Hi again,

Finally we seem to be getting some fairly settled weather and all rivers are looking pretty good for fishing with great water levels and actively feeding trout in most. I have fished through a fare few rivers in the past week and was pleased with both the Tongariro and back country rivers. The great thing about living or holidaying in Turangi or Taupo is that you are always so close to some amazing fishing within a short drive in either direction.

Once again I had a great day with Ben and Michelle while rafting the upper Tongariro with awesome weather and again plenty of fish which were willing to be caught. Ben and Michelle both agreed that the day out could have been the highlight of their New Zealand trip and Ben already is trying to book the 1st of December for next season. Michelle did very well for someone who had not fly fished before and managed to hook up seven fish and experienced fighting and landing her first New Zealand Tongariro trout.

Ben was almost constantly hooked up to something whether it be  a hard fighting Rainbow or the trees on the opposite bank, you have an awesome cast mate. Generally fish were in pretty good condition and it is quite amazing to see silver bullets so far up the river as they have had quite a hard slog to get so high and should be worn out one would think. The scenery again was second to none and both Ben and Michelle giggled and laughed the entire way down the river while enjoying the skills of a truly awesome oar man. Nymphing caught most of the trout throughout the day but in the last pool of the day Ben managed to get a few to show intrest in the dry which was a great sign for things to come I hope.

The Tongariro has a heap of trout in it at the moment and most anglers are cleaning up some really silver fish which are scattered throughout the system since the rain we had a couple of weeks ago. The conditions are clear at the moment and things look great for nymphing so keep using the smallest nymphs you can get on your line like #14 or #16 hare and coppers. Flurocarbon leaders will also be the way forward at the moment and if you taper your leader they should sink and lay out nicely for that perfect drift.

Dry fly in the warm barmy evenings has been great and most anglers are finding getting a  fish for the smoker quite easy at the moment. Small dry’s such as Caddis or emerging Caddis will easily tempt a trout into slurping your fly back especially when they have no real preference. Last thing still seems to be the best bet and sometimes you may have to wait till ten minutes before dark to truly experience a Tongariro rise. Fish you will encounter during these sessions will range from 500 grams to 3lb to spent to wonderful fresh fish so flick that fly out and see what you can score. I hear of some anglers actually staying after dark and kinda feeling their way with dry and doing quite well?.

This time of year I have been making the most of backcountry and experiencing as much of the good fishing and easy guiding as I can.  I again have found myself out the Mohaka and been astounded with the numbers and condition of these trout which have always been good but not this good. I was privileged to spend the day with Robin who has been fishing in the Taupo area for 50 years and is a wealth of  knowledge , history and stories.

We slowly made or way about the river fishing and chatting where and when we felt it to be right and had a very relaxed rewarding day. Robin was not to fussed about how many if any fish he caught but as usual it meant a lot to me so I made sure that I stayed pretty busy with the net in different pools. The river out there is fishing very well at present and as you can see from the pictures of Robin they are worth the extra effort in finding them as they fight like steam trains and not one is the same as the last. Again no secrets when fishing this river just stay with what you now and use the flies that give you confidence.

Something fairly sad did happen on the trip which I really did not want to be apart of but had no choice and that was having to kill a wonderful 5lb Rainbow. I have never killed a fish from out here and feel that it is important to get them back in the water for another day so we can hopefully catch them again. What happened is that the fish was putting up quite the show and was tearing Robin up and down the pool and was really not giving up easily which with all the action attracted two very large eels over a metre long.

After a fierce few minutes of the trout trying to get away from us and the eels it finally got attacked by the pair of slivery bastards which resulted in the gill cover being ripped off and extensive bleeding from the gills. I actually felt bad!  This area is famous for huge eels and I think something needs to be done with them as they must eat a huge amount of nymph life and fish life which trout also need to gain good condition in the river, they are a waste of space!

Quick note= Guiding is available this year on Christmas day and boxing day so if there are any people with not much to do or no family to spend Christmas with be sure to give me a call and let me make your day something to remember. It’s not that we don’t like Christmas…..well maybe it is just a bit but we would love to take you out fishing so will await your phone call with a booking, imagine the freedom of the river with no anglers anywhere!

Anyway guys busy weekend ahead and leading up to Christmas so best get the sled ready.

Tight lines

Andrew Christmas