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Summer mode already.
Plenty of fish in the river...Judges update.
Small nymphs still working well.
Low and Clear.

Plenty of fish in the river...Judges update.
Sun 21st October, 2018

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Despite the low clear conditions and warm sunny days its been a surprisingly good week on the Tongariro and the majority of anglers fishing the river are enjoying themselves.

I've spent some of this week in one of my old stomping grounds. Up until a few weeks ago the fishing in Judges had been pretty hit or miss. And like many others I didn't use it much during the winter. However the last few times I've fished there its bounced back to something like its old self and is once again becoming a popular choice for anglers.

Floods have caused changes in the flows and contours of the river-bed in this stretch and its slowly evolving into a very different pool than when I first fished it. Because of a build up of silt throughout the pool fish don't use the true right hand side as much as they used to and the lies have changed. Particularly through the middle section. For a number of years now "everything" has been moving over to the TLB. It doesn't matter if you access it from that side itself or get at it by wading out from the true right bank ... the fact is that nowadays, if you're nymphing you'll usually do a lot better if you can fish that water.

The top of the pool is also dramatically different. The "old head"is now merging with the faster water above to create a very fishy looking run that I'm sure the fish will be drawn to. This cooler, well oxygenated water will be just what they need on warm sunny days and will be a piece of river worth keeping an eye on with summer almost upon us.

I had the fish above there the other day on the dry and dropper and my first brown of "this season" on the same method. It wasn't a huge fish but was still fun because I sight fished it in shallow water close to the bank. Again illustrating how important it is to have a good look around before you start wading.

And talking of wading. If you do decide to wade out to the middle of the river to fish the TLB don't forget your landing net ... I did and its a pain in the butt wading back to shore to unhook and release fish. There's also a large sunken branch out there, half buried in the silt which is well decorated with lost gear. One of the bombs and trailing leader snagged up on my boots the other day and It was a bugger of a job to break free while standing in waist deep water.

There's been a huge increase in insect activity the last couple of weeks and the first rock I turned over yesterday had plenty of nymphs underneath. Multiply this by the millions of rocks in the river and its not hard to see why small nymphs have proved so effective recently.

There again because the runs were even later this year, and rainbows are still moving up to spawn, egg patterns are also still taking fish.

Plenty of caddis around as well. I've posted pics like the one top right before. But I hooked that caddis larvae fishing a size 16 fly while nymphing this week. There must be a lot of them in the river because the odds of snagging an insect off the bottom on such a small fly must be incredible ... and its happened several times over the years.

Recovering fish figure a lot in anglers catches now but there are still some really good late running fish in the Tongariro and by the look of things more still moving up. They've forecast rain by next weekend and it'll be interesting to see what happens if we get it.

Jacks always enter the river first, and although some of those caught recently will clearly look the worse for wear, if we start catching some better males it could signal another run of hens isn't far away. There are fish everywhere at the moment and despite the flow graph still nudging 23 cumecs even places like the Braids are still worth trying ... especially with fish continuing to migrate upriver to spawn.

I have a feeling "the runs" may not be over yet after all.

Tight lines guys

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