Hi guys,

Sorry for the lack of reports but as you will soon tell from the pictures I have been doing a few miles on the rivers with regular clients for the past week. I always look forward to fishing with regular clients Larry, Andy, Scott and Steve as it is all backcountry fishing with a few twists. These guys are fairly fit and strong boys so we always push the boundaries and get to some really special water with the use of choppers, rafts, quad bikes and 4wd. This trip was another to remember and one in which I will be thinking about for the next few days as there were some fantastic fish caught in some interesting ways.

The backcountry really has not begun to really fire just yet as we have had some high water which has kept fish down deep in pools and at times under the banks and quiet but with good weather and hot conditions on the way I feel that we will be having a good year with the dry fly very soon. It is still early in the season but already these fish have put on some good condition and are looking strong which reflects in the battle when hooked of course. The scenery we have seen this week is just out of this world and it really is a pleasure to see an angler making the most of a lovely pool with a waterfall in the back ground casting at a trout as it nymphs hard moving up and down in the water column-stuff dreams are made of.

Trout which we have found have been very active and are very close to breaking the surface while feeding on nymphs just below the surface. When you can find one of these fish working hard for food you are almost guaranteed to hook him up with the right cast. Dont get me wrong we certainly scared our fare share of trout with sloppy over powered casts but we also got quite a few right which has set some great memories for these lads. Bright sunny days really help my backcountry fishing as it will hopefully mean the river levels are low or dropping and we can sight fish to several fish per day in challenging water.

Fly selection really has not been hard this week with all the famous naturals taking many fish on most occasions. PT variants and Hare and Coppers will always have a place in my fly box and will quite often be the first fly I will put on but there is a new commercially tied pattern which really is just knocking them dead and it is called the Chubby Cousin. The Chubby Cousin really does not resemble any fly at all and would be classed as a attractor pattern. I have been using these as my point fly tied on a size #14 or #12 hook and had some really positive angry takes which is really encouraging, you can pick them up from Taupo Rod’n Tackle.

Most areas we have fished this week can be fished differently but care must be taken while just blind casting in areas which you think that might hold fish. I always only fish one angler at a time as I like to keep a sharp eye on what is going on as quite often I might pick up something which the angler wont as he is concentrating on the indicator. We caught alot of fish this week with me shouting STRIKE as I have been watching the trout and not the indicator. Anglers which only watch the indicator will miss several fish in a week fishing as I know for a fact fish will feel the fly and let it go before you even now he has had it! It’s quite hard case when they look at you like your some sort of god with xray vision that can predict when  a fish will take but it is simply just keeping an eye on your surroundings.

As I might have mentioned we have had some really funny moments this week which we have all laughed about over a scotch that night. Larry managed to strike so hard that he dropped his rod and the fish pulled his rod about the pool before he grabbed it back and landed the fish. Steve expertly hooked a fish on his back cast while moving over a rock and up the pool which he also some how landed.

Andy managed to hook everything over the past six days including himself, me and a few suicidal trout. Scott was part of an incident which lost the oar on the raft and we had to raft the next 5km of the river with one paddle-interesting float. And then there was me-I drove down to the river got all the boys set up and dressed only to realize that the reels we back at the lodge!!!! Sounds like a circus does’nt it but god we had some good times!!

December is creeping very close and it wont be long and the upper Tongariro will again be available to be fished. There is only one great way to fish the upper river and that is with the use of the raft. I am still looking for one keen angler to join us on the opening week and enjoy what should be some great fishing for the day. Ther are currently impressive numbers of trout in the upper section in most pools and with over 14km of river to fish there is certainly plenty of water to cover. Please drop me a email and we can get you involved in one of these bucket list trips.

I have a few days to myself now which will be spent mowing lawns, paying bills and washing the rig down but will try and get out on the Tongariro and see what has been happening on there. Brownies must be very close and should start to appear in catch bags as the weather warms up and summer rolls in. Dry fly in the evening should also be good with recovering trout trying to get some weight back on.

Tight lines guys

Andrew