Today I had the pleasure of teaching  Daniel from Switzerland how to cast and catch trout. Daniel had a entire day to kill in Turangi and did’nt know one end of a fly rod from the other and was very keen to do things the right way and start to learn the finer points of casting in the field before hitting the river. The wind was bloody awfull and I felt a bit bad for Daniel trying to cast in the field with a stiff swirly breeze wrapping the line and indicator round his neck every 5 minutes as I stood back and shouted commands but he was giving it a red hot go and was making steady progress.

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We then went through setting the rod up for nymphing and what line to use where and want knots to tie things together with (all very technical) this was starting to get boring even for me so I hurried things along to lunchtime and went and saw SHAZ for a cup of Turangi’s finest coffee before hitting the river.

Where would be a great place to take  a beginner that has never cast before and really wants to experience wading across rivers, being outdoors and a good chance of encountering a strong fighting Rainbow trout? THE BRAIDS.

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I have been pushing this area for so long and still no one listens to me as we got down on the river at 1pm and we were the only ones to fish there until 4pm, oh well your loss guys.

Daniel found casting in the river totally different as you always find out because the flies totally screw any rhythem up that you may have had in the field and took a wee while to work out the mending and presenting the nymphs in such a  way that was inviting to hungry trout. Twenty minutes of frustration due to wind and knots was quickly forgotten about as he was into his first fish from spot X and god it gave a good go with plenty of tail walking and winter spawning strength. After a few minutes he had his first fish on the bank and had smiles from ear to ear and so he should as it was a silver fresh fish that he had worked very hard for and it had just made his holiday in New zealand.

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The action did’nt stop there and Daniel proceeded to take another 5 fresh silver fish from the same run using a size #16 hare and Copper with a small gold bead on the front, bloody amazing.

I have never seen someone so happy in all my guiding time which really made my day and that’s why I will continue to guide and enjoy what the Tongariro has to offer. This river always surprises me you just never no when a fresh bunch of fish will be running through and where you will intercept them. Sure it has it’ hard days and you go away wondering where they all are and what you did so wrong but the next day is usually so different and smiles are on all anglers faces once again.

With these fish in the river I personally don’t see the point in fishing hours away in the backcountry as the quality of the fish and the scenery in the Tongariro at the moment is second to none.

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Yes it is fantastic to not see another angler and catch the odd good brownie but we didn’t see a sole the other day and we caught 5 fresh hard fighting Rainbows with beautiful orange flesh and a really good chance of getting a good brownie at this time of year. Remembering that Daniel had never picked a fly rod up in his life and had roaring wind to deal with as-well. If I caught 5 good Rainbows in a backcountry river I would consider myself to have done pretty good and had a enjoyable day, but this can be achieved in the Tongariro most of the year round!!

Bottom line is plenty of good fishing in the Tongariro, great scenery, awesome fish and no better place to spend time with mates and family so get down here and have red hot go, anyone can do it.

Till next time, tight lines Andrew Christmas