Hey guys, I just wonder how many of you will be reading this on Tuesday morning due to have fallen ill over the weekend and having to stay in Turangi another night and recover from flu like symptoms which could be a start of a swine flu out break in Turangi.?? Well this is after all is what happens when the rain sets in, the river rises a little and fresh fish start entering the system each and every night.

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As you can probably imagine the rain did the river great over the weekend and overcast and wintry conditions gave anglers perfect conditions to target these fish. I must admit though the river was absolutely packed with fisho’s in most pools and it was nice to see fisherman trying new water and not just the bridge pool. A good indication to me that the river is busy is when at 8am I cant get into my favourite pool the Stag as someone had walked down the track from Major Jones bridge and beaten me to it. I can almost rely on this pool to be empty if I get there at a reasonable time but it was not to be over the weekend. Every little hidey hole I had planned out had some angler in it doing just the same as I would and every angler seemed to have had the same plan with same footprints passing over each other quite alot through out the day. I suppose it’s been along time since we had some decent weather and fresh fish in the river so I should have expected the river to be busy being a weekend as well.

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Most anglers found trout over the weekend if they kept moving and tried little spots or methods that they usually would not as I think trout do become wise to the same fly after a while. How many times has someone walked in behind you in a pool and pull one from under your nose?? it certainly happens to me.

Some of the fish that I saw photos of were very good and others have still looked like they have been around a while but generally they were looking good. The best trout still around 2-3 lb mark and little screamers when hooked so they are great sport and great eaters. I must admit the area or the pool where I saw the most fish was under the main road bridge while watching anglers queuing up for there chance of a throw in this pool.  Pool manners seem to have been forgotten or they never existed here as these guys were not moving an inch and when hooked up it was a case of the fish being dragged up river to the angler and not the angler following the fish down obviously in fear of loosing the foot hold, not my scene.

I am starting to see a disturbing amount of those big black shags getting around once again and they seem to be looking pretty healthy which is not good. These guys are nothing but vermin and have no real point on this earth and we certainly don’t need them to be controlling fish numbers on our rivers. They are fish eating machines and can quite easily swallow a fish of 2 lb and severely wound any other they try their luck with. They fill themselves at this time of year on trout eggs and and any unexpecting fish trying to spawn.

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I have seen them watching trout spawning and waiting so the fish has totally pumped her stomach of eggs until they swoop in, slash the tired hen wounding it and then dig up the trout eggs and eat them-bastards. I know they are a native bird of New Zealand and we must look after our natives but these animals are destroying future fish stocks and blood lines and diseasing the fish we have left with shag worm caused by open wounds and toxic bird crap. I would hate for one to shit on my car as the acid of it would take the paint of in no time it may even chew through your bonnet-maybe 🙂 Thank god for duck shooters on remote ponds or water ways which need some entertainment while waiting for ducks or the trout would not stand a chance. Does anyone know how many pounds of fish these guys eat per day?? if you do can you sling me an email. I’m trying to work out how many of these birds we actually have on the river and if they live in one place all the time just so I can try and work out how many fish are lost due to these nasty creatures. I know its  along shot at trying to work out bird numbers but there are few favourite hangout spots in old trees around the river which you can always see a dozen or so in. I know many anglers share my frustration with this topic but I have a feeling they are here to stay and trout being introduced may just take second place. Hope the New Zealand tourism board can generate the same revenue from bird watching as they do from trout fisherman every year?.

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Anyway-sorry about that. Best pools from the Tongariro this week have been all through the braids-honeypot and bridge area as this where the fresh are easily found. The Judges once again is as good as anywhere and they seen to rest and hold up in here quite well. The Stag has always got a few in it and this week was no exception as does the Duchess but these fish maybe a little harder to catch as it is a favourite place for fish to do their thing, fun trying tho.

I cant see the weather changing all that fast so we should continue to experience cool starts with good fishing. Tie those favourite glo bugs up and get up here as soon as you can and get your fix for the month.

7/7/2009 Update

Hi again just adding a quick up date of some information you may all want to know or think about before the weekend hits. This will kinda act as my weekend report as I will be pretty busy from now till Sunday. Hopefully you could all read the Tongaariro pool report this week and it has given you another feather to your bow so to speak.

Spoke with DOC yesterday briefly about the trapping that has been going on lately and got some information about numbers of fish that they saw last month. DOC traps spawning fish to find out waht sort of numbers are entering the river and what the average size and condition of our trout,all this is recorded and compared with previous years. Last month at the Waipa trap they sampled 126 brown trout and 53 rainbow trout which were all weighed and recorded. This does not seem alot to me as it usually and traditionally should have been when spawning fish were in the Tongariro. Note the high percentage of brown trout compared to the rainbows that is also amazing. The Waipa trap is located a long way up the Tongariro past the Fence pool which leaves alot of opportunity for spawning fish to spawn and turn around and head back to the lake without us even knowing they have been and gone? Traditionally spawning fish don’t eat while in the river and it is said that it takes a fish about 6 weeks to get to the Waipa trap so surely alot of weight and condition would have been lost in this process making DOC’s records inaccurate?? While speaking with them they also mentioned that in the main spawning runs they can get up to 100 fish per night through the trap, obviously this would mean the river is loaded with fish at this time. They have conducted drift dives on both the Waiotaka and the Tauranga Taupo and fish numbers have been down in both of these rivers!! We are assured the main spawning runs are still to come so don’t worry too much-fingers crossed but I think they are right.

Anglers early in the morning and throughout the day still seem to be picking fresh fish up from around the bridge area so they are still trickling through. It was a bit of a shame that the rain did not bring the water level up very much  as that would have encouraged a much larger run I should imagine.

Hope you all have time to head out over the weekend.

Speak soon

Andrew Christmas