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Superb!
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Braids best again.
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Braids best again.
Mon 20th August, 2018


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You're probably sick of me talking about it and I know its not everybody's cup of tea but if you want to be virtually guaranteed a hook up on the Tongariro give the Braids a go. I predicted months back that this would be one of the go to stretches on the river this winter and it hasn't let me down yet ... now I've done it !

If you take the Bridge pools out of the equation its proved to be one of the most consistent stretches so far ... if you fish it the right way.

On Sunday I set the alarm and arrived there just before dawn. It was bitingly cold and my plan was to fish it for an hour or so and then head up to one of my favourite spots on the middle river. I was surprised no one else was there because its no secret how well its been fishing and it wasn't long before the sighter tightened and I was into my first of the day.

I wasn't on my own for long. About twenty minutes after I'd started fishing Cade Pressly from Taupo had shouted a greeting as he headed to a spot a bit further down on the opposite bank. Now here he was wading towards me like a scene from"gorillas in the mist." Cade was carrying quite a good fish but he's a big guy and I usually photoshop his fishy pics to make him look smaller... but this is just a quick update so I didn't bother. Anyway after Cade left { and thanks for the pics mate} I think I only saw ...maybe ... another three or four anglers until later in the afternoon.

Yep all day! because at 4.30 pm despite my best intentions I was still in the Braids. There was no point leaving fish to find fish, so I kept moving around fishing the same three spots all day. When one spot went off the bubble I'd move to the next and so on.

Copper beads have always worked well on this river and I tie up a lot of flies with them. If things get a bit slow I'll change one of them to silver just to keep the fish guessing and that usually does the trick and gets them interested again.

But I was very lucky to have the place to myself for much of Sunday and by "resting" a spot and fishing elsewhere for an hour, you can catch a lot of fish when they're moving through.

I also believe that nowadays this area is particularly suited to modern nymphing methods. And I only had a couple of late afternoon fish grab the emerger when I briefly switched rods. The remainder came on nymphs fished Czech style. Which meant my "enthusiastic" border collie had another busy day making sure they didn't get away.

Whatever style of nymphing you're into here's a link to a very interesting article by American fly fishing guru Lance Egan Low and slow and I hope he won't mind me reproducing the image above. Its one of the best I've seen to illustrate the difference in flow velocity from the surface down through the water column and the whole article is a mine of information and a great read.


Torrential rain the last few hours and already the river is creeping up. Met Service issued this on Sunday and it looks like rain and heavy showers for the next few days.

"A large complex trough moves slowly across New Zealand this week, delivering
unsettled weather across the country.

An associated front is forecast to move eastwards across central and northern
New Zealand during Wednesday and Thursday, delivering rain and strong
northwesterly winds to these areas. Later Wednesday and into early Thursday,
there is low confidence of rainfall accumulations reaching warning criteria over
the central North Island high country including the hills of Waitomo, the ranges
of eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, also the Tararua Range and Marlborough
Sounds. There is also low confidence of northwesterly winds reaching severe gale
in exposed parts of the lower North Island as indicated on the chart.

On Friday, the complex low pressure system should move away to the east of New
Zealand, spreading a southerly flow over the North Island while a ridge of high
pressure builds over the South Island."

If the river doesn't flood we could potentially be in for some great fishing this week but even if we get spate conditions when the river settles back the Tongariro should fire big time.

Tight lines guys

Mike
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