Hi guys,

We have had some fairly good weather over the past few days which has altered the fishing methods for many anglers. The Cicada’s are going crazy all over the Central North Island and the fish are slowly realizing or remembering what this tasty treat can mean to them. Dry fly action is still patchy but on the right day with warm sunny conditions trout in both local and backcountry rivers are starting to react very well to Cicada type patterns. My favourite Cicada pattern is the Turk’s Tarantula with a black body, actually I’m not sure if it is supposed to be a Cicada pattern but it works really well. Of coarse I have been using this as a strike indicator also while suspending a Quasimodo or Biotic nymph underneath with both patterns working as well as the other.

The Tongariro for me has been fairly kind with a few spent rainbows coming to the net and some epic battles with good browns which seem to be scattered throughout the entire river. Some clients of mine fished without me the day before I took them backcountry and had some good fishing with Cicada patterns down river in the willows, not many landed but some nice fish hooked and lost.  The rainbows are slightly disappointing at the moment with not many fresh fish coming through but old spent fish on their way home to the lake till next winter. These fish are entertaining anglers especially on the evening rise but the brown trout are really the fish anglers are looking for at the moment. Brown Trout-what an amazing creature in so many ways. They are beautiful, smart, large, challenging creatures which have thrived in Lake Taupo over the past few years and in my opinion they have thrown a life line to DOC  as many anglers are now chasing them with excitement. There are a few whispers on the river at the moment that they may be eating all the young rainbow trout which could in the end wipe out the rainbows all together. I’m sure they eat some when they get  a chance but if they were eating that many would’nt they be really easy to catch? There are many Taupo anglers which have never caught a brown trout and I have never yet found a small rainbow in ones gutt, I would assume Black Shags may have a few in them though!!

River mouth fishing has been fun with the darker nights and still conditions. Again brown trout have been caught most nights and very early mornings before the sun is on the water some of which are very close to double figure trophys. A few good rainbows are getting caught in the current of the river mouths generally with Lumo flies or big Maribou patterns. There are so many options for night fishing at the moment like Waitahanui, Whakaipo, Western Bays and the good old faithfull Tauranga Taupo. Take care when night fishing river mouths as they seem to change weekly and could be deeper than expected so wear a belt and tell someone where you are going but dont tell them too much.

I had a fantastic day fishing this week with Ed and Emry Carr which are here fishing for a week from the USA. Emry asked me to take them somewhere slightly different with plenty of easy to catch good sized fish, just like you all ask!! Sometimes things work out perfectly and the trip of a lifetime happens and this day was one of those. Ed and Emry are both fairly new to fly fishing but are making steady progress fairly quickly learning new skills every day and achieving new goals with every outing. On this day out I was able to be apart of a great experience where they both caught their largest ever trout on fly and was able to show them some amazing scenery with good fish numbers. The trout in the backcountry have put on some great condition over the past few weeks and they are very alert to what is drifting on the surface which gave us some awesome sport. I took them to one of my favourite pieces of water which I fished a few weeks ago with Sven from Germany and as you can see we had another great day with trout on both the dry and nymph. This is one special trip.

I always offer my clients the use of my equipment but anglers which are on fishing trips will usually have their own preferred equipment which is great. When fishing this backcountry river a little bit of thought is put into things before I go as the weather has to be good , water level down, right gear packed and quite fit anglers. We used quad bikes to access the piece I wanted to get to which was both great fun and a good way to hopefully find some water which does not get fished every day. Ed and Emry set up their gear fairly quickly and we were into the first pool pretty quickly but I did’nt notice what gear they had till I went to tie on the fly or rig their line!! I should have asked or told them what they should be using but these guys were giving the fish a real fighting chance with #3wt and #4wt SAGE rods,my jaw dropped I did’nt even think. Most of us would not dream of fishing NZ backcountry with such light gear purely as we are going to encounter strong and most likely big fish which would blow the light gear away. As you can see from the pictures these guys can handle big trout on light gear and landed 80% of what was hooked simply with good striking on the take and rock hoping down the river until the fish was beat. I must admit some battles may have been shorter with a stronger stiffer rod and thowing larger drys may have been easier but they proved it can be done. All fish were released and went back very well and happy.

Backcountry is where it is at the moment and if anyone is thinking about trying to get out and find some good dry fly this summer I think you should go soon or atleast while the Cicada’s are still going stong as some of this fishing really is exciting. Have a great long weekend

Andrew