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Tongariro drop-shot rig.
I said I'd let you know...
After the release.
Rod Benders!
All on again after last weekends blip.

After the release.
Wed 19th September, 2018

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The recreational release had the usual effect and as the river cleared and flows settled back the Tongariro switched on. I got on the river early Sunday and from the get go had some great fishing.

My first port of call...well ...where else but the Braids. The fishing from the lodge down has been so consistent the last couple of months that its difficult to go past it.

It hasn't been a case of if you catch ... more a case of how many.

I was joined later in the morning by Pat Dobson, who it turned out was related to "a friend of a friend". Its a small world here in New Zealand sometimes.

Anyway Pat had fished this very spot with a couple of mates the day before. And was still fizzing after they'd landed eight fish between them ... including a couple of five pounders.

Despite fishing the Tongariro and surrounding rivers since the eighties this particular stretch had never really interested him.

But I have a feeling that may have changed because we had a pretty busy session and he landed some cracking fish.

Pat had to drive back to Auckland that afternoon but you could tell he was sorry to leave ... especially with the river firing like it was.

And the next morning I had an email from him which included the words "I had the best day ever yesterday, the fishing was superb".

Pats last remark was spot on. And to be honest its been so good in front of the lodge that the enjoyment factor becomes almost addictive. But yesterday I was determined to head for the upper river ...although as I neared the turn off for Grace Road I had a job to keep my hands away from the indicator lever. It was a bit like refusing the first offer of a cigarette when you give up smoking.

Red Hut car park was empty when I arrived at 6.00am and heading up the track towards Boulder Reach it was obvious not too many anglers had been up that way recently.

I headed straight up to the Fan and immediately spotted several spawning fish at the back of the pooI. They seem to be late arriving on some of these upper river redds this year. And this was the first time I'd seen numbers of fish here for a while. Its been the same story a little further up. Although ... Norman mentioned the other day that he'd been up to Big Bend since we'd last fished there and there was plenty of spawning activity at the bottom end. I usually leave those fish alone and target fish a little further out. And while I was in The Fan landed and lost a few by fishing the seam that runs the length of the pool. The last time I fished Big Bend I noticed that just above it the river is close to breaking through again. You can't miss the place I'm referring to ... as you cross the dry bypass to pick up the track look to your right and you'll see what I mean. Its the same story in the Cliff Pool and it wouldn't surprise me that after the next good fresh or two there'll be some significant changes at both locations.

I had a pleasant few hours fishing and didn't see anyone else until I made my way back mid- morning. But at the moment I still think there are better fish and more of them lower down.

Its turned out to be a bit of a strange one this winter. Because you'd think by now that some of the excellent fish we've been encountering for weeks below town would be all through the river in large numbers...but that doesn't appear to be the case at all.

I'm still getting a few on egg patterns but things are changing and you're just as likely to hook up on naturals now.

Small flash-backs, caddis and buzzers are all worth a try as things warm up. But looking at the forecast the almost summer like temperatures are set to plummet. Tomorrow for instance Met Service is forecasting a high of 22 degrees but next Thursday its going to be 10 degrees colder.

Tomorrow its some of my old stomping grounds around town...I'll let you know.

Tight lines guys

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