Hi all, Well I must admit I have had an absolute ball fishing on the Tongariro which up till now I have reported as fishing quite hard and disappointing. Fresh rainbows have moved into the system and good browns have pushed from the lower reaches and are now taking nymphs readily during the day. Fish seem to be scattered through out the river and great fish have been taken from the braids all the way to the blue pool and with angling pressure being low it leaves plenty of water to explore and fish properly.

no images were found

Brown trout seem to be on the move and have moved from the lower river in search of good breeding pools and water with plenty of oxygen so there eggs and sperm have the best chance of turning into more wild brown Tongariro trout. These fish moving have made catching them alot easier than trying to target them in the slow water amongst the willows and gives the angler a small chance of landing the well conditioned bruts. The river mouths are stacking up with male fish (jacks) which means that they will be on the way to wait for the females to follow up for the spawning runs. Traditionally the males will run the river to claim positions and wait to ambush the poor un expecting females. They generally will run the river a month before the females so if they are ready to push from the lake now we should see the first real spawners in the next month or 6 weeks (yeah baby).

no images were found

Now we might just touch on the fishing that I have personally experienced over the weekend and how the Tongariro smashed all expectations and produced the largest best conditioned trout of the latest competition run by the Taupo Fishing Club. The club has a fantastic comp that they run every year and this year was no exception with record numbers of entrants and great numbers of fat little trout weighed in which left everyone confident speaking highly of the wonderful Taupo fishery. I watched much of the weigh in and was grinning the entire time when every fish that was weighed was in good condition and I’m sure these fish would have been sporting perfect flesh eating qualities.

I fished Saturday and Sunday with my mate Mike Hughes in hope of snagging one of those great brownies that we are always seeing in the lower river but only occasionally managing to hook. We needed a good fish and we took of down river early in the morning only to discover that they had gone and we could not see nor catch anything, half a day wasted.

Upon heading up river around Admiralsit was obvious that we had found a nice patch of brownies which were feeding really well and taking small naturals like pheasant tails and dirty looking hare and coppers. Landing these buggers was another story with me loosing a good fish first closely followed with Mike loosing a great fish of about 8lb down the rapids. Loosing fish on competition days really hurts especially when you know you have just  lost a fish that may have been close to winning the prizes. Our luck dried up for quite some time until incredibly I managed to hook another cracking brown which gave me the fight of a life time and is the cause for a drowned phone and camera which is yet to start to work or turn on again. I chased the beast down the rapids keeping the fly line high to keep in good contact with the fish but he was not giving up easily and stripped line as he wished which left me stumbling and swimming down the pool trying to keep up. Eventually I managed to net the beautiful Jack which is the finest fish that I have personally landed as it was a beautiful butter yellow with huge shoulders and a impressive hook on the jaw. I cant describe what it was like to land this fish after the shit the mongrel had put me through and what he had cost me in electrical equipment. I was the happiest man in the world and the weigh in was even sweeter. There was no more action for the day before we left to make the weigh in time and I must admit the trip back to Taupo was a happy one with a great fish sat on ice in the back of the truck, the fish weighed in at just under 7lb. This trout that was caught in the upper Tongariro was the largest of day one and was closely followed by another Brown trout that was caught by Luke Sawyer from the Waytoohardanuie.

no images were found

Day two saw myself and Mike standing in the same pool at daylight hoping for another great session targeting brown trout in the upper river using horrible looking nymphs which looked like they had been stamped on upon a dozen times before tying them on. We spotted a great fish rising in the quiet water but he only came up twice and then settled down deep and started feeding on dislodged nymphs which tumbled down his way, this was another great brown. For the first time this year my line was freezing to my eye guides and my fingers throbbed like hell, I hoped that I did not encounter a snag which would need me to tie a new fly as my fingers would not function. It was not long and Mike was hooked up to  a feisty Rainbow which seemed to be very  fresh run but was not quite good enough for the weigh in so it was released to fight another day. Three more Rainbows came to the net from Mike but nothing that was bigger than 7lb so we enjoyed the scrap they produced and kept casting in hope that we may manage another brown as we knew they were there. After hours of slogging it out I hooked into a solid fish that ran me up river and straight to the far side with no problems at all, this is where you start shaking and wondering what move to take next. After catching a few browns you soon know when you have one as they fight and pull totally different to Rainbows with big hard steady pulls. After some nervous moments and constant coaching from Mike of when to bully the fish we managed to land the fish without loss of equipment or pride. The fish was a female and was bigger than the fish I weighed in the day before by about half a pound which was great.

no images were found

Over the next couple of hours we managed to land another two good browns over 5lb but nothing which would be better than the two we had already kept for the weigh in. The fishing we experienced was extraordinary and you could never expect to get that on regular basis but it will be instilled in both of our minds for a lifetime.

I felt a little weird and funny weighing in another big brown as there were not too many of that size and proportion weighed in, yet we had managed quite a few in just two days from the same pool. Thats fishing for you I suppose.

The end result saw myself and Mike taking out 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the Taupo Trout Tournament 2009, all fish were caught on fly from the unstoppable, world famous TONGARIRO.

What a great result for our fishery that has copped a fair bit of flack over the past year and we have just proved to people that these fish can be caught with a little bit of local knowledge and LUCK. Just because I am a guide it is no free ticket to catching fish, you too can catch trophy fish just the same as I can it’s just a matter of getting to know and love the water you fish and get out and do it.

no images were found

To top things of I have been blessed with the company of Terry Thomas which is over in New Zealand trying to write a good article for a UK magazine and in particular our god sent river the Tongariro. What a week for him to be with me following around the river, he thinks its always like that and a 4lb fish is a spratt. Terry is  a free lance journalist and will try and get his photos and story into magazines such as the famous Trout and Salmon. Thanks for giving us a hand in promoting our fishery Terry, as you have seen it truly is awesome.

The next month will be interesting and I will expect some great fish to be trickling through so get ready for some happy fishing reports as I believe we are going to have a bumper season with anglers catching some awesome fish. Bring on the cold wintry days with icy puddles and horizontal rain, its glo bug time!!

Look after yourself guys

Tight lines

Andrew Christmas