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Some good fish around.
Wed 27th July, 2011


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The weather dominated the early part of this week as the bitterly cold blast, strong winds and snow swept across most of the the country. If you were on the river late Sunday afternoon you could feel the temperature plummet and casting became difficult as the icy Southerly gradually took hold.
I have to say the snow that followed has produced some picture postcard views all around Turangi.
The fishing has been consistent and talking to other anglers especially those carrying trout... all is well with the Tongariro this week. Fisho's report a real mixed bag with some good fish being taken.
I was out with Grant Unsworth from Auckland and we covered a lot of water. Grant had fish in the Braids, Silly and further upriver where we concentrated on fishing likely spots between the named pools. Over the weekend yet more browns were caught and there were reliable reports of a couple of better fish unintentionally released. The brown trout "season" just rolls on and on and seems to be extending every year. The last few weeks saw yet another spike in the numbers reported, which could be connected with the work Waikato Regional Council have been under-taking along the Hirangi Arm.
This stretch which begins near the Swirl Pool and flows back into the main river on the T.L.B above Reed is being cleared of willows.

Up to now it has been an ideal safe haven for browns. Ross has been talking to the contractors who mentioned they saw dozens of big fish when work first began. Once the heavy machinery moved in they vanished, days after there were numerous reports of browns in the Lower Bridge and later in the pools further up. I'm with Ross on this one and wonder if some of these fish were from the Hirangi Arm, forced out into the main river to seek a bit of piece and quiet well away from the diggers... it seems to be too much of a coincidence.

On Saturday morning I fished myself for a few hours and landed this big rainbow jack. But the encounter that really got my "ole ticker" going happened a bit later that day when I returned to have a go near the same spot. As soon as
I hooked up I knew I was in trouble because it was one of those fish that makes your gear feel its not quite up to the job. I know we all go on about the "one that got away" but I honestly don't mind losing fish, its all part of the game. Every so often one comes along that you desperately want to get on the bank. Twice I got this fish to the shallows so had a good look at it. Without doubt it would have been my best ever rainbow and I've been at it a long time. Thats what I love about fishing the Tongariro you never know what will happen next.

The good news, its still in the river somewhere, may be some other lucky angler will have a crack at it.

The following day I fished with Mark Tomsett from Cambridge who recently retired from rugby coaching. His wife Sarah had enough of him hanging around their home so at Christmas she presented him with a brand new fly rod with strict instructions to take up a hobby and get out of the house...or else! Mark was understandably gutted and reluctantly spent an extra few thousand dollars buying all the "necessaries" just to make his wife happy.

Till now he had been fishing small streams around the Waikato but was keen to try the Tongariro. We started in the "beginners" stretch {Braids}... some beginner... considering Mark had only been fishing seven months he had obviously put a lot of effort into keeping Sarah happy and was into his first fish within 10 minutes.
Just upriver from us were a couple of expert fishing Dads giving their sons a first taste of fly fishing as a treat during the school holidays. My three sons are now grown up, two of them with children of their own. I used to take my boys fishing...what is it with kids...they beat you every time, then you have to put up with that non-stop bragging to mum.
It soon ended...I stopped taking them!
Looking upstream I noticed the two young "guns" were already showing their Dads how to do it. This is Luke Gilbert from Coatsville playing his first Tongariro monster rainbow with his guide Jarrod patiently waiting to pounce. Unfortunately Mark hooked up at the same time so I had to rush back for landing net duty before I had a chance to photograph their fish. Mark took a couple more, before we decided to break for coffee and then head up to Judges.
I hadn't been up there for a while but Babe the pig is still around, although a little thinner than
I remembered it. There were three anglers already there when we arrived, so we took our place in the tail but they had already made up their minds to move on and gave up the pool. Speaking with them as they left we found out they had been there most of the morning and had caught some nice rainbows nymphing.
Mark had a couple of takes and landed one on the globug but he was another angler keen to try something different, so we switched rods and made our way straight up to the head.
A few chucks later the cicada sailed under and he was into his first Tongariro brown which fought well above its weight before we got it into the net half way down the pool...look at the smile.
Most of the afternoon was spent upriver and he caught a fish or two where ever we went. As the cold weather began to close in and the Southerly picked up we decided to head back to the Braids for the last hour. The wind was gusting downstream causing the usual problems. Mark missed a few takes but the addition of some shot to slow things down a bit brought instant success with a couple more falling to globugs. As we rounded off our day we headed back with a fantastic Tongariro sunset as a back drop, another enjoyable day out on the river with great company and plenty of fish landed as a bonus.
Thanks mate and we must visit that "farm" sometime. {sorry guys private joke}
This week its a no contest for best fly off the bomb... small globugs in various colors... the ones with the thin flash tail.
Looks like there is some settled weather with light winds forecast for early next week with fish numbers on the up and some good rainbows around...I know where I'll be.
Recently I've met anglers who have shown an interest in the method I use to attach my indicator and some have emailed me " was really interested in your rig...could you explain it to me again via email" etc. It was first on TRM's site a couple of years ago. A lot find it a bit fiddly but it works for me. I have a nick-name... "Inspector Gadget" because if there's a complicated way of doing something simple I'll find it! There are tried and tested traditional methods of attaching our bits of yarn and there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of them. Everyone has his or her preference and this is mine. I find it durable, easy to use and doesn't put kinks in the line when ever you move the indicator up or down. It means a visit to the surf fishing section again to pick up some "rig crimps", mini-beads and small swivels or you can buy them online. They were originally intended for building stream-lined saltwater rigs to enable longer casts from the shore. At one time I was involved in competition fishing on the club match circuit in the UK and most sea-anglers made their rigs using these. If your looking for a company to order from try Gemini Tackle I think they are still around and I'm pretty sure I've seen their products over here. Because we used to buy them in packs of a thousand at a time
I still have a stock which I brought over with me. You will need two crimps, two beads and two swivels for each rig. To start take roughly five and a half feet of 15 Ib breaking strain mono and tie a loop in one end...you can vary any of these measurements.
This is the end you will connect "loop to loop" to your fly line.
Now thread on a crimp, bead, swivel, bead, crimp in that order...fed up yet! Next tie the remaining swivel to the end of this length of mono. This is the sliding section of your indicator rig. Attach a meter or so of 10 Ib bs mono to this swivel and with a knot of your choice connect another meter of 8Ib bs to the ten pound line. The eight pound line is what you tie your bomb too. Position the crimps trapping the swivel and beads half-way along the length of line and using round nosed pliers squeeze the crimps in the center so that they just grip the line but are still able to slide.
This takes a bit of practice but over time becomes easy.
Once you've done a few you can knock one up in minutes.
I make them up in batches of ten and keep them wound separately ready for use in a small trace wallet. The trapped swivel is where you attach the indicator. You can mess around with the length of the mono to suit your water but this rig will give you an indicator instantly adjustable from around seven feet to a maximum thirteen feet. It sounds a potch but its simple and they last for several sessions before you have to replace one...if you give it a go let me know how you get on.

Tight Lines Guys

Mike.

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