Hi guys,

First things first. My partner Keren gave birth over the weekend to our first child Charlie Thomas Christmas weighing in at 7.5 lb (close to trophy size). Mum and baby very happy and doing really well, Dad is heading back to work tomorrow after two days off. Very happy parents indeed.

I have just had some great fishing locally with some good anglers from around the world. Last week we spent 3 days with Bob from Canada, Anita from Hamilton and a group of four English men and women which all managed to enjoy the Tongariro river. There are certainly plenty of trout in the river but they are not totally easy to catch from day to day. Being on the spot and getting through water first certainly helps in early hook ups for most.

I picked Bob up from the airport last week and dropped him in Turangi in which we fished three full days together managing to cover most of the river. Bob is a very slick angler which can cast a good dry line close to where you ask which enabled us to hook into double figure numbers every day. Funny enough we didn’t manage to land a brown on our time together but netted plenty of good rainbows from fast water and lost two brownies on the dry. 90% of Bob’s fish were taken on the dry in the middle reaches of the river.

There are big browns scattered in most pools and indeed some are heavily spawning in the right conditions which is just awesome. It seems the best chance of getting a brown would be in the lower river in the slower pools or heading out at night with a mouse fly or wet fly. Anglers in the mid reaches like the Stag, Cattle Rustlers etc are finding them hard to catch-I have been in these pools all week! I prefer to hang in the middle to upper reaches at this time of year as the river is beautiful and has few anglers. The lower river is generally slow, dusty, un interesting with cut up banks but does sport plenty of travelling brownies , up to the anglers really eh.

Weather has just about been perfect all last week except for a bit of afternoon wind and a rainy day on Saturday which was quite nice actually. We did manage a couple of good silver browns towards the end of the week while nymphing small naturals deep. These fish were in good condition and acounted for themselfe’s very well displaying leaps and pulling line just as hard as big rainbows.  I actually went against the grain and kept one which was eaten by the group of four from England. The fish had good flesh colour and would have been a good meal for the travelling couples. I made note to check it’s stomach and it had nothing in it all. I hear so much about them eating small rainbows, mice, smelt etc but this guy had nothing just like all the other I have ever bothered to check, they get a bad name for no reason I think. A large rainbow would be the first too grab a small flashy rainbow in the fast water , just throw a lure in a deep pool and wind fast I know who will be first to grab it.

Back to work in the morning, the season has been very very busy for most guides and the weather is allowing us to get at areas which offer world class fishing and mostly dry fly. The hunting has also been very good  with yearlings and spikers  out in clearings most days soaking up early morning sun. Stags are developing their impressive antlers right now and will be hard shortly ready for the roar in April. If I can help anyone shoot their first deer in a safe environment please make contact and lets spend a day in the bush filling the freezer.

Speak soon