note: When I went up to Blue Pool to take the following photos I
thought I might have a sneaky cast or three in the head – to test TT’s
advice. But Kevin Pumphry from Tokoroa was already there about to
start fishing with his support crew of cheer leaders – who had already
started toasting his success. In the time it took me to walk over and
take a photo he was hooked up. So follow the photos on right which
indicate how good this pool can be.
off SH1 at the new (2007) AA sign 7 km south of Turangi. Do not go to
the Poutu across the road – Ross is probably down there catching fish,
and hiding from Pip and the laundry. Advance along the road for about 2
km, taking the right hand branch (left hand leads to Boulder Reach/
Poutu, of which more on another day).
Lakes (pool report coming, known to you as the Pot-holes) unless the
bulldozer has been through lately. You
will come to the Blue Pool car park, which you will know because there
is no more road, but there is a toilet and a little hut. We have no
idea what the little hut is for – but it comes in handy if you need to
change after taking a ducking on the river. On the toilet –these are
really very good, and hats off to whoever designed and built them.
There is one at Red Hut as well.
the pool is predominantly larger boulders, it, like the Fence, Boulder
Reach, etc, is comparatively stable. And that means it also holds lots
And deserves its rating. A delightful
pool. With lots of variation, and a million ways for us not to catch
fish. In fact, for the number of fishermen it receives, it is extremely
Up at the head, it is comparatively
deep, and a nymph trailed along the bottom often works, especially if
you cast in beside the mail flow (the seam line…) There is no need to
wade, in fact the fish will sit quite close the bank if you don’t get
too close, so work the whole width from the fast flow to beside the
bank, hoping that no idiot walks up to the bank where your nymph is
swinging in to a concealed fish.
not go right to the head, with a fast-sinking line, and throw into the
main current, release 10 feet of line, then retrieve (your line coming
deep through the seam-line). Don’t do it. Stay away. It’ll never work.
The rest of the pool is a bit of a frost as far as wet-lining is
concerned, it primarily a nymph/dry-fly pool.
Further down the pool, you can fish
(nymph/dry fly) the whole width. With the larger boulders, the fish are
tucked in behind them right across, include the main flow. It’s
comparatively shallow, so you’ll want to shorten up your leader after
fishing the head.
you get into the tail of the pool, which is terrific water for a short
leader. There is an alternate car park for the tail, and also for the
pool below (Ross, name needed here)
Vehicles can, and are often
parked right beside the pool – which is fine, I can practice putting
hook scratches into brand new black Mercedes SUV’s…..
Caution – the
wading is slippery over greasy cannon balls in some places. The tail is
wadeable and used by local pig hunters as a crossing.
Blue Pool is used extensively by the rafting community. Rafts are
lifted out here after their ride down, or, after a rousing groupy
practice drill, are launched here for younger family groups to bounce
down river and wake up or spook all the trout. Bear with it.
Right my lad, you have received two cautions, next one…..
above the Blue pool there used to be a rather elegant little pool
against the TRB. This, sadly, has become unusable, but may return. It
was small, clear, pretty, and I loved it. Very intimate. Ross claimed
that you could not avoid scaring all the fish in it, but that was just
his size 11 military boots banging up and down. Ross doesn’t stroll to
a pool – he does a route march, singing “Boots, boots” as he does so. I
swear…. If you try this little pool, start right at the tail, and
concentrate on casting well forward – 40-70 feet – and work your way
maintenance programme postponed until 2009. Canal re-opened and
Tongariro River now back to the managed level of a minimum of 16 cumecs
below the dam which, after additional flows from various tributaries
such as Waipa, Whitikau, Poutu, Mangamawhitwhiti, etc. results in
approximately 23 cumecs at Major Jones Pool.
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.
flood on 15 April rose to over 500 cumecs and
will have affected many of the pools and river crossings. So
The main change since 2005 is the erection of the AA sign on State Highway 1.
There is no explanation why the Blue Pool did not qualify for a mention in 2005. Pip apologises to those anglers who suspected a conspiracy and religiously fished Blue Pool after the 2005 reports were published without any mention of it….
Such is the advanced deteriorating suspicious mental state of Tongariro anglers. The merits of the pool are so obvious that little in the way of explanation is required. It also features a real loo. Wow.
Generally well worth the trip if only to provide the flexibility of the other pools off the walking track up river to the Fence Pool or cross over down to Boulder Pool and Big Bend. We are advised the Blue Pool has three main productive holding areas. First up at the head beside the main current – some anglers target this alone. Second, try the belly of the pool against the far – just beyond the average cast… – RHS bank. Third, try the middle of the tail – continuing down into the old Boulder Pool riffles.
Below right: Don Webster from North Carolina nymphing at the head of Blue Pool.
Particularly popular with older more frail fishos with replaced hips having creaky knees, as the Blue Pool is so easily accessible
Vehicles can, and are often parked right beside the pool. But caution – the wading is slippery over greasy cannon balls in some places. The tail is wadeable and used by local pig hunters as a crossing.
The main Blue Pool activity, which suits some and upsets others, is rafting. Rafts are lifted out here after their ride down, or, after a rousing groupy practice drill, are launched here for younger family groups to bounce down river and wake up or spook all the trout. Usually they are a welcome respite for weary anglers, after studying the dynamics of a pretty woolly indicator for several hours.
Caution – look out for rafting vehicles and trailers on the road in and out.
Where the access road arrives at the river, just over 2 km from State Highway 1, have a squint to the hard left.
You will often see vehicles parked in here – where the old Boulder Reach was prior to the 2004 flood. This is a good spot for easy roll casting into the faster water, or big reverse flicks from the bank for those without waders.
Often this is only used as a park before crossing over to search through the swirly pools on the way down to Big Bend Pool.
It is a popular place in summer when the temperature is up and the trout prefer the fast water reinvigorating and feeding where the water is coolest. Have a sneaky polaroid peep from the bank first. Many make this a compulsory stop before heading up river.
Guides often target this spot – so say no more…
NOTE: Pool Reports for the Tongariro River are prepared from guest/anglers experiences. As such, Tongariro River Motel do not accept any responsibility for the opinions of other anglers who are traditionally acknowledged liars about their best fishing pools.
(Ken from Topp Twins filming their fishing outdoors series in January 2006 at the Blue Pool car park)