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Superb!
Tue 28th August, 2018


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The Tongariro has really switched on the last few days and there are still plenty of anglers on the river keen to get in on the action.

I started upriver yesterday and there were already three in Big Bend when I got there and they'd all caught fish including a brown around five ... maybe six pounds.

This pool usually starts to "fish" around the end of July but like a lot of other stretches on the river its a week or two late this year. Mind you its well worth a try from now on.

But four's a crowd so I left them to it and headed further downriver and hit fish straight away nymphing with the big dry as an indicator.

I know what your thinking "here he goes again ... on about that bloody dry and dropper" but honestly it"s a great way to fish shallower runs, riffles and seams. In places like this you don't need that huge fluorescent clump of yarn to register a take and those big indicators will definitely cost you fish.

Often the river-bed in these spots is covered in large rocks and stones. So if you've teamed your yarn budgie with a Tongariro bomb and the "compulsory" globug set 10 ft away from it, then you're probably fishing with the worst set up possible in this situation. But a lot of anglers do, because I still drag out traces they've lost summer or winter when I fish this type of water.

It doesn't happen as often where I started off yesterday. But that's because its one of those shallow "nothing looking" bits of water that gets overlooked by the majority of anglers. Again this year its been a bit later kicking off than usual but for the next few months will fish well.

You can easily "polaroid" fish here when the rivers running clear.

But for every one you spot there's probably another three you haven't because the shadows caused by the uneven rocky stream bed helps disguise their presence and provides ideal habitat for the aquatic insects they feed on. Which of course is why trout like it.

All the fish above plus a couple more that didn't want their picture taken were caught here yesterday morning ... and I never spotted one of them!

The best fly I've found for the indicator dry is a size 6 foam bodied Madam X.

Its a lump of a dry ... but to fish the rig properly it has to hold up the weighted middle fly. Which as far as I'm concerned is always a caddis pupa tied with a 3mm or 3.5mm black tungsten bead.

The bottom fly can be whatever you like depending on the time of year. But during the winter runs Its the perfect way to present an egg pattern in this shallower water. Real life eggs have neutral buoyancy. So as they drift downstream they neither sink or float and are very much at the mercy of the currents. What better way to mimic this than with the "long dry and dropper." Just bear in mind its called that for a reason because the distance from the dry to the bottom fly can often be as much as 7ft ... even in shallow water.


In the afternoon I headed back to town and had more great fishing. When the rivers firing like this you run out of superlatives but the old cliche "the photographs don't do them justice" is probably the best way to describe the afternoon session. It was another mixed bag but some of the fresh run fish were in superb condition and my wrist was pretty sore after playing fish of that quality for a few hours on a 5 wt. Especially as most 5 wt rods don't have a fighting butt.

By the time Mark joined me later in the day things had quietened down a bit which isn't unusual here. But we had a couple between us before we called it a day.

Heavy rain on the cards tomorrow which will keep the fish coming and I'm sure there's a lot more exciting fishing to come.




Enjoy guys

Mike
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