Hi guys,

Well what a fantastic spell of weather we have just had with plenty of opportunity to fish low back country rivers and get rid of that un healthy white tan from winter. I must apologise for lack of reports but this is my first opportunity to hit the key board for the past couple of weeks. I must admit I certainly have had some up and down fishing but generally had a great time on most rivers. Over the past week I have fished the Upper Tongariro by raft, rafted the Whakapapa and taken quad bikes into the headwaters of a river in the national park. I have even been given the lake quite a bit of my time and caught some amazing fish with guys jigging and harling.

Guiding certainly is a fun and rewarding occupation when doing something different every day and meeting different clients with varying skills and expectations. I have high expectations of myself and would hope this was reflected at the end of the day in my guiding with both results but also the experience. Clients have been from as close as Kinlock in Taupo but as far from Singapore and the USA.

Lake fishing has hotted up and is in full swing. Harling will actually catch the odd fish all day but has been very good fist light and leading into the evening, best results with calm conditions. Jigging is of the chart and fish can be found all day while using accurate fish finding devises but paying close attention to the depth. I am a calm weather fisher person on the lake and evenings over the past week or two have been very pleasant. While jigging try and find that hard fast drop off between 70 and 130 feet, . I fish with three small smelt flies tied on short droppers with 2 0r  3 ounce sinker fished on the bottom. We should be in for another awesome winter in the rivers as the fish are in prime condition in the lake currently and can be found with tummies full of small smelt.

Local rivers can be a little hard with the pic of the bunch being the middle to low Tongariro. Smaller rivers are very low and clear and only home to the odd resident fish plus quite a few small ones which are busy growing up. The Tongariro can fish ok in certain areas while moving through pools quickly but big numbers of fish might be hard to connect with. Dry fly dropper rigs are popular with anglers in the fast shallow runs and is my favourite way to cover plenty of water. Good anglers with the right dry fly may be able to raise a fish during the day but the excitement is generally still left to the evening with the rise which has been very good. Natural patterns are doing best in size #14 and #16.

Rafting the upper Tongariro  has been a popular way to fish and see some new water but the fishing has been a little disappointing with about half the numbers which are usually there at this time of year. The first few pools by the intake can be productive but the rest of the float can be a little hard to connect. Derek and his partner Kathy fished with me last year at the same time and landed 16 nice trout but this year landed 7 so there is a difference in numbers for one reason or another. I have fished with Derek over the past week while he was in Taupo and we have done ok further afield and out on the lake in the evenings.

Some of the best fishing I have seen lately was with Tim and Ian from Brisbane who decided to raft the Whakapapa where they hooked about 20 fish for the day of varying sizes while nymphing. The conditions are very good in the backcountry with low water throughout and great fish spotting waters. Some pools and water which can be hard to get at have been opened up and the fish shown flies which they may have not seen before. Generally the trout have recovered very well from winter and the last few months look to have been kind to them as they are in pretty good condition. The best we are finding are the maiden trout which are under 3 lb -these fight like freight trains.

Another trip that I only just completed yesterday was fishing headwater in the national park with the use of quad bikes to access the river. I have been really hanging out trying to get in this season and was stoked to see hardly any changes with fish in every pool. The clients I had were fantastic and could really cast a nice line and cover water nicely so we pretty much hooked fish in every pool. We had no need for a indicator as we happily fished all day with a  dry and dropper -even in the deep slow pools we had fish raising to engulf the terrestrial style dry fly. It really was a perfect day with browns and rainbows and amazing scenery which will never change. I was pleased to see no foot prints and I doubt this river had been fished for weeks, such a good feeling walking up to a pool with feeding fish in the eye of the run and no sign of previous pressure. Sight fishing big trout in New Zealand is of a world standard and this trip is right up there with scenery, fish numbers, experience and the ever welcome fish which just slurp from bubble lines -heart thumping stuff we never get sick of. Top flies for this section will be the Cicada, Spilt Flag Adam’s, Blue Humpy and small natural nymphs , armed with these you can not go wrong.

I have a day off tomorrow and will be busy with house hold duties but back on the river Friday and over the weekend . I will hopefully run into you on the river for a chat but if not will try and get a update done next week. Wishing you all a great Christmas break if you get one and safe happy angling on your local water.