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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.

I said I'd let you know...
Fri 21st September, 2018

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I said I'd let you know so stuck to the plan and yesterday drove straight to Koura Street. There was only one car parked up when I arrived. And as I crossed the swing bridge a quick glance right and left revealed two anglers in the Hydro and a couple more in Breakfast and Major Jones ...so not too bad.

The track maintenance crew had been busy and as I walked down to Judges the air was filled with the smell of fresh cut grass. It was a beautiful Spring morning and this was the first time for a while it had been pleasant enough to head out in shirt sleeves.

The pool was empty when I got there and looking around there were very few fresh footprints which in recent years would have been unheard of during the spawning runs.

But Judges is not the pool of old and for whatever reason doesn't hold fish in the numbers it used to. I'm sure it'll bounce back one day but neither the fish nor anglers hang around there long nowadays. Nevertheless it always looks the part ... especially on a warm sunny morning. And with no one else about I was able to start where I liked so grabbed the dry and dropper set up and tried the head of the pool first.

For around ten minutes I drifted a small jelly egg below the caddis pupa and big dry, trying all the likely places... not a touch. Time for a change so swopped the egg for a size 14 buzzer and first cast the dry disappeared and I landed one of those small scrappy jacks that seem to be everywhere this year.

A few casts later a slightly better fish took the caddis and not long after I lost another.

Unfortunately the little bit of action was short lived. So I took a break and turned over a few rocks...just to see who was home. As you'd expect nearly all of them had mayfly nymphs underneath but there were plenty of quite big caddis larvae as well...far more than the last time I was here.

So I changed to the indicator rod and waded out to the silt bar in the middle of the pool so that I could reach the fishy looking water on the TLB. As I've mentioned before, I use a Peeping Caddis as my bomb so I put a small copper bead Quasimodo on the dropper and after a couple of drifts the indicator slid under and I landed the fish above the caddis pic. And that was pretty much it in Judges because not long after Kunio arrived with top Ozzie angler Peter Morse and two companions. All of them were carrying Skagit outfits so I left them to it.

Judges is still a lovely pool to fish...its just a shame it doesn't produce like it used to. Even the brown trout fishing last year was poor compared with previous years. Obviously something has changed but who knows what. There is some very interesting "water" forming above the old head of the pool which I think fish will be drawn to when temperatures heat up so it'll be worth keeping an eye on that.

But four or five fish out of there at this time of year is well below par. The trouble is I've been spoiled over the Braids this year and there aren't many spots on the river that have thrown up so many good fish week in week out. So after my foray in Judges I drove straight over to Herekieikie Street.
When I got there the place was deserted except for my "Braids Buddy" Norman who was already in the spot. He'd been there an hour or so and had five out ... two of which he'd kept for the smoker. "Things have been a bit slow " he said but told me he'd spotted a few in what he refers to as "my seam" because I fish there so often.

Anyway first cast into "my seam" with the 4wt and the sighter hesitated and another scrappy jack put a healthy bend in the rod as it headed for the lodge.

This is really tempting providence ... but its amazing how much punishment a modern rod can take. And for the rest of the afternoon "the punishment" continued. It may have been "quiet" up until then but over the next two hours we had some wonderful fishing as a run went through. Norman is holding up the best of them... a solid four and a half pound hen. And he ended up taking home four in total ..three four pounders and the fish pictured right.

I'll let the images tell the story and if you scroll low and right on them you'll get a bit more text.

I'm not sure how many we hooked or lost but when I left my fishing buddy was stuck on nine landed but was determined to get number ten.

We've enjoyed some fantastic fishing in this stretch the last few months. And as far as I know there aren't too many spots along the river that have been this consistent.

But as things warm up and we head towards Summer "the good days" here must be coming to an end.

Remember daylight saving starts on Sunday 30th and clocks go forward ... where does it go?

Tight lines guys

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