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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...

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Last report before Christmas.
Mon 24th December, 2018


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The fishing has got tougher by the day since the last report despite near perfect conditions. With day time temperatures quickly reaching the mid twenties early starts have been a must ... and even then success was by no means guaranteed. This happens every year around this time and is all part of the twelve month cycle on the Tongariro.

With many of the post spawning fish already back in the lake the "easy days" of the winter runs are over. But there's no need to put the rods away ... just change tack and lower expectations a little to avoid disappointment.

As insect activity grows right across the board, surface feeding fish will be seen more often. Fishing the "evening rise" will become a worthwhile option and it won't be long before summer terrestrials are back on the menu. With cicadas, green beetles and later passion vine hoppers top of the list. And as soon as we get a fresh the numbers of browns in the river will also increase ... so a lot to look forward to.

It poured down for most of last night and as I headed into town this morning it was still raining.

The weather forecast is all over the place at the moment but the outlook is more rain and showers for the rest of the day with thunderstorms and localised flooding in places tomorrow.

I doubt we'll see a noticeable improvement in the fishing until we get a fresh but so far Tongariro flows have only increased a couple of cumecs ... but you never know ... maybe Santa will bring us all a Christmas present tomorrow.

Its been fairly quiet on the Tongariro the last few days and I haven't come across that many anglers on my travels. But the bach's are filling up fast and once the big day is out of the way the car parks along the river will fill up also.

I've fished a couple of times since I last posted and had a couple of spots around town all to myself. But have only managed half a dozen fish a day ... if you don't count the juveniles.

The river was still a bit cloudy and that Bird's stonefly nymph seems to work well in those conditions. Its got quite a large profile and stands out well. But even though it looks a bit of a mouthful it doesn't put the juveniles off. And I've had a few go for it again this week. Bright green caddis either the larvae or the pupa have also taken fish. So it pays to chop and change flies if things are slow.

And after sixty years of trout fishing I "landed" the smallest fish I've ever caught on a fly.

I'd waded back to the bank to answer the phone and with the rod tucked under my arm had left the nymphs dangling in the water. That's when this two inch fingerling grabbed the size 16 Quasimodo.
I quickly released the monster before it choked to death and it swam off apparently none the worse for its first encounter with a fly fisherman.


Right ... that'll do for this year. As they say on Trademe thanks for looking guys and Jake and I would like to wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We'll see you in 2019.

Stay safe out there and don't drink too much.

Tight lines

Mike
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