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Merry Christmas.
Cicada time already?...well maybe.
Lively Legs available at Creel.

Cicada time already?...well maybe.
Sun 11th December, 2016

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The weather is still all over the place. But there's a different vibe on the river this week as the Tongariro slowly switches to summer mode.

You can already hear cicadas on many stretches of the river. And I reckon these are a few weeks early this year. So despite the weather being very unsummerlike the ground temperature and soil moisture content must be just right.

It probably explains why the fish above smashed the indicator dry the other morning.

I usually miss these unexpected dry fly takes because the combination of surprise and adrenaline make you strike too hard and too fast. But lucky for me this trout was determined to hang on to its big breakfast.
The river is still fishing well but there's been a bit of a slow down compared to the last few weeks.

The town pools are usually very kind to me but my pick this week has been the middle river.

There's plenty of great water once you cross the Koura street swing bridge and head upriver along the TRB.

I like to make a day of it and fish my way up to the Silly Pool and back. Besides the pools there's a lot of very interesting spots in between ... once you discover how to get at them. And because it involves a bit of effort to reach them they don't get fished as often.

The Stag often holds good fish. But because access to it either involves a tricky crossing or a long walk, its not uncommon to have the place to yourself.

Over the last couple of years getting at it has become even more difficult. If you didn't fancy the wade from the Stag Pool car park or crossing the tail of Cattle Rustlers from the TLB, you walked up from the swing bridge.

When you got up there, there was a good access track from the main path which came out just above the pool itself.

Unfortunately part of this was washed out a little while back and you were left with no other choice than to get into the river and carry out an uncomfortable waist deep downstream wade. Once you'd bypassed the missing section you could pick up the remaining track but it wasn't pleasant and anglers stopped using it.

Nowadays if you didn't know there was a track there its unlikely you'd find it because the blackberry has reclaimed it.

Its a shame because we all pay the same license fee but because the track is so overgrown this pool is off the cards for the majority of anglers.

I haven't spent much time in my favorite town pool since the last report but this year its been back to its consistent best.

Its a great stretch of water that constantly changes and I never tire of fishing it. These differences can be quite subtle and it always pays to chop and change methods depending where you are in the pool.

Most of it still responds well to the indicator and Keith hooked up several times when I was there earlier this week.

Personally I tend not to use the indicator as much at this time of year. But when I have ... those Lively Legs nymphs have won hands down. When you're fishing, using a fly you have total confidence in is half the battle. As far as I'm concerned they've more than proved themselves over the last six months.
In fact they've become my new "go to" fly when I'm nymphing with the indicator. Creel Tackle now sell the blanks and a selection of ready made flies.

A lot more surface activity as we head into summer and you'll spot fish rising most days.

When things eventually warm up fishing the cooler water where it tumbles in at the head of a pool can be particularly effective. Fish also concentrate along the seam that forms immediately below these spots ... but lose the yarn indicator ... you'll catch more.

Its impossible to predict how good ... or bad this summers "cicada fishing" is going to be. Last year for instance, we had one of the most prolific cicada emergence's for years but the fish didn't really switch onto them on the Tongariro.

The first of these big bugs have turned up weeks early this year. But these early appearances can sometimes peter out ... still, its worth giving them a try from now on.

Plenty of kelts around and still a few fresh two pounders showing up. Some of the recovering fish I've landed would have been very nice fish before they'd spawned. I just wish I'd caught them on the way up ... not the way back!

Looking at the forecast there's still no sign of any real summer weather. In fact it looks as if we're in for more rain and showers ... and from from mid-week on temperatures are cooling down again!

I'm getting the odd brown but its early days and things usually peak around March/April for the bigger fish ... roll on 2017.

See you out there

Tight lines

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