Hi guys,

I have just enjoyed one of the most rewarding weeks in my guiding career with some awesome clients on the mighty Tongariro. For those of you who are driving past the Tongariro or heading in other areas to find good fishing you are missing out on some first class sport as the river is full of fish for those who are willing to move around.

I spent two fantastic days with Bryan Smith from Las Vegas who decided to alter his vacation and see what all the fuss was about and experience the magestic  Tongariro river. I feel sure we will be seeing Bryan and his fishy mates in the next year or so as he is absolutely in love with our first class fishery which he now rates the best in the world. Bryan is pictured above with one of our precious trophy Tongariro Browns which weighed in at just over 10 pound and will forever be close to him on his office wall back home (sorry about the blacked out piece). The trout remains fit and well in the Tongariro because he was good enough to take plenty of pictures and measurements and will have one very talented sculptor re create his fish back home from wood and special paints.

This sort of fish does not come around every day and it takes a special angler with high skill to fool one of these wise old fish and it was with precise skill and stealth that this monster was able to be fooled. Bryan caught numerous browns  and countless amounts of good conditioned rainbows over the two days I fished with him on both the dry and nymph but this was by far the best of the fish landed.

 After a long and stealthy approach this brown had no idea we were only feet behind him and he accepted a well presented bead head nymph which was just the start of one of the hardest fights from a fish that I have seen. Bryan was calm and collected but the guide was shaking like a leaf screaming advice and checking out the surroundings for any undercut banks or snags that this fish was sure to try and escape in. As you can see Bryan won the tug of war and we were able to safely slip the fish in the net and it was not till then that it really hit home to what we actually had just landed,it was huge and beautiful!! I was excited , relieved, happy and still in shock of what we had just battled and as I walked back up the river to Bryan with his fish in the net it became obvious to me that he was also shaking like a leaf but had a smile on his face from ear to ear. Bryan has fished all over the world and captured some fantastic fish but this takes the cake by a long mile, you could say he hit the jack pot in New Zealand on the Tongariro river. Thanks for a great two days mate it was a pleasure to watch someone with so much skill and stick your fish in the net and look forward to planning something next year with you and your buddies.

In general the Tongariro is the river to be on and if I had the choice of where to fish I would not be looking past this place at the moment for both fish numbers and angler pressure. Most pools are holding good numbers of fresh rainbows and good solid browns with plenty of juveniles thrown in just to keep things interesting. Fish are still being taken on the dry when fishing the fast water on bright sunny days but I would stick to nymphing first thing in the morning until the sun is high and on the water. While fishing the dry try and use a dropper, this will increase your catch rate by getting down to fish which are not looking up and could entice those hard to please browns to strike out in frustration when dangled in front of his nose.

Some of the rainbows that are coming through are first class and worthy of winter spawning fish so heres for hoping for an amazing winter with lots of better conditioned rainbows. There are heaps of browns in the system and I am seeing big fish everyday in the upper river so if you are one of the many that has not caught one of these beasts this would be a good time to get amongst them.


I have been doing my fair share of shifts down the Waitahanui rip at 5am and have had some awesome browns from there also which are waiting to run the river. I have found the mornings to be most productive and for those who are willing to appear in the darkness at 5am will be rewarded with some nice conditioned fish. There are plenty of rainbows which will scruff hold of your lumo pattern but if you are chasing browns try and keep  it simple with a big black fur fly or crayfish pattern as it is not often they will take the bright lumo. With the next moon phase just in place it will be a popular past time for the next week and more than likely a productive one so hope to see you down there when the sun rises.

Taupo fishery seems to be going ahead in leaps and bounds at the moment so be sure to take advantage of this great fishing time and get up for the weekend. I have once again broken the camera so sorry for the lack of photos hopefully back and running asap.

Tight lines and confident bumps in the night.

Andrew Christmas