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Expect a busy weekend.
Tongariro up ... with more rain to come.
A better week.
Rain on the way.
Right place...right time.
Mission accomplished...just.

A better week.
Fri 18th May, 2018

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The forecast rain arrived over the weekend but it didn't amount to much. Flows did increase and although there haven't been any big runs it did encourage a few fish to move.

Most of the "freshies" caught seem to be smaller fish, around two to three pounds but anglers also report the odd better fish amongst them. I bumped into Steve in Major Jones and he'd just caught the one, pictured left, wet-lining in the tail of the pool.

When I first arrived local guide Kunio Onishi {well known for his Skagit and Scandi casting} was working his way down the pool and he'd already landed a couple of browns.

And as far as browns are concerned the "buzz" on the river is the number of big fish coming out of the Hydro. I heard yesterday that a fish of 4.2 kgs had been landed there. And with the river still carrying plenty of colour it was no surprise to learn it was caught wet-lining.

At this time of year I always pay close attention to what's happening at the Bridge Pool.

Although I rarely fish there, its a great "fishing barometer" for the Tongariro. Word gets around quickly in Turangi and as soon as the fish show up in numbers the local welcoming committee line up on both banks to show them what a globug looks like... then you know its all on.

I've kept an eye on it for most of the week and directly below the bridge its been fairly quiet with just a couple of anglers in there.

With the big "man made" alterations that have taken place here most of the regulars are favouring the lower bridge and it was the same story when I took these pics this morning.

There were four on the TLB of the lower pool {the furthest angler hooked up} and one trying his luck in what remains of the channel on the TRB. There have been some decent size fish patrolling this little backwater over the last couple of weeks and they're easily spotted when the river clears. I could also see another angler in the distance fishing the TRB of Vera's.

One thing everyone is talking about, is the amount of color thats been in the river...although I doubt any of those that enjoy swinging wets will be complaining.

This all started several freshes ago and no one seems to know where its coming from.

The huge amounts of sediment brought down in that flood can be seen throughout the river ... Boulder Reach is a prime example.

But its quite different to the "grainy" stuff we usually get. That used to feel more like sand and as flows eased it would settle fairly quickly. This stuff however seems much finer and takes a long time to drop to the bottom. As levels fall back a lot of it is left high and dry on the river bank and is very, very slippery underfoot. Even cleats don't help much. And when you're wading, just a couple of steps will kick up clouds of it all around you.

If a few foot steps cause that amount of color you can imagine what happens when the tons and tons of it all along the Tongariro gets disturbed or dragged back into the water each time levels rise. I think its going to take a number of big freshes to flush it out completely ... if at all.

I got on the river early on the weekend and checked the flow graph before I left. That was telling me mid thirties. But when I got up to Big Bend the river looked as if it was the color of an eighty plus fresh! I rang the automated flow hotline {073868113} again. And although it had crept up a little, it was still only 37 cumecs. The Tongariro used to clear quickly after a fresh but now it takes ages. I think its something we may to have to get used to for a while.

More rain, showers and a drop in temperature for the rest of the week and there are signs the fishing may be starting to improve. I've seen more fish caught in the last few days than I have for a while. And once we get that first good run, things will steadily build from there.

The lower river would be a good place to start and if you're after browns, stay around town. Dark olive is working for anglers wet-lining and in the present conditions most "nymphers" are persevering with globugs. Keep a sharp eye on the Braids because this stretch will start to fire before long.

If you are out in the rain I can highly recommend one of these dry-bags. I've never been able to find a totally water-proof rucksack but my darling bought me this for Christmas and its brilliant. When the weather doesn't look too flash I just put my normal bag inside this and haven't got to worry about anything getting wet because nothing gets through. This one came from Creel Tackle.

Remember that huge crack in the access road to the Blue Pool ... well its been repaired. But they've spread some of the excess fill over the track, so be careful in the wet between the fork to Boulder Reach and Big Bend car-park further down. In places the surface is soft, rutted and very slippery and you may experience problems with loss of traction if you're not driving a 4WD.

Tight lines guys

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