Above – Red Hut Bridge panorama on 11 February 2013 by Jason Klivington on his iPhone.
22 January – Bridge repaired:
Following from TRM Daily Report for 23 January:
Any tender kind souls who object to animals used for experiments to further the progress of mankind should read no further. You have been warned.
The image below shows brave animals being used to test the strength of the repairs to the Red Hut Bridge – before we crossed over. Well that was the plan but can you see how cunning Boof was. He would only bounce on the old bridge planks. He is such a smart dog. TRM advise no animals were injured during the dangerous tests.
On 7 January strong winds blew a tree off the TLB against the bridge supporting cables and damaged the bridge. Following is the TRM Daily report of the damage as at 12 January 2013. The Red Hut bridge is temporarily closed until repairs are completed.
(Note gap in middle of Red Hut bridge above)
Now you know why it as been blocked off until repairs are completed.
This is mentioned as we have had anglers enquiring whether they could sneak across to access the upper TRB of the Tongariro River – to Boulder Reach and Cliff Pool and Fan Pool.
So the images are to back up DOC’s message – do not try to cross the bridge until the repairs are completed.
(Image on right is of the TLB to indicate the tree that was thrown against the bridge support wires.)
The wind also bowled a number of trees blocking the track along the TRB. Only one tree remains lying across the track above the Silly Pool when we rode up there on 11 January.
The only anglers seen up there were Rick from Hamilton and Rolf from Australia – both regular Tongariro visitors for at least the last hundred years…
Rick was delighted with the lack of anglers and had released two from Kamahi Pool earlier in the day.
I should have taken their photos but the bridge damage above was the priority.
After nymphing through the full length of the pool without a touch he watched a wet liner take two fresh rainbows in a just a few minutes from the TLB.
Don’t you hate it when that happens.
So following SWMBO’s golden rule – never, never, never give up – he returned to the shallow tail for one last cast and immediately a good big solid fresh run rainbow savaged his bomb. After a spectacular aerial battle he landed and released it and then hooked up again on his very next cast.
The trout boated from Lake Taupo continue to amaze everyone with their improved condition.
The evening rises are more popular with a mixture of small and/or recovering trout being hooked.
On my last ride before the wind prevented the circuit up to Red Hut bridge I noticed only two anglers, two hikers, three dogs and fifteen bikers.
So repairing the bridge will be appreciated by more than just anglers.
Over the summer the Tongariro River Trail has become more popular as a recreational tourist biking circuit.
2009 Report – Red Hut Pool
The Red Hut is one of the most beautiful and accessible pools on the river, and a starting point for many sojourns to other pools. Signposted off State Highway 1 about 5 kms south of Turangi. Sadly, being close the highway, it also gets its fair share of opportunistic thieves, so don’t leave your gear or valuables in the car.
Park at the top, follow the track down -it splits half way – left leads down river on LHS to Duchess, etc, the right to Red Hut swingbridge, and all points north and south. Cross the bridge, turn left, and there you are.
Don’t panic if you see 12 cars in the car park – there is a lot of water available from the car park – below to Duchess and lower, Shag, Shag-Hut, up-river to Poutu, Boulder reach RHS, Cliff, Fan, Big Bend, and all places north, so 12 carloads have a lot of water to cover. (Editor’s note – Do not be discouraged by the numbers of cars parked as many are tourists or walkers or mountain bikers using the track down to Koura Street bridge.)
The pool rates 13 – out of 20. The pool used to hold quite a few fish, but seems to hold less obvious ones now..
Big changes above Red Hut in 2008. Previously, a side-stream came off Waddells, and re-joined by the bridge. This has disappeared, and now the full flow comes from 75-100 feet further up the true left bank. So we have acquired more fishing water. It’s fast, and not very wide. The rest of the pool is pretty much as normal.
Above the bridge
Although I’ve tried it with both nymph and wetline, haven’t had much joy catching fish. (Shutup Ross….) Even with a fast sinking line, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to sweep the centre of the pool properly. Nymphing seems to work better, and I suspect in winter this area will be pretty good.
Below the Bridge
As you come across the bridge, look down into the pool with your expensive fish-spotting glasses. Haven’t got any? Then I better tell you what you will see – at least in summer. The main flow has few fish. However, where the bank slopes down under water, it terminates in a line down the river of larger stones – always has, by the way. The fish are in a line around the stones. It’s quite close to the bank, and even my 22.74 foot cast can reach them from the bank.
The pool is accessible from both sides, so if you want to drop down from the path before crossing the bridge, you can fish in the deep water on the RHS, which can be very good in winter. Pays to either be left-handed, or ambidextrous.
Tail of the Pool
Occasionally contains snags, but there are often lots of fish in there as well, difficult to spot amongst the boulders.. A slow sinking line can be very effective – the water is only 3-5 feet deep – or a nymph rig on short leader. Then all hell breaks loose when the damn fish wants to head off to the Shag-Hut, and you try to follow it along the bank.
In summer, at dusk, the tail is a great place for dry fly, with fish rising everywhere. Curiously, I’ve seldom seen many other people fishing the tail in summer, yet it is eminently accessible, and no problems getting home in the dark.
Because the pool is so accessible, lots of people give it a try through the day, which means fish are spooked often, I suppose. Early morning and late evening seem good though, as the fish settle down.
And now, to pick on Ross….. previous reports said that the original bridge was washed away in the 58’ flood. True. The report also said it was replaced in 1960. Not true. I have the photo of the flying fox still in place in 1964. The flying fox was great fun, because you could stop half-way, and drop your line in, sweeping the pool nicely. Ah, the halcyon days of our youth….
The Red Hut doesn’t produce as many fish as it used to. But the pool below makes up for that, meaning that for a pleasant morning’s fishing (or more ritual humiliation in the writer’s case) you can drop down through the Red Hut, fish the RHS of the Shag-Hut, (see up-coming pool report) then do the Shag pool, turn around, and do it all over again, probably picking up quite a few fish in the process. I’ll be in the car park trying to buy a trout so I can pretend to Ross that I actually caught something.
During the investigation for this report, rocks were moved, sand was scrapped, the bed of pool was altered by the removal of 2 branches, and litter was left (2 #12 Pheasant tails, please return if found) changing the natural state of the environment. Further more, native flora was damaged while removing flies from trees. Government officials were on hand, so accordingly, we need to write an Environmental Impact report, just in case.
“No fish were killed during the preparation of this report (Bugger) although there is a strong suspicion that two brown trout died laughing, and a rainbow female may have miscarried. A blue heron fishing alongside sneered and smirched in a marked and supercilious manner. The mental anguish and suffering of the writer was considered by investigating officers to be his tough luck…. All electrons used in the computer were re-cycled ones.”
Red Hut Pool 2008
This track provides access to all pools on the RHS and eventually
connects with Koura Street swing bridge.)
It is compulsory to peep out from the high bank on the LHS (from the track to The Duchess Pool) to spot which fish you planned to aim for before crossing the bridge to nymph or wetline from the RHS beach.
It is easily fished from the RHS and good for both wetlining and nymphing. We have seen anglers in the lower pool casting across as far as possible towards the LHS while a small shoal has passed through about three metres in front of them. So apply the “goldie oldie” rules – fish your feet first.Red Hut car park is popular for canoeing, rafting, or for tourists walking or mountain biking the river bank tracks. So do not be discouraged by the number of cars parked there.