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More rafters than anglers ...
The good news and the bad news.
A little tougher ...
A fun week on the Tongariro.
Nothing has changed.
Up until the weekend.

A little tougher ...
Tue 20th November, 2018

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There are still some good fish scattered throughout the river but its been a little tougher so far this week. Noticeably more anglers on the Tongariro since the last report and I've met fly fishermen from the UK, Bulgaria, USA and of course Australia.

I've fished Judges twice since I last posted but its been getting a lot more attention the past six or seven days and it isn't quite as easy there now. I blame these buggers writing blogs.🤫

But up until the weekend it was still firing.

The place was empty when I arrived on Friday but I was soon joined by an angler downstream and a Judges regular ... Keith ... who prefers the TLB.

It wasn't long before we'd all landed fish. And a couple of times over the next hour or so the three of us "were in" simultaneously.

Interestingly the angler fishing the tail remarked that all his fish "were a bit slabby". But the rainbows Keith and I were getting in the faster water above him were anything but. In fact a couple of the fish Keith caught had him reaching for the weigh net.

Just about everyone you talk to along the river says the same thing "we could do with a good fresh." But the lack of rain isn't all bad.

Because we haven't had a big fresh for months the aquatic insect population in the Tongariro hasn't been "knocked around". And I don't think I've seen so much "life" in the river for a while. I only turned over a couple of rocks the other day and each one had caddis, mayfly and stonefly on the underside ...and plenty of them. I've noticed quite a few stonefly around lately and this adult took a bit of a shine to my rod butt. So if you haven't tried stonefly patterns it may be something to consider.

The next time I fished there the fish weren't quite as good and I had to "work" a little harder to get a few. Later on the same day Andrew from Sporting Life turned up but by then it had gone "right off the bubble" and the takes dried up completely...so we headed back to Koura Street.

This morning when I got up it was a return to early Autumn temperatures but nowhere near as bad as some parts of the country. Although colder than of late It was a lovely sunny day and I again parked up at Koura Street. But this time I fancied a good walk ... so headed up the TRB to the Stag.

I hadn't been up this way for several weeks but its a pleasant walk on a chilly morning and I was quite looking forward to it. So it was a bit of a surprise once I'd crossed the Mangamawhitiwhiti foot-bridge to see the rolling pasture land that used to be there has been ploughed almost all the way up to the turn off for Kamahi.

There was no-one on the TRB of the Stag when I got there and no fresh foot-prints either. But there were two anglers on the opposite bank ... although, they didn't stay long. I started off close in, gradually increasing the distance each cast. But it wasn't until I reached the edge of the seam that the indicator disappeared and I was into the one and only fish I caught there.

Not long after, two visiting West Island anglers turned up. They hadn't fished the Tongariro for a few years so were doing a bit of exploring keen to catch up on some of the changes along the river. They'd been downriver yesterday and were gobsmacked how many fish they'd seen down there. But like many anglers before them had failed to convince any of these spawning rainbows that food was better than sex.

Rob and Glenn usually shop at Creel Tackle when they come over. And the last time they were here Glenn had left a fly box somewhere which somehow ended up in the shop. Steve had put it away with the other "lost and founds" he keeps behind the counter and they were both absolutely delighted to get it back . They couldn't believe Steve had returned it to them over two years later with all the flies still in the box ... obviously there was nothing in there he liked!

Still a few freshies turning up but the ones I've caught the last couple of days aren't big ... maybe a couple of pounds. Plenty of mainly spawning fish downriver but they've been getting a bit of attention and they're pretty nervous ... to be honest I wouldn't bother.

I haven't been upriver since last week but I hear its been ok.

There should be some browns showing up in the reports soon and I usually start looking out for them from now on. Its one of the reasons I tend to spend a bit of time around town for the next month or so.

Another unsettled week ahead with rain forecast right through next week. But its anyones guess if we'll get enough to make a difference.

See you out there

Tight lines

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