Hi again,

Well as promised the fishing has improved with the better weather and the big browns which I look forward to each year certainly have arrived in the usual spots. I have been out with several clients over the last three days and have hooked a brown on every occasion. I say hooked as they are so hard to deal with and the only result we have at the net is from a very skillful young fisherman from Taupo which landed a good 5.5lb hen from the Waitahanui lower reaches.

Heartbreak was felt twice in the middle reaches of the Tongariro over the last couple of days with knots finally letting go under the strain of big browns disappearing down the rapids to the next pool. I have had some fun with these in the past and the key is to just keep moving with the fish until he gives in, you can not muscle these fish and those who do will generally miss out on the photo. I have not been targeting these fish but simply fishing water which I have found them in from time to time while going about my guiding day just trying to get a few fish. I am fishing a #6wt rod and 6lb tippet which is plenty for the rainbows at the moment but a little light when it comes to trying to put the hurt on some of these larger browns.

I have not seen what is holding in the lower reaches but I would imagine it to be loaded with good fish , especially under the willows and tight banks. They will over time push into the middle and upper reaches which will give us some amazing options to see and find one of the smartest sport fish available to NZ anglers. There are a few tricks to catch up with these guys so stay tuned over the next month and I  will slowly leak what I know.

The Tongariro is generally fishing ok at the moment with slightly higher water levels which has pushed alot of recovering fish into the edges and into feeding frenzy’s. I have not really seen or caught any fish worth taking this week but have had fun with clients which are able to hook fish in most pools. Some days we get so concentrated on catching perfect trout all the time and forget about the time of year and why they are in the river, we need to remember that these recovering trout have been through a hell and still can be fun to catch!! 

So…where are all the big brownies?? The Waitahanui has plenty of browns in the lower reaches currently and I advise you to get dowm there and do your best to fool one of these beauties. I have seen fish from 3lb through to 8lb all in the lower river between the road and the Cliff pool. Some anglers or locals may think I’m mad giving away information like this but with anglers on the rivers these fish will stay safer than if the river was left quiet for a few days….if you get my drift. They are extremely stubborn trout and you need to find a trout which is feeding as the majority of them will be sitting dead in the water until the darkness of night. Once hooked good luck the next mission begins before they run you to deep water or have you tangled in structure which they seem to find very well.

The smiley young fella in the photo’s name is Ryan. Ryan is 13 years old and can throw a fly rod as good as most of us and will be a very good angler as he grows up. His passion , enthusiasm and willingness to learn is so refreshing and it was my pleasure to take him to the Waitahanui for a few hours, reminds me of what I was like growing up. My waders were never dry as a young fella and I annoyed the hell of anyone with a car just to drop me to the river for a few hours before or after school. This fish was in superb condition which any angler should be proud to have the chance to tangle with.

Tight lines guys

Andrew