First up a couple of things. I have had the web site updated for 2015. This means it will load quicker on all phone devices and just look cleaner in general. The other important piece of news is that I have started to import a few fishing products from China. I have been playing around with some of their gear for over a year now and these items are tried and trusted by me. The quality is up there and the prices can’t be beaten. I am especially proud to bring you the waders. These Breathable waders have a life time guarantee on all the workmanship and Zips etc and also on the material itself. As I say the price can’t be beaten. So check out the gadgets on my shop for more. I am also making and selling Beef Jerky now. This is a tasty snack for when fishing, or just munching out with a cold can of beer. So watch this space as I add more goodies to my shop.
Now for the reports.
Last Saturday my cell phone woke me up with a low battery signal. It was close to 5am and by the time I found it and plugged it in to charge, I was fully awake. I know there have been reports of big Browns sneaking into all the river systems and so as I lay there I stated getting this feeling I should go explore the Tongariro and see for myself. 40 minutes later I was doing a very deep and somewhat hair raising crossing on the mighty Tongariro. I have done this crossing many times, however it now has a fairly deep gut right in the fast water. I was wet wading and the water was just below the nipple line, it was a interesting way to start the day. I manged to get across without any major drama but I sure as heck wasn’t looking forward to the cross back over. Putting that out of my mind I looked at the water and then at my rig I had on my rod. The last time I had fished it was with a dry fly and dropper, this was too early in the morning for this rig and I wanted to fish some deep water first, before I moved into the top shallower bubbly stuff that I thought would hold a fish or two. It was 7.00am and already the day was warm and muggy. I changed my whole rig over starting at the top. I use about 3 feet of 12.5 pound Mono then go down to about 4 feet of 8 pound Fluro and end up with about 4 feet of 6 pound fluro. I was using a sliding indicator and if I got into really shallow stuff and wanted to detect the strike quickly I could shorten the 6 pound fluro back by a couple of feet. I tied on a 3.8 mm Tungsten Black Bodied Reaper for the dropper and a #12 Black Raptor for the point fly. I have found this combination works brilliantly in the early morning light. Although the first part of the water I was going to fish was deep and had a bit of flow, I was hoping the trout would come up for it if they were interested. I didn’t want to go to heavy as I thought the trout would be in the shallower water at the top and I didn’t want to be snagging or false striking the water when I got up there. Stealth is your number one companion at all times when fly fishing. I went through the deep water fairly quickly and every time I looked at the head of the pool I got more excited at the prospect of what might lurk there. Ok I thought time to hit the high probability water. I shortened my leader up, checked for wind knots, (pffft whats a wind knot) and loaded up. Half way through the first drift my indicator went sideways and down, I struck and felt the ligaments in my wrist groan as I came up hard on something solid, it then moved! Oh yeah baby, I let the words escape from my lips as what ever was on the end of my line tore off across the current and then down stream. It was deep in the water and I had not seen any colour on the take. I lifted the rod and applied pressure to feel the weight of my foe. If it was an average size trout you can normally move them and it gives away their size some what. This beast just ignored my efforts and steadily moved up stream taking line from my reel. I tightened my drag and held on with both hands, rod held high. I prayed to all things holly that it would not decide to change area code and go for the Waikato river. Doing that crossing while fighting a big fish was not number one on my highlights of Saturday morning outings. I knew if it was Brown my best chance in landing it would be to get it into the slack water at the side of the current. Once a Brown gets into this type of water the fight sort of ebbs out of them a wee bit. It took about fifteen minutes for this to happen but slowly and surely it moved over, the runs became shorter and less powerful. My first good look at it sent shivers up my spine, “crap I thought, I need a bigger net”. Having shortened my leader I would have no trouble in getting my net under it, however I noticed it had taken the Dropper, (go the Black Bodied Reaper), that meant the point fly was flapping around like a willy in the wind and if I stabbed at it with the net, I could hook the net with it and lose the fish. I was slowly building up to panic mode. This was the fish of my life, it had been on for 20 odd minutes and I had doubts about netting it. At my first attempt it powered off with a single thrust of its massive tail. It actually stirred up the bottom silt it had so much push to it. My second, third and fourth attempts met with the same response. I was sure the hook would pull and I would be left there crying. By this time both of us were pretty knackered, My arm felt like it had red hot irons going through it and the trout was rolling on its side. I crouched down low, lent forward with my right arm going backwards and gently put the net underneath its bulk. This time it did not shoot off, I lifted the net and “bloody hell” it was heavy!! I don’t normally get to excited about trout but this was special and I wanted to do my wiggle dance. Oh me oh my what a weight, and colour and wow did I have adrenaline going through my body, at this stage I could have walked across the river to the other side like Jesus. My weight net said 12.5 pounds. It was 63 cm long and was fat all the way to its tail. In fact I struggled to get a grip there as it was to fat for me to grasp. It was not a big ugly Brown with a massive head, it was a gem of a fish that I probably will never beat again.
In short, there are good number of trout, both Rainbows and Brown in the Tongariro. Ross from Tongariro River Motel http://www.tongarirorivermotel.co.nz/ had given me the spot to go too. If you are planning a trip to Taupo to fish these magic waters and want great accommodation and fantastic advice then you can’t beat this place.
I fished the Tauranga Taupo on Sunday, dragging my girls up there. Actually we had a great afternoon and they didn’t want to come home. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of good fish in this system. It is very low and clear so a long leader and extra stealth is needed. The fish were sitting in anything that had depth to it. Go have a look, take your spotting glasses and have a blast.
The Hinemaiaia has hundreds of tiny trout throughout its length. Man did it have a great spawning season. There are a few good fish in there as well. It gets a good run of Brown trout as well so if the water level comes up with rain, pop in there and have a go for them, they run with higher river levels like the winter rainbows.
Yippy the Waitahanui has trout in it!! Good numbers of Browns have been sneaking in through the rip at night and the river is slowly and surely filling up.
Back country the rivers have been firing non stop. With the massive season we have had with insect hatches the trout are piling on weight. We actually could do with a little rain now to give them some fresh water to breath. Watch this space as I have something very special coming up with my back country fishing in February, more to come on that soon.
So check out the new web site and the goodies I have to offer, be safe on the water and I hope you have a great month ahead.