Hey guys,

I hope you were all out on the water today as it looks the weather is going to pack it in on Saturday getting back to windy wet conditions which we have had for the past two weeks. While the rough racing weather is good for running fish it really does drain the tanks week in week out and it was nice to see the sun and enjoy still conditions today.

Most rivers have again produced trout this week and it was nice to enjoy big portions of river with no anglers which was a nice change from the past few weeks. All in all the rivers have been fairly quiet for school holidays, usually a time in which motels, cafes and river banks are busy with Dad’s teaching sons and daughters how to lay a line and hook a trout. I really hope this still happens as the time that my Dad spent with me has channeled to who I am today and how I live my life.

I spent two half days during the week guiding on the Hine which was running high due to the dams again spilling which was quite handy actually as I”m sure it pulled a few silver fish in from the lake. With less anglers around my clients enjoyed good numbers of trout while nymphing natural patterns. We fished from the first car park right the way to the limit pool and saw plenty of fish throughout many being old and recovering fish which are really good sport. Recovering fish are excellent sport as they are hungry and will take the fly especially if you can run the fly quite close to him or her after spotting them in the riffley water gathering oxygen and loose food.

The last couple of days I have enjoyed fishing with a  good friend and talented angler which has taught me things I had never even thought of. Well kinda guided because I enjoyed getting picked up, feed , watered(wine), told where to cast, fly selected and my trout photographed. I have just spent the last two days with Belinda Thomas. Belinda knows the local lakes like the back of her hands and she was able to show me how to fish these lakes in really strong winds and dull miserable conditions. In saying that I think we could have fished any conditions as her custom built boat puts my bath tub to shame and we were able to slow our drift and hide from the weather thanks to a brilliantly designed boat.

Fishing was fishing and we certainly went through tough drifts with no strikes or fish hooked up but with Belinda’s guidance and decision making it was not long before we had found another drift with suitable depth and weed cover which in turn held fish. Stripping wet patterns proved to be most successful both days but the nymph got taken well by cruising fish especially when placed in those deeper holes of large weed beds. The wind chop and dull conditions were perfect for stripping dancing wet patterns and we sure got some hard takes by excited aggressive trout. There was never a dull moment, even when we were not hooking trout the stereo playing catchy music turned the large casting platform into a dance floor

It is still a hard time of year for the lakes to produce big numbers of fish and some of the bigger trout will tend to be slightly slabby and recovering from spawning. The maiden fish are fat and in magnificent condition but as the nymph life in the lake and weed beds flourish with warmer water conditions the trout will soon put on weight and should be back to their best by January/February. As you will see from one of the pics I was lucky enough to catch a freak of a fish which should be cloned as it was in perfect condition and flawless with no signs of spawning, maiden fish on steroids!!!?? Some of the trout we hooked were full of power and sneaky tricks but Belinda still manged to put most in the net despite using barbless hooks!

I must admit in the past I have not been a big lake angler and I may have only visited the local lakes a dozen or so times each season and have spent most of my time and guiding on rivers. This season I have had 6 days already and every morning I wake up I am wishing I could set the boat on a perfect drift and strip a fly slowly along the drop of the weed bed awaiting the tug of a turning fish on the fly-It’s so addictive!! After fishing with Belinda for only two days I have become a better angler and have learnt some things I have not even though about before. Lake fishing is not just throw it out and twitch it back but fly selction is important, drift speed is vital, depth of water, weed beds, channels, covering water, retrieve speed, feeling takes, watching for followers and observing insect life and changing the tactics for the time of year. Always respect the weather and water conditions as boats can be dangerous when stuck in the wrong place! Belinda was just the best guide!

Anyways I will be guiding again on the Tongariro in the morning despite a terrible weather report so hopefully the dark night and rough night to come might push some good fish into the town pools for us to target.

Tight lines

Andrew