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Another funny ole week.
Sat 18th August, 2018


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Its been a funny ole week on the Tongariro ... in fact its turning out to be a funny ole year.

There have been some nice fish caught over the last few months but the winter fishing so far hasn't been as good as recent years.

Once you get past the bridge, fish don't seem to be holding. And judging by the numbers of kelts turning up now, it suggests that runs earlier in the year must have dashed through and spawned in the upper reaches. Nearly all my better fish have been caught around the Braids and thats not for the lack of trying other parts of the river. I was there with Mike and Mark a few days ago and we all had fish. As did fellow country man Bob Jones with his first attempt at Euro nymphing. But this time it was a real mixed bag of rainbows for all of us.

Yesterday I fished with my buddy John and his long time mate Andrew who was over from West Island to do a bit of poaching.

And after spending an hour in the Braids, we all headed upriver. The rain of the last couple of days had made a pretty messy track even more slippery and by the time we got up to Boulder Reach the river was already rising and starting to" gravy up."

Unsurprisingly in these conditions most of our fish came on jelly eggs, fished fairly close in. But again the majority of rainbows we landed were "slabs." Although, one or two of the mid-water releases looked to be better fish... but the ones that get away always do.

Anyway we'd all hooked up by the time we left.

The last week or so, most anglers are reporting that post spawning fish are making up the bulk of their catch. And yet as I mentioned a couple of reports ago I've seen very few fish on some of the traditional spawning sites dotted along the river. Places like the bottom end of The Fan and Big Bend are usually "black" with fish at this time of year but I've been to both stretches during the last couple of days and only spotted a couple of spawning rainbows.

I suppose the obvious explanation is the one I touched on above, that the recent appearance of large numbers of recovering fish are from spawning sites much further upriver. The runs during the last few months weren't hanging around and were keen to get somewhere in a hurry. So maybe the best is yet to come as far as the rest of the river is concerned.

Things can change quickly on the Tongariro and for all I know they may have already because I haven't been out today. I know Mike fished the TT with three friends before yesterdays mini-fresh and they had twenty five fish between them. Bearing in mind the smaller Northern rivers usually switch on before the Tongariro we could see a big improvement by the next report.


After spiking at 45 cumecs the river is back to the mid thirties today. With that little bit of extra color there are plenty of anglers out and about and the river should fish well. The last few freshes have seen anglers who are wet-lining score best . But at the moment its just about perfect for whatever floats your boat.

Talking of which I bumped into Stu this morning while taking Blue for his morning dip in the marina. Stu's a keen boat angler and was about to head out for a "fish" when he mentioned that they'd also been catching a lot of "slabby" fish the last week or so.

More heavy showers and rain forecast from Monday on and we could be in for another fresh which should encourage more fish like these to enter the rivers.



Have a great week guys.

Tight lines

Mike
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