Hi guys

Must admit I have been on the end of some special fishing country and enjoyed some of the best fishing nz has to offer thanks to the use of rafts and heli fishing but local stuff should not be overlooked either. We are a pretty lucky bunch to have so many options at our door steps and overseas anglers certainly are making the most of it this season.

The backcountry has been outstanding and I have not had a bad day when involving a bit of driving, walking, exploring. Fish are generally looking up and hitting big surface flies but also willing to take a nicely drifted nymph at the right depth. I flew into the Mohaka last week on two different occasions and loved seeing dead cicadas and live ones floating all through the river and fantastic browns chewing on them. This type of fishing will continue for a wee while yet as we are still only in February. Fish are in great condition and have recovered well from any winter spawning. I could possibly put this down to one of my most memorable years on the rivers I think. Water levels for me are ideal but it wont be long and they will soon become a little to low and slime will be dangerous on the rocks, we wont wish for rain but lets just be careful.

Locally I don’t know too much but I have got my finger on the Tongariro currently and have been finding both rainbows and browns on most outings. Browns seem to be in good numbers and the usual haunts are loaded with a few special specimens, sometimes not easy to catch but they are there. I have been lucky over the past week or so and again had some willing fish with good clients and netted a few good ones. There are some good rainbows filtering through the system but also a lot of recovering fish which can be expected, should be a wee while before fresh runners come now but that will be dictated by the rain and cooler conditions.

The deeper holding pools are best fished traditional nymphing with patterns which you think will attract the browns. I find dark colours are best but also quite large, been a good number of fish taken on the heavy front fly. You will know when you have hooked a brown in the big water, be prepared for a totally different fight from the rainbows and get ready to move through the pool and sometimes down to the next pool as they are escape artists with a big paddle.

Most anglers are still finding trout in the shallow fast water and this is where I have been getting them up on the dry, a cicada pattern. Out of five fish caught in this water I generally get 2 on the dry and three on the dropper depending on the water and size of trout, exciting fishing really. I have not nailed a big brown on a Cicada pattern this season but the rainbows are very keen to smash an easy meal in the Tongas anyways.

Be aware while walking pets, drinking from the river or maybe even eating the trout you catch as Doc and its contractors have poisoned paradise with 1080 baits and other lesser poisons such as Pindone trying to control possum numbers. How crazy is this?? poisoning one of the worlds most famous fisheries which opens itself up to so many recreational users. It seems it would not matter how many people signed a petition not to use this stuff the government still would, they have too much invested in it now not to!!. Between making it hard to purchase a fishing licence and poisoning the water they are charging for they sure are doing a good job of deterring anglers to visit Taupo.

In saying that some special fish are getting caught. The evening rise still seems to be productive on the right night and the lake still keeps throwing up good conditioned rainbows and browns. At this stage we could be set for a solid winter, lets keep finger crossed and hope nature looks after itself.

Tight lines

Andrew Christmas