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No change ... yet!
Where'd they go!
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Still a bit slow after the fresh.
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Where'd they go!
Sun 17th June, 2018


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A little bit of a blip the last few days ...but prior to that there were some superb rainbows caught. With fish beginning to move up in numbers the lower river and town pools are getting a lot of attention. And for the last week the majority of anglers vehicles seem to be parked up at the Bridge and Bain car parks. But Herekeikei street has also been popular for those heading for the TRB of the lower bridge pool ... and of course the rejuvenated Braids.

All of the spots accessed from these car-parks fished really well prior to the mini fresh earlier this week. But since then things have slowed down again. Which is not what usually happens after a fresh.

Anglers are famous for their excuses as to why the fish aren't playing ball. There have been some very humerous books written on the subject. And here's another excuse I'm going to put out there. I haven't got a shred of evidence to back this up. Its based entirely on my own experience fishing the Tongariro. But I've never {as far as I remember} done much good on this river in cold south easterlies ... any thoughts?

I wasn't the only one to have experienced some very enjoyable fishing earlier in the week. So after a challenging couple of days I set off early yesterday to fish as many places as I could cram in in one day to check out the rest of the river. First stop, the Braids, on a bitingly cold morning with the water freezing in the rod rings.

I always think its a good idea to keep moving when things are a bit slow, even during the early part of the winter runs. But because the fish are often coming through in smaller pods I'll give it at least an hour before I move on ... just in case I'm sort of in between pods. I did see an angler on the opposite bank strike, and miss a fish. But over an hour later I still had no takers.

Next over to town, to a little spot that I enjoy Czech nymphing. I'd been getting a few fish there a day or two before and although its by no stretch of the imagination what you'd describe as "holding water" you can usually pick up something there at this time of year ... again nothing.

Back to the truck and a short drive up to Red Hut car park. Only one vehicle parked there so I took a punt he was upriver and headed down to Duchess. A little better here. Lost one first cast then landed a nice solid three pounder {pic at the very top right}.

Ten minutes later I landed the juvenile above.

I was surprised to catch one of these little guys in the winter. I was even more surprised to see a bare Size 6 hook with mono still attached sticking out of its vent! As I removed my fly from its jaw I noticed the other end of the line hanging from its mouth and managed to ease the hook and line out through its rather sore looking vent. And off he swam as if nothing had happened.

When you see stuff like this it makes you wonder what goes on along the Tongariro when nobody's around. Earlier this year I picked up the damaged top section of a cheap Warehouse surfcasting rod here. And I remember fishing Big Bend a few years ago with some Danish friends and one of them dragged out two brand new four inch long Rapala type lures that his leader had snagged up on.

And talking of Big Bend ... that was my next destination. There's a lot of nice water in this part of the river. Looking upriver Boulder was unoccupied and as I walked over to Big Bend I bumped into an obviously disappointed angler on his way back to his car which I'd parked next to. I don't know how long he'd been there but he told me he hadn't touched a fish.

I tried a few places which usually produce the goods ... but again nothing.

Last stop of the day ... Boulder Reach. The pool was empty when I first got there so I started at the tail and again first cast the indicator shot under and I hooked up to what felt like a decent fish. But it went off on one of those blistering rainbow trout runs and snapped me. I quickly re-rigged and after a few casts landed the fish above.

Ten minutes later I was joined by an angler on the opposite side of the river. This was an obviously very accomplished fly fisherman and I kept an eye on him as he worked his way up the pool. Again he also never had a touch.

Just as I was thinking of calling it a day a couple of Ozzie visitors arrived. They'd fished here earlier in the day and had caught a couple of fish between them. But the fishing hadn't been great so they headed to the middle river where they had no action at all.

With the sun already lower in the sky as we approach the winter solstice I decided to leave them to it.

Much lighter winds today and if I hadn't been tied up with this { cue violins } I'd have been out again ... but there's always tomorrow.

A couple more frosty mornings as we head towards the weekend and then we're into a westerly flow bringing milder temperatures for a time with some rain and showers.

Have a great weekend guys

Tight Lines

Mike
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