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Last report before Christmas.
Perfect as we head towards the Xmas break.
Its not quite as easy now.
Plenty of heavy showers but...

Its not quite as easy now.
Thu 13th December, 2018

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As we head towards Christmas the number of rainbows in the Tongariro is beginning to shrink as more of them head back to the lake. There's still fish to be caught but it's not quite as easy out there as it was. And from now on It really pays to move around.

I bumped into Andrew on my travels at the start of the week just as I was about to leave Big Bend. I'd already fished it for about an hour and had landed a few rainbows but they weren't great. So after he put a couple of half hearted drifts through with the Spey rod we decided to give Boulder Reach a try.

I'd pulled into the car-park there briefly about an hour or so before but Peter Bragg was there unloading the gear with a couple of clients so I'd left them to it and headed further up.

I thought they may have moved on by now but when Andrew and I arrived at the pool they were still there and had been joined by another guide with clients on the opposite bank, plus a few other anglers dotted around the stretch. Needless to say we got out of there to find some quieter water.

There's a lovely stretch of water not to far away which doesn't often get fished. And sure enough it was empty when we got there. This place used to fish best from the TRB but its changed a bit the last few years and nowadays there's no need to wade across.

From the TLB you have access to a delightful little run that responds well to tight line nymphing and it wasn't long before we'd both hooked up. None of them were huge fish but in the fast water on light tackle were a lot of fun.

Andrew wanted to get some footage with the Go Pro so we gave it an hour and with mission accomplished headed back. He pointed out It was fast approaching "beer o'clock time" but us Welshmen never drink on the sabbath so I headed back downriver to fish "The Rope."

There's been a few stoneflies around lately but its not a fly I use that often. So for the past few weeks I'd been on the hunt for a likely looking pattern to try on the river.

I'd had some success with an almost black pattern that Steve in Creel had dug out from the back of the trays. But I was after something a little "buggier" looking, preferably brown.

Peter in Sporting Life put me onto this one. Neither of us knew the name of the fly or recognised the pattern. But that doesn't matter ... the main thing is it works and I've caught fish with it Euro style and under the indicator.

The soft feather used to suggest legs gives it a lot of movement when wet. And Its another pattern I'll have to make room for in the box.

The river has been pretty busy on weekends but most weekdays you'll still have many stretches all to yourself. At present middle to upper just has the edge ... especially if you're prepared to move around and seek out the less often fished spots.

They've forecast rain and thunder just about everyday this week but although we've had the odd heavy downpour it still hasn't been enough to make any difference.

When the sun does come out it soon warms up and on weekends everyone seems to be heading for the river to cool down. During summer most of the town pools {between the two bridges} are taken over by the local kids. So if you want to fish them ... get there early.

And now that the spawning runs are over, before long Waikato Regional Council will be carrying out their ongoing river works program. Both above the Koura Street swing bridge and around the Braids.

Last winter the Braids was one of the most consistent stretches on the river and I hope the return of the digger doesn't spell disaster there again.

For a full outline of the planned changes visit this link to the Advocates web-site.
Tongariro Annual River Works Programme 2018-2019

Tight lines

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