Hi guys,

 Finally have a day off to catch up with bills, socializing, cleaning and washing down gear and get ready for another busy week on the rivers next week. Trying my hardest to get to these reports as frequently as I can but being on the river all day sure does suck it out of me , especially after 15 straight days.

I am very happy with the fishing that I have found this week in the mighty Tongariro and some of the trout that I have seen come out have been absolute first class. At this time of year you are always going to get your fair share of slabs but mixed in amongst these fish are some truly beautiful and strong trout which you would be proud to have caught in the height of the spawning runs in the winter. Why these fish are in the river at the moment I have no idea but am very happy they are as it has meant that I have been able to give the backcountry a rest and concentrate my bookings locally.

There are also good numbers of brown trout in the system at the moment and if you sneak around the edges and study backwaters you will definitely see them resting and sometimes feeding.  These fish are not monsters like we saw last year but I will just assume that the bigger specimens will be pushing through later or with the next fresh down the river. Most of the browns that I have seen or had dealings with have been between 3 and 5lb which are a nice manageable sized fish for most anglers. They are all in great condition with fat wide stomachs and have thick large shoulders, how trout should be!! I have hooked many of these browns over the years and found that when fish get much bigger than 6lb they become 3 times as hard to land and most fish seem to escape me through one way or another. I must admit it is nice to land a fish in excess of 8lb but there also some choice when loosing one as well. As we all know our browns seem to do a heap of feeding at night and can be very sleepy in the morning or during the day when we are out trying to catch them, quite often they will be so full they have no need to feed during the day and just wait for the cover of darkness to come back on the feed.

There are a select few of die hard anglers which get out in the darkness and wetline large flies trying to catch brown trout and this is when you can confidently expect to get stuck into one of the bigger specimens. Great pools for this are Major Jones, Judges, Admirals or the Hydro as they are all good areas for big browns and give the wet liner enough space to actually work his rod and line properly.

I have heard some disturbing stories this week of the removal of large fish from the Waytahnuie using spears or gloved hands. This has a  massive impact on our fishery and effects your fishing and mine and if anyone has ideas on how the community can help put an end to this “sport” and help DOC stop this I’m sure they may like to hear from you. DOC do a huge amount of work around the taupo district with our water ways and just dont have the man power to be every where all the time.

Different reports have streamed in this week with sightings and great fishing sessions on the dry fly in the Tongariro. The evening rise has been pretty consistent now for the past month and it seems now that it is becoming more often during the day as well. I had two fish take a Sporting Caddis in Judges this week at 12am but that was short lived due to the arrival of cloud cover and wind.

Wind has been a problem most days this summer and I think this has something to do with the late arrival of our Cicadas, this time last year we were well into it. If the conditions are right though most fish are  willing to look up and take small drys such as Para Adams, Green Beetles and small CDC patterns. Takes are not smashing the surface sending waves to your feet but gentle slurps from the film so be extra careful deciding when to set that hook!

I spent one very long day on the Whakapapa yesterday and caught some really nice fish weighing up to 7lb on small nymphs in the fast water. I am in love with this river as the scenery is amazing, water clear, fish are large and access can be challenging. What put a bad taste in my mouth was the sight of two spin fisherman walking down the river with a brace of silver fish that they had just killed. As  a guide I make sure every fish is released out here and the netting and release process is as gentle as possible to make sure the  fish recovers straight away, the sight of dead fish for fly fisherman in here is gutting.

This river needs to be made fly fishing only and catch and release only or I feel it will suffer the same fate as other famous backcountry rivers and will soon be hard to get fish out of at all. We have already seen a down turn in this fishery compared to 5 years ago and although the size has been able to remain quite stable the fish numbers are down big-time.

Anyway, all in all there some wonderful fishing opportunities out there at the moment and with the great sunny weather we are receiving here at the moment it sure is not hard to sneak away for a half day and unwind. Again I pick the Tongariro as a place to be sure to get hooked up land a fish as this river has good numbers of Rainbow and Brown trout at the moment and they can be caught using all fly fishing methods.

Tight lines guys

Andrew Christmas