What a great couple of weeks I have been having with great people exploring some water which is just mind blowing. The fishing generally has been a little tough for me with changing weather conditions and water releases from hydro schemes but we still have managed to fight the fish that are hungry.

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A fantastic couple of days have just been spent with Glenn, Greg and Teresa from Tauranga which are fast becoming great friends with the amount of fishing that they are doing every year. We fished the opening of the upper Tongariro from a raft on the first day and then quad biked into a backcountry river the next for a change of scenery. The above pic is of the slip that fell into the Tongariro and made the river dirty for several days-massive!!

The opening of the upper Tongariro was as expected and pools were loaded up with trout from the start to the finish giving plenty of opportunity for all anglers to get into double figures with no hassles. Rafting any river is a very productive and good way to work out where fish are and where they are most likely to sit in any given pool. If you are not experienced at reading water and don’t know how to attack the pool to get the best results this will speed learn that skill into you.

I have to be honest with you and admit that all fish that were caught were not stunning fish and this is typical of early in the season as some of those fish have had it fairly hard for a few month just trying to get up there and spent alot of energy and condition while spawning. We have to respect these battlers as they are only giving back to the fishery which we will all be using for years to come so please just except it and not grumble with the size or condition but enjoy the day. In saying that you are to expect silver bullets which could either be late spawners or ones which have been up in the river a little while and decided to hang about and take advantage of all the nymph life.

The water is just amazing with plenty of opportunitys to see the trout you are targetting and you can just realize why this river is the main spawning grounds for Lake Taupo as it is just so natural and clean. Deep slow pools bubble over nad create plenty of oxyge for tired fish to recover in nad shallower runs create huge amount of opportunity to dislodge food to help fish gain strength again, it’s a different world up there which should be enjoyed by all fisherman.

Anyway the day was a hit from the first to the last pool and with well over 40 fish hooked between the three anglers they were very happy with their first day adventure. Teresa was the stand out angler and took the lead early in the piece with 4 fish from the first run leaving the boys scratching their heads and dealing with birds nests due to crappy casting. I have a secret little run which Teresa let the boys fish and they scooted into double figures after fishing shallow water with a dry and dropper. I have never missed in this run and it commonly called the “kiddies pool” as we can always rely on it even during the toughest of days.  Thanks to Rafting New Zealand another class act was performed and the thrill of the ride was as good as the fishing which puts  a nice mix into the day.

Another early start was needed to get into the backcountry using the quad bikes but we were fueled with enthusiasm and it was not long before we had the thumb on the throttle and raging through some native forests heading way out to nowhere? I have taken these guys into here before so I decided to show them another beat which was slightly challenging which I knew they would be up for. Fishing in the backcountry has been patchy in my opinion and with the rain that the area received the night before I had a slight worry that conditions may be slightly high.

After an hour or so trudging the bikes along windy overgrown tracks we hit the mighty river which would be our play ground for the next 6 or 7 hrs and as expected the river was high but still clear. High and clear is ok-not great but better than high and coloured when fishing backcountry so we should be able to get into a few if we cover heaps of water and fish the deeper runs with the right weight. When fishing these areas care must be taken at all times even with things that you would usually take for granted a few fish are not worth lost rods, broken limbs or near drownings. I carry an epirb these days and find it to be the best and cheapest security for me to get clients home safely, without it what would you do with a broken leg on the river bank ???

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It was not long and we were into fish but with mind sets still on Tongariro fish which struggle and eventually come in we lost the first five fish . Locking horns with a resident well conditioned trout which knows his surowndings is not easy and we all have to adjust the way we battle these beasts. Greg broke the drought and managed to slide a nice 5 lb jack into the net to get the ball rolling which he picked up on a very large Hare and Copper gold bead nymph.

Glenn was in next and probably wished he had never struck as he got absolutely dealt to which saw him chasing his fish several hundred metres down river trying to recover his backing. The fish was hooked in pocket water which had alot of current and fast running shoots running out of it so needless to say this ended in tears and curse words much to the amusement of the rest of us.

Greg again was keeping the team spirits high this time picking of another large fish which we spotted and sight fished to in the tail of a deep pool. Teresa was keeping well out of the water by this stage as all the action and vibration of the trout had attracted some rather large ugly eels which were circling like sharks  around pirates on a sinking ship.

While Glenn continued to mid stream release Greg kept the net busy with some good fish fooled by some fancy casting and perfect drifts the best and most rewarding of the day being this pretty brownie which was lying in the confluence of two currents. This fish also picked up the size #14 Quasimodo which is an outstanding fly everywhere at the moment.

Here’s some good news. Taupo Rod’n Tackle now have a wonderful website which is live and offering customers a range of products, news and local advice from the top guides. They will be having specials which customers can take advantage of when buying online and view product reviews and all the new gear coming out to the NZ market. This website is great and it has everything that you could possibly need for presents this Christmas including gift vouchers with Taupo’s number one guide!!

Something that I think that is amazing is the new BRAG page. If you catch your personal best fish or even just catch a memorable fish with a great story send it into the website and they will display it on the link for the world to drawl over. You will also go into a monthly draw to win a pack of fishing goodies kindly supplied by the store. These guys are serious when it comes to business and will help you fisho’s with anything that you might need just drop them a line.

The owner is that much of a pro his actually already caught a bigger Rainbow than me !!!! If you are one of those people which dislikes Taupo as a fishery due to it size of trout have a look at this 8.25 lb Rainbow which he landed in the rip at Waytoohardanuie  early this week. Just goes to show that if you put the hours in it wont be long before something big grabs your line and chnges your perspective of a fishery-they are out there. Wonder which fish will be posted on the BRAG page first, haha. check out this site at

Tight lines