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Rain does the trick with autumn almost here.
Some rain on the way?
An improvement since the weekend.
Hard going.

Hard going.
Tue 5th February, 2019

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I don't think I'm the only one to find the fishing tough since the last report. Despite moving around the river there have been a couple of days I haven't actually landed anything, if you discount the fresh water sardines that are everywhere. And although I've unsuccessfully played a couple of browns, it's been hard going.

But not for everyone.

Anton pictured above with his son Louey and good-looking local guide Will Fullerton-Smith made no mistakes with this six pounder. I'd lent him my dry and dropper set up but this chunky hen ignored the cicada and sucked in the caddis. The day before, Anton had been out on the lake trying out his new boat. And he showed me a pic of his daughter holding a cracking five pound plus rainbow she'd caught on her very first attempt at fishing.

There are still millions of cicadas out there and they'll be with us for a little while yet. But for the adult insects that first emerged several weeks ago it's already the beginning of the end. And from now on you'll see increasing numbers of them on the ground either dead or dying.

Not great if you're a cicada but good news for trout and anglers alike. The fish are already interested and have steadily switched on to these insects the last month. But February is probably the peak time for "cicada fishing" on the Tongariro so the dry fly action should get even better the next week or two.
On Sunday Mike and I fished for a few hours but again it wasn't easy.

Mind you, we were very late on parade, which probably isn't the best plan of action when temperatures are in the thirties.

But he was keen to dress up in his hot pants before he had to return to Auckland. So we headed for a favourite stretch of ours which usually fishes well summer or winter.

We had a few tiddlers almost straight away. And Mike also pulled out this better fish at the top of the run, that took the single nymph he had under the dry ... but that was about it really.

As we waded back to the TRB we spoke to a couple of anglers who had been working their way down river behind us and they told us they'd been on the river all day and hadn't had a touch ... despite fishing some pretty good spots.

But as they said "it beats being in work" which is probably the right attitude to have when the fishing's like it is.

With most of the rainbows back in the lake, targeting browns is a good alternative in summer. Francis hooked this hen yesterday on his dry and dropper set up. And it gave him some anxious moments before I finally slipped the net under it ... relief all round.

I can't remember the last time we had some decent rain. And that combination of low flows and months of dry weather has produced masses of weed throughout the river. On the plus side it provides perfect habitat for the aquatic insect population. However in some places its impossible to fish without snagging the stuff. Even if you fish with your flies off the bottom there's so much of it in the water you're constantly clearing it from your leader and nymphs. But with no rain forecast any time soon it's just something we'll have to put up with.

So times are tough and it isn't easy. At the moment I probably wouldn't fish with an indicator. You'll be better off without it in these conditions. In the meantime we can look forward to more dry fly action and also an increase in the number of browns in the river. It's the same ole scenario we go through every year. And just like every other year things will improve once we get a fresh.

See you out there guys

Tight lines

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