Hi guys,

Last week I think I promised a report on the back country after a father and son trip with Thomas and Bill from Australia. I have guided these two experienced fisherman over the last couple of years on their annual trip to the region and have always done very well. They always fish the Tongariro alone and get me to show them the backcountry in search for some fishing with a twist. Last year we had a great day with over twenty fish so this year was going to be hard especially after the random weather which keeps appearing this year. This time we headed out to the same river but at a different access point which usually holds less fish but much larger than what we hit last season. The plan worked out with weather, water levels and thankfully trout which were hungry and we once again had a very good day with some solid trout. Both anglers agreed that there’s nothing quite like this fishing in Australia.

The beauty about fishing resident backcountry trout is that if the fly is presented at a trout which is active and you don’t spook him the chances of him moving for your fly and grabbing it is high. Thus meaning you can get away with fishing lightly weighted nymphs which of course make for easy casting. It did’nt take Thomas very long to hook and land the first fish which weighed about 5lb and gave a solid fight in fast water. Bill did’nt hang about either pulling a nice maiden hen from the same run again fishing a 2 weighted nymphs under a very small strike indicator. This river does not offer alot of dry fly action so nymphing is nearly always the best option.

As the heat of the day got going and the sun broke through the clouds the fishing got better and the boys were finding fish in most pools which saw me running about netting fish and taking photo’s like a mad man-the best way to be busy. The best pool was shortly after lunch where I always seem to pull a few fish from and these guys managed to fish every square inch of it hooking into 6 good fish which two escaped with my flies-must be the guides knots-wish I had a $ for every time I heard that.

Backcountry days always takes it toll on anglers and Bill was starting to feel the strain of tired legs, deep crossings and hard boulders, I’m sure a good purple bruise may have appeared on the upper thigh by now. Throughout the day they managed to get into 15 trout which were all in pretty good condition and have fattened nicely over the summer months. I was pleased to see some nice maiden fish in the river with no scars or catch marks which will be looking great for this coming spawning season. I found no foot prints this time which was a nice change and maybe why the fishing was fairly consistant.

I have also been on the Tongariro all week and had some good fishing with Cicada’s but once again I think the wet weather we just had might knock them on the head for another year. I have not had any amazing fishing on here this week but we are still seeing plenty of lovely brown trout which the odd one can be caught. The rainbows have been hard to find so lets hope this latest fresh rain may have dragged some up from the lake as early spawners . The latest rain will keep the browns moving and anglers chasing them in hope of catching the fish of a lifetime.

Well the phone has just gone and we are out again in the morning for a full day on the Tongariro so stay tuned and see what we can come up with.

Thanks for reading

Andy Xmas