Hi guys, We had another cool rafting trip with Liz and Chris yesterday with some really good weather and a few twists on the fishing which was nice to see. We have been so lucky over the past month or so to hit some great weather which has made for some memorable days for anglers and adventure seekers. The rafting in the upper Tongariro is one of those perfect scenery areas which really looks amazing on a nice day.

Chris and Liz are from Auckland and have been fishing together for years in these areas and this was the second time they have fished with me in the upper river in the last 12 months. Liz would have to be one of the best skilled females I have fished with and her willingness to succeed and learn ensures we always put a few on the board and get amongst some fish early. Chris is the quiet achiever which is happy if Liz is happy so I have spent quite a lot of time with her over the last few outings, Chris also can throw a very impressive line. Infact  just this week they have had Herb personally teaching them the Tongariro Roll Cast-a cast only mastered by competent fly anglers but beneficial for all.

As I mentioned in my last blog the fishing is pretty good in the upper section of the Tongariro but certainly can not be described as “loaded” or “lousy” with fish.  There are good numbers in the first few km’s of the section but they are hard to find the further you raft down. Why are numbers down you ask?? Well I think the floods we received couple of months back has washed a good portion back to the lake or at least out of the upper river but something else creeped into mind the other day while sat on the back of the raft. Yip you guessed it-all that over fishing which was happening down the braids and to a sickening extent under the main road bridge all winter . I know I go on about over fishing but the truth is clear, it happened, we know who was guilty for it and not much was ever done about it and it will continue each year as long as the fish are running. Human greed is world wide and always will be. Say there were 20 fish per day taken from the bridge pool over 3 months-that would be roughly 20 fish per pool in the upper section. If there were 20 fish per pool in the upper section I would be reporting huge numbers. This is a light estimate as I know at times this pool alone had more than 20 taken from it some days and it certainly went on longer than 3 months. If what I’m blabbing on about is correct then it will most likely have  a substantial effect on the next few years fish numbers as they are simply not in the spawning grounds where they should be.

With lovely warm conditions over the last few weeks the trout in shallow water have just started to look up or at least notice the dry fly passing over them. Liz was the first client for the season to land a fish which came up and took a small Humpy pattern. Trout are really hanging out on good shallow spawning beds with plenty of oxygen especially now the levels are getting lower and the water is slightly warming. Fishing with a dry fly of any description and a nymph hanging under it will do well over the next few months and will be a welcome rig by most anglers. Don’t be annoyed about catching old or recovering trout they have done a great job getting past the bridge and hooking up with their party on spawning grounds, catch them and nicely send them on their way. You may see the odd silver fish pushing into the river but I think we can safely say that our winter runs are now over!.

Speak soon

Andrew