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More rainbows this week.
It should be good.
More fish move up.
Patchy but ...
Its highly fishable.
Fingers crossed.
Winter wonderland.

Winter wonderland.
Fri 6th July, 2018

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The fishing has been a bit like the weather and gradually improved as the week wore on.

If you've been up and about early {particularly the last few days} the banks of the Tongariro have looked like a "winter wonderland." And it was pretty chilly until the weak winter sun chased away the heavy overnight frosts.

Met Service had forecast rain earlier this week but it didn't amount to much. Unfortunately that tricky south easterly returned for a day or two which is a pain when you're nymphing because it makes good mending almost impossible, and badly affects "the drift."

I've been on the river four or five times the past eight days and fished everywhere from the Braids to Big Bend. For me the most consistent stretch has been Boulder Reach.

I stopped off there again yesterday on my back and the angler bottom left told me later that this was her "fourth."

I fished opposite her for an hour or so. And although things did slow down by midday, it was still reasonably steady fishing for both of us.

I've had some hens, fat with eggs but there's been a lot of jacks caught this week. And one or two of them haven't been to bad. There again they always look impressive decked out in their best spawning colors.

As the spawning season goes on they'll look even more impressive because their kypes and teeth will continue to grow. They use these to fight off other males when they're defending females during mating. And from now on you have to watch your fingers when removing the fly because their teeth are like needles.

I had my best days fishing for some time yesterday. And with the exception of two fish that picked up the jelly egg in a short run upriver... all the rest took small nymphs. Interestingly the lady angler on the other bank in Boulder Reach had a similar experience.
There are still browns around and I caught this one earlier in the week ... Cech nymphing. I'd lost one in this spot the day before. So it may have been the same fish because browns will often hang around in the same place for a day or two as they travel up or down the river.

It wasn't a biggie and a lot of browns at this time of year will be past their best...especially the males. But on light gear trying to keep it out of the fast water nearby gave me a few "moments" and I enjoyed catching it.

That scruffy Copper BH Czech nymph did the trick again and is one I've done well with.

Another very frosty start again this morning ... so not a great day to leave your wading jacket in the garage ... the joys of old age! But I was keen to check out Judges so didn't bother to drive back for it.

I hadn't been down to what used to be my favourite town pool for a while.

To be honest so far it hasn't been worth the walk and I wasn't surprised to find it empty when I got there because a lot of anglers have given up on the place.

With no one else to worry about I had a really good look around there and tried a few things but only had one fish in over an hour ... the toothy jack pictured above.

I think the problems here began a few years ago after a series of big freshes.

The flows through the pool altered {again} and the TRB started to silt up This kicked off a chain of events that gradually started to push "everything" over to the left. Luckily a sand bar built up in the middle of the pool around the same time, which was ... and still is accessible below thirty cumecs. This allows easy casting to the much fishier looking water along the TLB. And although there's a deepish channel to negotiate between the TRB and the silt bar, once you get out there its less than waist deep ... so you don't have to worry and can concentrate on your fishing.

At first the silt only affected a a narrow strip on the TRB through the middle of the pool ... so wading out was a good option. But this strip has gradually widened. And now, even when you wade right out there's very little good habitat for the trout or the insects they prey on because the rocks that used to be there are completely covered.

I was standing in the middle of the river there today and the silt now extends almost three quarters of the way out. So with only one or two large boulders left uncovered, the river bed is featureless. Its little wonder the fish don't seem to hold there like they used too because they hate the stuff.

Despite all this, someone has been catching in the pool because there was a "tell tale" circle of rocks placed on the waters edge.

School holidays again next week and already you can see and hear the kids enjoying themselves as they spend a day out rafting the Tongariro.

One more settled day and then we can expect some wind and rain next week.

My pilot mate sent me this just now ... and this one is usually fairly accurate:

"A series of fronts moves northeast over the country on Sunday and early Monday,
preceded by strong northwesterlies and rain in northern and western areas. It is
then followed by a strong and unsettled west to southwest flow from late Monday
to Wednesday.

In the west of the North Island from Waitomo down to the Kapiti Coast including
the central high country, there is moderate confidence that a heavy rain warning
will be required on Sunday, then low confidence on Monday. There is moderate
confidence of heavy rain about the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty on Monday.

In addition, there is moderate confidence of severe gale northwesterlies
affecting exposed parts of the North Island from Taranaki, Taihape and Gisborne
southwards, including Marlborough on Sunday and Monday. There is low confidence
of severe gale northwesterlies affecting the remainder of the North Island on
Sunday, then low confidence of severe gale westerlies on Monday."

A lot more fishermen around the last few days and that will be the case right through the holidays and beyond, as anglers flock to the Taupo fishery for the spawning runs. If we get the rain, the rivers should switch on and all the well known spots will be busy. To give yourselves the best chance get up early or stay well away from the car-parks.

Have a great weekend

Tight lines

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