Hi all, Yeah baby, Yeah baby, Yeah baby all Taupo rivers have fresh, good, strong trout in them and are fairly easily caught by most. It has been a long while since I have had been able to say that and it’s such a relief to see that they are much better fish than we saw last year. I will go into battle with anyone that continues to say our fish are small and under condition as what I have seen caught this week has been fantastic.

The weather has been nasty with cold south westerlies, drizzle and rain but it really has dragged good numbers of great conditioned fish from the lake and into our rivers, even the Waytoohardanuie has fish in it. The first real run went through the Tongariro on Friday which were intercepted by a few local boys around the bridge but with further rain over the weekend a steady flow of fish have followed them up. With another cold snap upon us these rivers will only be seeing more and more of these special fish coming through giving superb sport to all those who brave the cold elements. The best way to warm up is to hook into a trout, I bet you don’t think about how cold your fingers are when you are concentrating on stopping that trout from disappearing down the rapid? I suffer from cold and aching toes while standing in the river and need to use good thick socks so my feet are not like ice blocks on skates. Hamills in Taupo have baskets of great thick socks which are perfect for waders, wading boots or gumboots and they are cheap as. They are seconds but only have the odd thread missing here and there so get in and see Mike as soon as you can to stop help your feet from feeling the cold of the Tongariro.

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Most of the Taupo rivers were coloured up over the weekend with the constant drizzle we got which left the Tongariro at  a perfect height and just the right amount of colour in it. The Tauranga Taupo was a total waste of time on Saturday as it was in full flood but by judging by the amount of cars at the car park on Monday it was on fire as the level dropped. This is the perfect time to fish this river as fish would have been piling up at the mouth just waiting for a fresh to encourage them into running. Hopefully they wont move through too quickly and we all get  a chance at chasing a  few of these little beauties. The size of these fish are sometimes a little on the small side but when they are in good numbers and all silver fish I don’t think too many people moan and groan.

The Hine has also held it’s own in fish numbers and with the little bit of water left to fish below the bridge. It’s hard not to think what up river would be like?. Getting through these pools and knowing your water is the key to catching fish in here and I advise taking quite a few flies if you are new to the river. The trout in here are usually in great condition and sometimes slightly bigger and stronger than some other rivers in Taupo so I like to boost the leader to at least 8lb in here when fishing the winter runs.

The Tongariro has been awesome since Friday despite being thrashed to death over the weekend by tourists and locals which screams to me they wouldn’t be putting the effort in if there was nothing to keep them interested. Town pools are now getting a hard time from locals and the bridge is not left alone for five minutes. This pool is holding huge numbers of fish that can all be seen from the bridge and you don’t have to stand there long before someone is hooked up.

I parked at the bridge and walked up to Judges with clients on Monday morning and watched 3 out of 4 guys fighting fish in this area using heavy bombs and glo bugs. I hate clients seeing this as they wonder why we are walking past all the action and not getting stuck into them ourselves. Why is it that every river in New Zealand usually has a good pool under the bridge which  has plenty of good fish in it? Or maybe it’s just we can see into the pool better because we have a birds eye view of it from above, maybe all pools hold more fish than we think?

There are again heaps and heaps of Brownies in all the usual pools and they still seem to be feeding quite well and the majority are in good nic. The odd fish has achieved it’s goal and is on the way back to the lake but in general they have kept the condition fantastically and it’s a pleasure to still know you are in with a good chance of a big fish. Mike Hughes encountered 4 browns over the weekend all in town pools using the famous orange glo bug but was unable to hold the best one of the lot because he is to hard on his fish once hooked, haha. His old legs and tired reflexes are no match for a brownie with a tail like a shovel and pulling power of a train.

I had the pleasure of guiding Alison and Brent from Louisiana on Monday and they hit it just right and enjoyed some struggles with silver bullets from the Tongariro. Neither of them had fished before but enthusiasim was high which is all I need to give someone a great experience in New Zealand. Alison was the first one of the mark with a nice little 3lb hen which jumped and stripped line while she played it out before beaching it in the shallows of the Judges pool. It was not long before everyone was casting just fine despite the gusty wind trying to make it hard and Brent was hooked up into a delightful jack which ran up and down the pool staying deep  to keep us guessing.

This was quite a  fight but with all fingers crossed for the good guys we came up trumps and was able to land another superb fish for the table which was enjoyed in the back of the campervan they were staying in.  It was an awesome fish and the best 5lb jack I have seen for quite some time. This fish was caught in the Lonely pool underneath the cliff up from the bridge using a small glo bug. It was not caught the traditional nymphing way as he was retrieving the flies from the drift to start another cast but like I said at the start of the day if your fly is in the water you are in with a chance. Although a lot of anglers about ,we were still able to find our spots and fish without disturbance or hassle from others which sure is nice when the fish are running. It was  a great morning with a couple of other mid stream releases which were intended as we don’t believe in handling the fish, hahha lol.

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I have heard good reports for the entire river and there would not be too many pools without fish in them and not too many guys walking around empty handed which is so nice to see. Fishing for spawning fish you don’t have to have that many options in the fly box and as long as you have plenty of glo bugs,hare and coppers and PT nymphs you will have what is needed to fool these fish. Bombs are important to have as you want those smaller patterns to be bouncing along  just of the bottom in amongst the rocks and looking as natural as possible and drag free. You will pick up extra logs and rocks and things but that’s life , don’t chuck something in the river if you don’t want to loose it.

Best pools this week are Judges, Stag, Major Jones, Breakfast, Braids, Log, Bridge and the Hydro which have all been visited by me and fish taken from them. I might not have got fish from them but I certainly have seen some talented anglers doing so. The time is now people and if you have owed leave at work or just need a break phone Ross at TRM get yourself booked in and head up for a time you wont forget in a hurry. There is fish for everyone here in the Tongariro and I’m sure another pod is on their way up right now as this is written.

Here’s a funny for all you fishing boys -” Fly fishing  for trout is possibly the most fun you can have with your pants on”  – so I’ve heard!

Tight lines, be lucky

Andrew Christmas