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Nothing has changed.
Up until the weekend.

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Nothing has changed.
Fri 9th November, 2018


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Nothing much has changed on the Tongariro since the last report. Plenty of recovering rainbows around with a few fresh run fish amongst them. And at this time of year less anglers chasing them. When I pulled into Red Hut car park yesterday on a perfect, misty, damp morning there was only one other car parked up.

We'd had some heavy overnight drizzle with more forecast but as I crossed the bridge to head up the TRB it was obvious it had made very little difference to the flows. But it had been enough to make the trudge up to the Fan a "refreshing" experience as I picked my way through the saturated broom.

There were only two anglers with a guide on the opposite bank when I got to Boulder Reach. So I stopped there for a flick first and it wasn't long before we all hooked up.

I don't know about theirs but mine was a fairly well recovered hen which picked up the bomb.
I lost a similar looking fish a few casts later before I moved on. Over the next hour or so I dropped a couple in the Fan and landed a skinny hen on the dry and dropper in the riffles a bit further down. But it was slow going and I was already thinking of heading back to the truck as the first of the rafts turned up mid morning.
The river has risen slightly the last day or so but even the raft guides are having to get out and push now and again ...something you don't often see in this stretch. Some of the anglers out there are also struggling in the present conditions and its the ones prepared to adapt who are doing better. But I have noticed more anglers ditching the indicator and trying other forms of nymphing lately.


The last few times I'd been on the river I'd started in Judges and then headed elsewhere around lunchtime. Like other spots along the river it tends to fish better during the first half of the day and because it had been firing lately it was pointless leaving a spot I knew was fishing to find a spot that might be fishing.

But yesterday with a report due I thought I'd better try the opposite. As I said Judges is usually a "morning pool" but I did better there in the afternoon than I had all morning upriver.

You often get some mid-morning mayfly hatches here and the birds will appear as if from nowhere around 10.30am to intercept the duns as they leave the surface of the river. During the afternoon into evening caddis make an appearance and there were a few splashy rises along the far bank while I was nymphing.
So if you're heading to the Tongariro for a fish this weekend ... where to try?

At the moment I still think town to middle probably has the edge with some better fish amongst the kelts. But the lower river is getting a lot of attention, although I hear the majority of fish down there are not great.

The last few times I've been upriver its been patchy and I've done better around town. Best bet as always is to move around until you find a few and with the river low and clear lighten the gear up a bit to give yourself the best chance.

Still a little early for the evening rise but we'll be dusting off the headlamps again before you know it.

Tight lines

Mike
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