Hi guys

A busy weekend on all waterways has just passed with the weather just holding out for the annual holiday period of Easter. Easter weekend is usually my last busy period in the year until summer fishing kicks in and the past week has been no different. Heaps of anglers were on local rivers such as Waitahanui and the Tongariro but I managed to find plenty of fisherman in the backcountry as well, luckily armed with a raft we were able to find pockets of water which were un touched.

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I had a friend fish the Waitahanui yesterday only to find no trout at all and fisherman on nearly every corner which indicates that there is either no fish in the river or they have all shot through to the headwaters. The Tongariro water level slightly spiked with the wee bit of rain we received which should have pushed the odd fish into the lower river. Most anglers were able to find the odd fish in most of the town pools despite the heavy angling pressure if they used the effective method of moving about through different pools. As I right this blog it is blowing about 40knots and has been raining solid for nearly 10 hours so I would think this will have an effect on river levels and hopefully produce a small flood which will benefit the river by washing out the silt from many of the pools before winter. A go to river will be the Waitahanui as this rough westerly wind should be blowing fish into the mouth and into the lower river.

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Over the past week or so I have had some amazing fishing in the backcountry. This was maybe the last time I will venture beyond the taupo fishery this season as rain effects these rivers dramatically and the gamble of them being fishable is just too high of a risk. In saying that if you hit it right you will get some of the best fishing that is available as the fish are big and strong from eating well all summer and in some rivers are stacking up for the seasons spawning so good numbers are available. The best time to hit it right will be the day before rain when the barometer is dropping or the day that the river begins to start to clear after dirty water from bad weather. I have been lucky enough to be out in these areas the last two weekends and have hit these conditions which in return have produced 30 fish days which is amazing fishing.

All fish are in great condition after summer and the jacks have already started to line up in the deeper holes waiting for the small and short spawning run that these rivers may get. The males are all sporting their full spawning colours with the brownies being the most impressive with butter yellow bellies and perfect spots. Over the past couple of weeks we have had some very nice trout up to 7lb but most trout are a little smaller than in the past with the average being somewhere about 2lb. What they have lost in size they have made up for in numbers but it does make you wonder where the larger fish have gone and if it is  a result from anglers killing our backcountry fish which I am dead against.

I spent Saturday rafting with John and his kids Bill and Rosie and had a pretty good day with trout numbers and having the pleasure of picking and choosing where to stop and where not to which is a huge benefit of raft fishing. John landed this amazing rainbow which took him to the end of his backing as it dissapeared down a fast rapid knocking his fingers to bits on the way. We landed this trout after a good battle and I’m sure you will agree it was in top condition and a good indication that trout have eaten well over the past summer, probaly the best raibow I have seen this year.

I’m not usually one to get on the wagon and join others in moaning about different things of the fishery but in the case of the fish eating shags I am slowly becoming one. Dont get me wrong but their are good shags and bad shags nad these ones are very bad.!! On a backcountry river this week I spotted over 70 of these big black mongrels rolling down the pool fishing as they went, how are small fish or even 2lb fish going to escape the jaws of these. It’s not just the eating of trout which is going to be a problem but the scars which these fish are left with after escaping as it then is open to infection.

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The numbers of these shags are growing and so is the determination from fisherman to have their population limited. I would like to think that the body who protect these birds have seen a increase in population and the effect that they have on a fishery and hopefully are thinking of doing something about it.   With duck shooting only two weeks away they should get a touch up as some duck hunters have problems with identifying their birds  as they are so alike.

Tight lines

Andrew