we also had some really good luck with perfect conditions and fish which were willing to play. As per normal good fishing in the backcountry is not achieved by jumping out of the vehicle and away you go and credit must be given as I walked these guys for hours to get to water which even I only fish once in a blue moon. If you are fit and able and strong in the water there are places you can get to where it just does not get fished from one month to the next and fish are plentiful, big and hungry. These days always blow out over 12 13 hours and good weather prior and on the day is a must but with the right planning and being open minded the perfect day can be achieved.

Bryan and Rob were very impressed with the continuous size and strength of the fish which we seemed to be hooking into every pool as long as we approached slowly and made a good drag free cast. I might make this sort of fishing seem easy but it is far from it as these fish don’t see lots of anglers and patrol their pool or water very well and are alert to something which is not quite right. Occasionally even these guys were bought back to reality with a refusal on their dry fly by big smart cruising brownies.

On the first day conditions were low and the sun was high which allowed us to take all 30 fish on the dry fly or suspended nymph which is very exciting stuff. After this day being so good they booked the same trip again two days later on slightly different water but the same river. It was not quite the same day as we had hoped for as the water had risen a little and the day was showery and overcast which meant we did not get one fish on the surface all day.

Despite the change in the conditions we did manage another 20 good fish all taken nymphing which weighed somewhere between 2-6lbs. The backcountry for me this season when the conditions has let me in has been fantastic!!

The new NZ  TROUT fisher magazine should be in your local stores right now with some interesting articles and info to set you up for the next few months so be sure to drop in and pick you a copy up and support this New Zealand owned magazine.

Tight lines

Andrew Christmas