Hi guys,

What a fantastic weekend for the outdoor family with all slopes on the mountain open and the river in perfect condition for winter fishing. The last few days have been cold and clear with frosts most mornings which has been harsh on many fisherman that were out and about early. I ventured outside at 8am this morning  and scrapped the ice from the windscreen while it was still -3,  great conditions for our rivers and our trout.

Every angler who fished the Tongariro over the weekend should have caught a fish of some description as I witnessed anglers fighting fish in all the runs and pools I walked past or fished. With four days guiding ahead of me I thought it was important to see what was happening and indeed what has changed again following the last high water. All anglers were positive in good moods and speaking highly of the fishery and the trout that they had caught or lost, amazing how opinions change so quickly. 

Conditions today were perfect with the river running at about 45cumecs and a lovely green tinge that should hang about for  the next few days and offer some cover for the trout which may slow their run to the headwaters down. The river has been up and down over the past week and it has been hard to access or fish much of the river which at times I feel is a good thing as it allows fish to sneak through without being disturbed. Unfortunately when they sneak through and we have not even had a good go at them it gives us the impression that they are not their or not coming but in actual fact they have safely made it to their spawning areas and are getting on with the job.

Personally I really enjoy writing a blog adding photos of  friends, clients and adding some information that I have found or heard about during my travels which in turn hopefully makes your next trip to the rivers more successful. But….sometimes when I read letters in local magazines blaming such websites or blogs as playing a part in the decline of our world famous fishery it is hard to sit down and spend an hour getting excited about sharing my experiences. It is even worse when people  believe that the reasons that websites are updated is only for commercial gain and the content of the article (blog) is  a pile of crap which is only thought up to attract anglers to use their products or services. I will continue to write as many blogs as I want and share with those who want to read them my experiences, thoughts and sometimes facts about whatever topic I feel like writing about. It seems to me the gentleman which wrote to the editor and got his paragraph of fame published might be better off  learning to cast,spot fish and read water then he may understand that there is not many days on the Tongariro which can be classed as hard. If I was to write about the porn industry would it suddenly decline? I think not. If you need some help please give me a ring and we can start with the basics :). 

Anyway back to it….I may have mentioned the other day that all this high water my bring a few more brownies into the system and sure enough on my travels today I found quite a few. I will stop commenting on when I think they are going to stop as I predicted that a month ago and since then there has been plenty to target. I must admit when I do have a spare day to fish I will go to areas where I have seen good numbers of browns over the summer months as I love sighting these guys, for me they are a pretty fish which are usually bigger. I fished for about 3 hours today and landed three solid browns and two fresh rainbows which can be classed as a great afternoon out. The browns all took small natural patterns while being nymphed upstream of their lie. I was lucky enough to spot all these fish and watch them turn on the fly or see the white of their bottom lip suck the fly in which was just priceless. All fish were jacks and had been in the river a little while with the best weighing 7lb on the net scales which I think is wrong and would probably put him at 6 (typical guide net). The reason these fish are  not appearing in anglers bag limits at the moment is because the river has been so clear prior to the rain and had become spooky. With levels being high for  a few days now and plenty of food flowing through thy have dropped defences and become slightly more catchable during the day.

With good weather for the next few days I am pretty excited about guiding as we should run into some good fresh fish in most pools if we can get to them before shooting through. The river is dropping but taking a little while so with cold mornings and early starts I’m sure we will have something  positive to report by the end of the week.

All my trout today we caught on a #14 Green caddis but with spawning fish in the river with coloured water glo bugs will be a good option for most circumstances especially at first light. With school holidays in full swing their may be a few more punters about so brave the elements and get those fingerless gloves out to get that first drift through your favourite pool.

Andrew