The Tongariro River map – Fifty pools to fish before you die – the Tongariro Bucket list – is available at Tongariro River Motel reception.
These maps are essential for every angler on the Tongariro River. Ancillary info includes fishing regulations, minimum size chart (40cm) and Pool Rating Cart where every pool is rated for reliability, access, snags, beauty, etc. On the back of the map are blow-ups of the Braids, Town Pools etc. for more detail.
Warning – the Braids section including the Honey-pot and Spot X is now out of date following river excavations in 2012. The new Honey-pot has car access from Crescent Reserve on the TLB. The earthworks continue down river from Reeds Pool to DeLatours Pool. Original map below:
31 July Update:
Generally a trip to fish the Braids (the wide expanse of river below the Bridge Pool and down to Bain Pool which was a major spawning area for the last few years) is still a waste of time. Regular Tongariro anglers have again asked who to complain to?
The good news is that the heavy earth moving machinery has gone for now… The work was supposed to be finished by end of March but the machinery was still excavating the silt in July – up until the last flood. The constant heavy machinery movement and digging caused vibrations through the sub-strata which anglers tell us would have discouraged most of the spawning runs during the critical June-July winter period.
The bad news is the awful snaggy unfishable mess left behind, waiting for the next flood to further fill up the lower river pools even further with silt and ash and sand.
As illustrated, the snags left behind in the new excavated canal will take many years to shift. We hope the canal is temporary but no-one seems to know? This canal was formed to carry about half the flow diverted from the main river through the Swirl Pool. Now the main river flows into it widening it again and then flows out of it again at the Bain Pool. All very confusing.
So TRM anglers have been requesting TRM – again – to pass on their concerns. They were understandably upset. They are still looking for an official explanation or communication from the Waikato Regional Council or DoC. or anyone?
On the TRB you can still cast into Bain Pool – see top image – from the TRB beach but the old Plank Pool and Stones and Honey Pot pools have gone.
On the TLB the Swirl Pool is still fishable. You can access the island – to cast back to the TLB. Anglers can wade across from the Swirl Pool car park off Crescent Reserve on Tautahanga Road, or you can wade down river from the lower Bridge Pool.
On the TLB anglers can still park near where the Swirl Pool car park used to be but, unless you drive a high clearance type 4WD or rental car, do not proceed further. At first the track looks fine but about where you reach the tail of the old Log Pool it gets a bit hairy. The best way to travel down to the pools on the TLB beyond Reeds is by bike. (More subtle TRM hire bikes promotion intended)
Otherwise most anglers and locals appear quite confused as to what the excavations are trying to achieve?. The amount of scraping and shifting sand by a single digger is ridiculous when compared to the tonnes of sediment carried down by a flood like the last one at over 600 cumecs. The Waikato Regional Council reasons for flood protection are questioned by anglers when the loose sand exposed by their removal of all the willows and digging will only be swept downriver in the next flood which will inevitably raise the river bed even higher as it does not reach the delta.
Before the hydro scheme, when the b&w photo on right was taken, all this suspended silt and ash (from Mt. Ruapehu eruptions) was carried by the bigger faster stronger river flow (as it flowed at twice the present volume) into the lake. Now Lake Taupo – aka Mighty River’s hydro holding pond – is maintained at higher artificial levels to fuel the Waikato power stations turbines, so the flooded river seemingly has nowhere to go. Any flood waters carrying silt hit a hydraulic dam at the lake and hence it is dumped (in what were once the best fishing pools!) along all the lower river.
This unfortunate process is further compounded by the power company opening and closing the canal from the upper Tongariro at the Poutu Intake dam across to Lake Rotoaira. i.e. When they reopen the canal after a flood the level drops quickly (not naturally) and any suspended material is suddenly deposited along the length of the river. This has continued for the last forty years and, according to the resource consent application, has raised the river bed to the point where another big 100 year flood could threaten Turangi.
The Tongariro River has experienced two of these ’100 year’ floods – i.e. over 1400 cumecs – in the last sixty years. The recent 600 cumec flood, which is described as a “five year flood”, is the second of this size in the last two years. Hence anglers’ concerns…
The photos of their heavy machinery working in the river building stop banks etc. after the end of March would confirm the contractors have ignored their own resource consent restrictions. Yet the very authorities that anglers should turn to in such situations are carrying out the work? (I wish the Council or DoC could hear the colorful comments TRM receive after the anglers have recovered from their trip to the Braids with a strong cup of tea….) Worse, this is only the first year of a twenty year consent (reduced from 35 years)… Shudder…
The image below is the Braids as it was in 2010 before the willow and gravel removal programme re-commenced in 2011. It is too early to provide an updated version as the further excavation and river re-routing work is still in progress. The river in the foreground (left hand side of photo) has been diverted to a new channel extending down from the Swirl Pool. All the meandering river below the road bridge in the aerial image has been affected. Generally it is a huge inexcusable mess… TRM anglers keep asking us why?
In this more enlightened ‘conservation’ age, it should never be happening on one of the world’s best fly fishing rivers during spawning runs, if at all. Overseas tourist anglers continue to tell us that the hydro electric station would be closed down if they allowed this to happen during traditional spawning runs in their back yard. Unbelievable!
6 February 2012 update from Daily Report:
New pools on the Tongariro Braids?
Anglers will need to adjust their Tongariro River Motel Pools Rating Chart. Out of 20 all these pools now score 1 for just being there in this convenient location and 1 for future potential.
Much of this area below the Bridge Pool and north of the old Swirl Pool around the Honeypot is now difficult to recognise from photos.
If you click on the images the descriptions may help identify the location, or you may find some well known trees or landmarks to identify the location.
That was mainly in 2004 after the big flood when the stop bank and buffer was built to protect Tongariro Lodge from any further erosion.
However SWMBO says it is perfectly reasonable and normal for anglers to have selective memories from years of training the imaginative part of the brain to decide whether a trout is over 40 cm or from trying to decide whether it is over ten pound just after they are released.
We should not have been surprised at the sudden increase in angler pressure around all the town pools within easy walking distance from TRM. It reflects how many anglers used to be scattered or hidden in the Braids but now have to find new spots within easy walking distance..
It also explains the popularity of TRM’s bike fleet as the best catches – both in numbers of trout and size of big browns – over the long weekend were from anglers who ventured beyond the town pools both up and down the river.
Usually after such substantial gravel removal the river bed takes at least a couple of years to settle down and for sufficient insect larvae colonies to become established. Last time there was a similar excavation in this area it recovered within the same season and many new lies and reaches were almost immediately fishable again. So we shall have to wait and see.
The difference with the Tongariro River is that the river bed changes all the time.
We suggest this is an advantage. All it needs is a decent flood and much of the quarried contour will be filled or changed to create new pools.
We will try to keep you posted as any fishy developments occur.
You will appreciate that to maintain our highest journalistic standards for reporting accurately, some of the new lies may take months of fishing before we can rely on them sufficiently to record and name them.
We will do our best to thoroughly field test them all before misleading you.
There is still a persistent local rumour that they are planning a giant trout farm on the Tongariro and what you see in the images are the early preliminary site works?
There are probably similar unsubstantiated rumors on every river and creek flowing into Lake Taupo. SWMBO prefers to believe all of them so as not to be caught out.
At the end of the day, as they say, the trout still have to come up the river to spawn.
DoC (DoC are the Department of Conservation who are the fishery managers) are planning to concentrate the spawning runs to an earlier time although the TRM anglers suggest they prefer a drawn-out spawning season to continue all year. Their proposal has been subject to several sessions over a strong cup of tea at TRM. They say that then there is less pressure at any one time and they know there is always some good sport available whenever they get a leave pass to visit Paradise…
TRM inmates are always so sensible.
Description of site works below Swirl Pool from Daily Report on 28 January 2012:
This series is in response to enquiries from inmates.
(Who suggested the licence holders aren’t interested in what is happening in the fishery?)
(Image on right is looking down river from tail of Swirl Pool with half the water on right flowing to the Honeypot and half on left re-directed to the new channel on TLB down to Reed Pool – hence drying out the Braids.)
i.e. 25 January:
Had a nice walk thru the braids yesterday avo – wading no longer required it seems
A few fish were about to be beached as the tide went out of the plank
Bulldozer stalked me from one run to the next –but managed to pull a fresh rainbow out of the top of the swirl before he caught up to me !
and 26 January:
Looks like x spot and pines would have gone as well?
Bugger. where is Mike going to fish now.
The maddening crowds will probably be spreading out again?
I think Pip was not far wrong with the earthquake theory!
First some recent history…
(Images on right below of “before & After” flood in June 2006 when they last tried to quarry metal from the Braids)
This section of the Tongariro below the Bridge Pool was devastated in the 1958 flood. Most of the old pools were washed away as the river realigned to leave a wide slow moving stretch down to Reeds Pool. Then the Tongariro Power Scheme realigned it all again. In 1965 below the Swirl Pool the river was diverted along the True Left Bank (“TLB”). The whole area was dredged before the river was diverted back to somewhere near the original course in 1972. The diversion channels rejoined the main river between Log and Reed Pools. Metal was extracted mainly from the Braids – below the Swirl and above Bain Pool. The old Island disappeared and new pools – such as the Honeypot and Bain (named much later by Wallace Bain who – with Barry Greig – wrote a Tongariro fishing guide book in 1983) etc. were formed.
Further floods, particularly in 2004, and major excavations removing metal (described as flood control measures?) off the island in front of Tongariro Lodge and created stop banks since have completely transformed the original contours and aspect. So this new channeling programme in preparation for more metal extraction is nothing new. As the images indicate the 2006 Resource Consent to remove metal was a failure when an overnight flood removed the truck access. Now in 2012 they have had a rethink and are shifting the river instead of trying to ford it..
In 2011, or over the last few years, the main flow below the Bridge Pool was split between the old Swirl Pool taking about a quarter and the main run flowed down to the Honeypot – through Vera’s Pool as marked on TRM’s Bucket List map. Then about half went straight down the TLB below the Honey-pot to Bain Pool and half meandered through the riffles over the Stones to Plank Pool on the TRB. OK so far? Hang in there as it gets messy from here on… Note – this lower section of the braids may appear very messy but when you discover new lies they are very very very productive… so you need to get to know it well.
Now the riffles in front of Tongariro Lodge leading to the Plank Pool are almost dry, so where did the flow go?. Heavy machinery has altered the course over beyond the TLB by opening up and deepening the old Hirangi Arm, where all the willows have been removed, on the TLB. Now most of the Plank Pool flow is redirected down the deepened channel known as the Hirangi Arm to emerge at the head of the Reed Pool. To get over to the TLB of what is left of the main river you need good balancing skills over a fallen tree!
So it has all changed. The Braids was always changing after each fresh but even the mis-named Bain Pool has moved up-river now as the flow from the Plank Pool has gone and the channels down from the old Honeypot force the main current over to the TRB.
The bad news is that the new map – “Fifty pools to fish before you die” – aka the Tongariro Bucket list, is already out of date below the Bridge Pool. But there is no point in revising it until the earthworks and quarrying is finished. But that might be never?
Your job for the next year is to locate all the new lies throughout the bypass and report them to TRM.
That is enough punishment for one day. Tomorrow it gets easier. TRM Daily Report will update the new easy peasy anglers highway access down the TLB from the Crescent – Swirl Pool car park to Reed Pool.
But there are more surprises down there too.
24 January 2012
This Braids area – from Bridge Pool and Swirl Pool down to and beyond Bain Pool is subject to constant changes – i.e. extract from TRM Daily Report for 24 January 2012
The entire north TRB of Braids -(Spot X through the riffles to Plank Pool) suddenly ran dry with the main flow from the Bridge Pool via what is left of the Honeypot now flows directly down the TLB to Bain Pool.
Have a look at the lower images of the same beach taken this morning at about 9 am. Some frustrated anglers returned from their morning fix threatening to complain to DoC and Genesis Power about the extremely low levels. Traditionally, anglers have to blame someone. They thought their fishing trip was threatened by a man made disaster.
So where has the river gone?
We checked the Genesis graph which did not show any such sudden fall in volume either. The Tongariro has been steadily retreating down to 26 m3/s which is about normal summer flow.
Below is an image taken from the TLB of AC guiding a family in the same spot last December to illustrate how fishy it usually is. Many others thrash this “riffly” section in front of Tongariro Lodge too.
This gravel stoney beach in the riffles below Spot X and above the Plank Pool is usually dominated every afternoon by the Tassies Geoff & Babs so is always reliable. Boring (?), but reliable as the trout usually hold in the shallow faster water above and below the deeper pools.
We needed to head these guys off from complaining, as Genesis and DoC are helping us in every way with our Tongariro River Trail bike track, so SWMBO (TRM’s diplomat) advised the angry fishos that the low levels were the result of natural tidal flow compounded by a swarm of little earthquakes yesterday that will almost certainly make the fishing easier.
They seemed to buy that and took off down river somewhere…
All Town Pool and Lower River Pools are likely to be subject to major physical changes in 2011 as the result of substantial river bed works for erosion control & flood protection with a resource consent application for up to 150,000 m3/year to be removed from below Hydro Pool to the Delta.
Refer to comment below by the Advocates for the Tongariro River:
Tongariro River Gravel Extraction Consent
December 7, 2010
There has been much interest in the Advocates position on the Gravel extraction consent which has been applied for by Environment Waikato.
Turangi experienced a 1 in 100 year flood in February 2004. The flood of 1958 was slightly larger and caused much damage within the river environment. Should another flood the size of 1958 or 2004 return then Turangi is in danger of flooding. Apart from moving the town to another location which is not a realistic option, the town can be protected by increasing the size of the stop banks or removing material that has built up and which endangers the town.
Given this option the Advocates support the removal of gravel and volcanic ash from the river bed to assist the river to move the bed load through to the lake. We do however have reservations about the consent document.
Our concerns are:
1. The action is piecemeal and not part of an overall plan for the river. Our desire is for an Integrated Catchment Management Plan (ICMP) to focus on the whole river and not just a section of it. We want to see an ICMP.
2. The consent period is for 35 years. We see a period of 3 years as reasonable at this time.
3. The consent document is too broad and lacks detail. Many who have seen the document think that 150,000 cubic meters per year will be removedeach year for 35 years, which is not the case, but can be read into the intent of the document. There is concern at the meaning of “diverting the river from the area of the Hydro Pool” by many.
4. The river as a fishery is seen as threatened by many. We don’t see the threat given that the fishery was not affected by the gravel removals at the time of the construction of the town and again recently when some 30,000 cubic meters were removed. We wish to see the consent spell out more strongly the protection of the fishery
The full consent document can be read by clicking on ftp://tongarirorivapps:[email protected]
It is a big document and takes time to load.
The Advocates will make a submission on these points and other such as an opportunity to dredge the mouth of the river. If you wish to make a submission then it must be with Environment Waikato by the 17th December.
An opportunity exists for you to give us your opinions through this website and we would welcome your opinions.
Update: September 11th, 2009
Great weather this week for fishos throughout the Taupo region but fishing pressure has been high with many anglers making the most of the still sunny conditions. Being early on the river or at the pool you want to go through helps you get of the mark and definitely increases the catch rate, although most anglers prefer the lie-in with cold mornings!
With heavy angling pressure on most of the river it pays to know a few little hidey holes or backwaters which people tend to overlook at times and with the extra flow in the river at the moment the Tongariro has a few possibilities or options. One of the places I find I can generally get away from anglers and find some virgin water when times are hectic is the Swirl Pool. With the river running high and fresh fish coming through, the Swirl Pool is a wise decision and a great pool to know of and have in the back of your mind.
The Swirl pool in the past has been one of the Tongariro’s main pools and will feature in many old books and documentary’s about the Tongariro or Taupo fishery. It is only in recent years that we have seen this once great pool disappear into a small backwater which was not worth fishing as it had no flow or depth to it that would attract any holding fish. These days we consider the Swirl as part of the Braids as it is a shingly base pool which has the potential to become really great with another flood or totally disappear again and become unfishable due to silting or drying up.
Currently the Swirl is back, although not back to it’s former glory. It is starting to become defined and hold fish which is great news as it once again gives an option for anglers down this way. Personally I think the Swirl will eventually become a fantastic pool which will get back to the stage it was at in the old days but it will take a few more floods to get there. Of course it could go the other way and fill it back in again but with the bridge pool diverting more and more water down this bypass all the time it will more than likely become a larger more powerful piece of water which will be hard to shallow out with flash floods. Over time I actually believe with the lie of the land there the river will eventually take a left hand turn from the Bridge pool and end up hugging that bank through the Swirl before emptying into the head of the Honeypot.
The Swirl can be easily fished by all methods of fly fishing but once again is probably preferred by nymphers due to the depth of the pool. Wetliners will have some fishing when starting right at the head of the pool but may struggle as they work their way down the pool as it does shallow up quite fast as this stage. A possibility would be to use a slower sink rate line or even just stick with a floating line beaded fly and long leader which would then allow you to fish most of the pool.
Nymph fisherman can literally start at the tail of the long pool and work their way to the head and not have too many problems while fishing two beaded nymphs as opposed to a large Tongariro bomb. You will pick up fish throughout but most fish will be holding in the deeper section of the pool which will be half way up and right to the head where it tumbles in from the Bridge pool. If you can get your nymphs under the blackberry and willow on the true left you will also find good numbers of trout, especially late in the day, which can be fooled. During summer months and the start of winter good numbers of big trout could be spotted hard in on this bank, but as the pool did not have great flow it was quite hard to get a good drift over them, preventing me from hooking any of them. No secret fly will be needed in here but just fish to the conditions with glo bugs or small naturals depending on time of day and level and clarity of water.
Being almost classed as a bypass at the moment it is important to know that this will be one of your first port of call to fish when the river is in flood and you are looking for some water which is not a raging torrent. Fish hate those floods as well and will do their best to seek shelter in water with a little less flow as it is always easier for them to rest in and see the flood out. This is when the smart fisherman will use tricky tactics and fish with the biggest ugliest glo bug you have in the box so they can see it. This method is proven and works.
Friendly to all fisherman of all ages the Swirl offers easy access from three different spots which you can almost drive to. Even Ross and Boof can get at it. Most anglers which are wanting and prefer to fish this water will come in from behind the pool and cross the tail of it and walk up the true left of it and start fishing. To do this come in from the town side and follow Tautahanga street until you get to the Crescent reserve which is a lovely park on your right. You can follow the dirt road all the way to the banks of the river but I would advise leaving your vehicle in full view of the public in the park itself and get to the river on foot.
The second option is to wade from the tail of Lower Bridge Pool around the faster flow into the Swirl. This is easy wading about knee deep as long as you stay away from where the current speeds up into the swirl pool.
The option I prefer is to park in the Bain car park and fish the braids first and then make my way over to the Swirl by crossing the tail of the Bridge pool. Not everyone is confident at doing this crossing but if you are strong on your legs and have a fishing buddy it is an option to cover more water. With the river running high and the Braided area forever changing care needs to be taken when attempting such crossings. The braids consists of some pretty unforgiving rocks and slime seems to stick fairly well here so to avoid injury or embarrassment – just take it easy.
This is a great pool which will leave you pleasantly surprised as it is easy to fish and with a bit of luck you will walk away with a trout under your belt.
Have a great weekend people.
2008 Swirl Pool (& other Lower River Pools beyond)
For a change today TRM features The Braids – another update – again…. following the huge beast – double digit brown trout jack – landed yesterday we had better update our pool report. Every week at TRM She gets enquiries where these “Braids” are so we update the web info as follows:
Photo right &
below – Bill Boomer from Ft. Worth, Texas with his big brown trout landed yesterday in the Braids nymphing with a small glo bug)
TRM seem to have reported on and on about the Braids, often ignoring many other better known pools. simply because that is where TRM inmates have had the most consistent success through 2007 and 2008.
The Braids “pool” is not a pool and is difficult to describe as anything resembling a traditional run or reach or pool. It is the wide stretch below the lower Bridge Pool where the river widens out as a result of previous gravel extraction for the Tongariro hydro project.
Then about 50,000 m2 of gravel island was removed two years ago but a follow up in 2008 was abandoned when the river insisted on flooding every week or so. (That is why the large culvert pipes are still at the Plank Pool carpark – to provide for a bridge or vehicular crossing to the middle island when conditions permit) We understand another excavation is planned in 2009. This could either improve or destroy (or create something in between?) the braided area for anglers.
entire area is very exposed regardless of wind direction. If you are
seeking seclusion or natural river charm or traditional Tongariro wet
lining, then forget it. It is usually relatively crowded as soon as I
go there and often you need to move around to find a suitable possie.
But as soon as you hook up you can expect to find several other sneaky
fishos sliding into your space. But generally it is a very friendly
place as there is so much room and so many options available.
>(Stuart Nicol from Australia in the bypass at Spot X last week)
Access – There are three options:
(1) Leave your car at TRM and walk
down across the main road bridge to the true RHS, follow the river to
the end of Herekiekie Street opposite the lower bridge pool. Then
follow the stop bank at the rear of the residential properties until
you arrive at the wide braided area.
(2) Drive your car to the Plank Pool
or Bain Pool car park, at the end of the gravel track off Graces Road,
on the left just past Tongariro Lodge entrance. Then either cross over
(only when the river is under 30 m3 in controlled levels) at the head
of Plank Pool below the car park or walk up river through the pine
trees until you emerge at the beach in front of Tongariro Lodge.
Drive about two thirds of the way down Herekiekie Street looking for
the drive in to White Water Lodge. On the RHS of their private drive
is a small gap in the fence. This is a public ROW between White Water
and Tongariro Lodges. It emerges on the stop bank overlooking the
Braids. A breakwater extends out into the Braids and a track along the
LHS takes you to Spot X. The flow line is obvious. It is unusual to
find it deserted. This bypass is hot. I have never managed to tramp
past it without a flick or three.
(Bill Pattison from Newcastle in the Braids last week with another catch ‘n release)
Features – The
Braids area is unusual but has some definite advantages. The bypasses
offer easy wading although wading poles are still recommended as the
stones get slippery. For new anglers it is an excellent place to
practice as big casts are not needed. It is very forgiving. It is
ideal for novices. Trout can be hooked at the end of your rod. Only
shot – one rod length – leaders are required. There are no nasty trees
waiting to devour your back-casts. You just have to flick up stream
and run your nymph through the riffles and can still hook up even after
you have made the worst cast of your life. The wind usually decides
where to plonk your nymph regardless of your aim. The usually unseen
trout hit when you least expect it. In the shallow water they also put
up a much better fight and aerial gymnastic displays are common. It is
great fun. perhaps best of all, wet lining fishos like WG cannot
compete – they are confined to snags in the Honeypot or in the depths
of the RHS of Plank Pool.
>(Wayne Salmon from Newcastle casting in the Braids last week . Note how deep the wading is… suits my style too)
General – Whenever
you cross the riffles it is usual to see trout darting around. As it
is the first large gravel bed they find on their upriver migration they
get a bit excited and many drop their eggs in the many redds scattered
across the shallow fast water. Anyone wading should avoid the cleaned
areas and beat a crooked crossing to step around all the clean gravel
redds. It has no redeeming scenic features compared to the traditional
majestic Tongariro River pools except for one minor item which usually
cannot be seen. It is full of trout… They have cruised safely up the
big deep river for about 8-9 kms. and are getting weary by the time
they come across this confusion and shallow braided rivulets. Then
they appear to stop here longer than other pools as they get confused
by the shallow rapid runs and have to check them all to decide which
river or bypass to follow. Many do not get any further as the jacks
are waiting to ambush them. This is all pure speculation of course as
Pip has not managed to interview the trout yet.
>(Stuart Hill from Auckland stalking a big brown, or something, in the Braids)
- Once upon a time in the good olde days, when cane rods were being
replaced with new fangled fibreglass poles, it was not considered at
all proper or sporting to fish anywhere near spawning redds. Other
bypasses (i.e. above Red Hut) were considered out of bounds. If you
fished them some gruff old chap with a big moustache and a pipe would
promptly remind you of his unwritten rules. In the new century these
rules have gone. Now you have to be up early to beat fishing guides to
these spots. But as the boundaries are blurred in the Braids, make it
a rule that you always ask anyone fishing where they prefer you to fish
before you move in and start casting well below them. Indeed, do this
in all pools and you will discover you make lots of new friends.
- The only other rule peculiar to the Braids is never to leave your
landed trout lying on the gravel beach too far away from where you are
fishing. A very intelligent good looking un-named local dog often
patrols the Braids convinced they have been left for him to bury…
below were taken this morning of Bill Boomer from Ft. Worth. with his
fishing guide Andrew Christmas. Being from Texas Bill naturally
expects everything to be bigger. He said he had fished for salmon in
Alaska previously with his biggest salmon caught being 8 pounds. Bill
was only here for half a day so his guide, Andrew Christmas, had no
hesitation in taking him straight to Spot X in the Braids. This was
the result. The brute, a fresh run gleaming silver chrome nickel beautiful brown jack (calm down) crunched
the fly and then swam strongly effortlessly upriver for over 100m.
towing Bill and Andrew. They applied maximum side strain on to stop it
before it reached the faster water at the top of the Braids and thought
they would never be able to turn it. Then great relief as it suddenly
turned and accelerated down river at full speed. Andrew raced after
it to keep up through the shallow riffles, while trying to maintain
some constant strain on the line.When it finally jumped to show itself
they were both shocked and realised they had something quite special.
Their measured effort and continuing patience (read blind panic) might
even be rewarded. After more drama it was finally landed about 20
minutes later down in the Plank Pool. That was about 300m from where
they started. Wow!Brown trout purists will be
disappointed again as it took that traditional brown trout’s favourite
fly – a small glo bug trailing behind a standard Tongariro “bomb”.. It weighed in at a shade over the magic 10 pounds. Look at the width of the accelerator – the powerful tail. What
a really good looking example of a superb Brown Trout. The photos do
not indicate the width across the shoulders. A solid powerful beast. It definitely deserves to be mounted.
The Genesis Energy proposal to close the Poutu Canal for the first four
months of 2008 (which was cancelled after January) is now back on
track. The Poutu Canal is closed as it is subject to Genesis’
maintenance programme for the next few months. This means that for the
first time in over 40 years the Tongariro River is running at natural
levels – with no water being drawn off for hydro power purposes.
Tongariro River is running higher than you may be used to and all
anglers are warned to be more careful at crossing and wading.
flood on 15 April rose to over 500 cumecs and
will have affected many of the pools and river crossings. So
at TRM. Pool names are essential to assist in their geographic
location identification so that we can pass on where all the best
holding pools are. The pools vary so much from season to season and
even month to month so it pays to check with locals each time you visit
the Tongariro. …..
The pool beyond the Lower Bridge Pool had been mentioned previously
under various names. Most anglers recently have been referring to it
as Vera’s Pool. The original Vera’s pool below the bridge pool
disappeared after the 1958 flood. It was named after Vera Blair who
fished here frequently. Still producing well – as good as the Bridge
Swirl Pool do not usually mean the old back water on the bend beside
the car park. This still holds a few trout but is used more as a
crossing over from the Swirl car park to get to Vera’s. The pool now
called the Swirl is about 100m down river above the Honey Pot where the
main flow from Vera’s spills over a metal bank to turn into the Honey
Pot. It is fished from the metal pit on the LHS and has become
increasingly popular as you do not need waders and will accommodate two
The Stones -
Anglers have been referring to the new series of small pools outside
the Tongariro Lodge (not related to TRM) as “The Stones”. The original
Stones Pool disappeared after the 1958 flood. Anglers access is either
by taking the walking track off Herekiekie Street or by following the
stop bank down river from the end of Herekiekie Street where it
overlooks the Lower Bridge Pool. Both emerge on the new stop bank
outside of the fishing lodge at the end of the overgrown bush and trees
which extend down the RHS below the Lower Bridge Pool.
was built after the 2004 flood to deflect the flow away to protect the
lodge. These small “pools” change after every fresh and are still
settling down. Other fishos also wade across from the Swirl Pool car
park or above the old Swirl or by wading the tail of the Lower Bridge
Pool. There are many options for nymphing through this braided area.
The braided area below the Bridge Pool is a good half day work-out with lots of variety available -
ideally suitable for nymphing practice waiting for the indicator to
tremble. Where else could you get this sort of variety?
I know TRM suggested not to wade the main river crossings, but these
are all minor streams through the braided area so are quite safe – if I
cross over, it has to be! This route provides lots of options if the
river appears crowded. Try it.
It is mainly used as a convenient crossing to the Honeypot and Plank Pools. The relative rating for the Swirl Pool has been substantially reduced following considerable silting up after the floods in November 2006.
Following the removal of shingle from the islands opposite the Swirl Pool in 2006, the volume and flow have both reduced and migrating fish now tend to by-pass it. During flooded conditions the river is now tending to take a direct line from the lower Bridge Pool to the Honeypot and bypass the Swirl. During lower flows this pattern has continued to increase the direct flow at the expense of the Swirl Pool which now appears to be developing into a quiet backwater.