In May 2013 a pine tree fell off the cliff face and lies straddled across the pool. According to anglers it has made little difference to the fishing with trout hooked above and below the tree. By the time you read this it may have been swept away? Otherwise no changes.
2012 Update – no change to rating at 10.
The bad news: The pool is a bit of a “teaser” as there are nearly always trout stationed at the head of the pool in resting mode. These just position themselves there to confuse anglers as they are resting after feeding all night. The only time anglers hook up here is in the tail where you can’t view them.
The good news: It is a long walk up here on the TRB via the bypass and past Boulder Reach from Red Hut Bridge. But it is often well worth it. Admire the trout in Cliff Pool but just keep on walking up to the next pool which TRM have called the “Fan Pool”.
There used to be a Fan Pool above the Cliff Pool and the Breakaway Pool but in 1999 the river changed direction to its present course. A decent flood could easily send it back to the old course – either emerging at the Cliff Pool.
The Fan Pool is where the wide expanse at the tail of Big Bend Pool (Again – no longer a bend but retained the old name) splits and a small rapid falls into the head of the run down to Cliff Pool. The feed line is obvious. That is where they are feeding. Over the last few seasons this pool or run has been more productive than Boulder Reach and Cliff Pool combined.
You have to admire how TRM have failed to advertise this pool more widely but hidden it behind the facade of the Cliff Pool. OK? It is your reward for reading this far. Keep it to yourself…
Cliff Pool Report by Tongariro River Fishing Guide – Andrew Christmas
(All pics taken 6 November 2009 in typical Turangi Spring weather!)
Back on board this week after Ross decided to go on holiday leaving all responsibilities to blow in the wind last week but we have found him and we are up and running again reporting to all you information hungry fisho’s. I actually think swimbo kidnapped Ross and made him travel all over New Zealand visiting various gardens full of spring flowers, maybe she was looking for romance.
The Tongariro has improved over the past few days and most anglers again finding fish in most of the river. Obviously these fish were always there but with the bad weather and windy conditions it scared a good percentage of anglers from wetting a line but with slightly better conditions the river is again seeing angling activity. A big thing for the river this week is the arrival of fish which are willing to surface for an emerging nymph or dry fly (see brilliant photos below!). Many anglers have been doing well in the last few minutes in the lead up to dark and taking fish on small patterns such as Elk hair Caddis or something tied with cdc feathers. This is awesome fishing and will have your hairs on the back of your neck standing up as you watch a rainbow slurp your fly from the surface. Remember to ensure your hook up by saying…..www.taupotroutguide.com
Once again we are going to be writing about another Tongariro pool today and this should give you another pool to visit on your next trip to the Tongariro.
The pool that we are going to briefly review today is by far not my favourite and I cant actually say I have caught a trout in here but there are fish in here and other anglers report doing quite well.
This is the Cliff Pool.
Every river seems to have a Cliff pool and I should imagine most of the time it is because there is a huge landslide that has created something that looks like a Cliff..original eh. The Tongariro actually has couple of these slips that have pools under them which could easily get the name Cliff pool. We are talking about the Cliff pool which is situated above the Boulder reach and is most easily accessed in most cases from the true right side of the river. It can actually only be fished from the true right as it cuts into the cliff hard and deep on the true left, you may just fish the last bit of the tail from the left but it is very limited and not really worth the effort in most cases.
The Cliff pool can be fished using all methods but is again best nymphing with a long leader. Wetliners may get an opportunity to pull fish by standing half way up the pool and swinging the wet fly in the tail of the pool. Quite a few fish will sit in the tail and these will account for most of the fish caught in this pool. There is always heaps of trout in the head of the pool sitting in the sandy hole half way up but they just seem to sit there and that’s it. The buggers must be eating something but I have tried and tried again and can’t seem to get a response from any. Part of the problem is the swirly water which eadys about and backs onto itself making a drift very hard to achieve this also plays havoc with getting nymphs to the right depth. Using split shot in here does help but again with long leaders can cause problems with most anglers when it comes to casting.
As I was saying before I would concentrate on casting to fish sitting in the tail of the pool finning in the current. The fish in the very deep water at the head are really very difficult to reach and going on my personal luck in here I tend to walk past this piece of water. The other piece of the pool which may be worth a throw would be the head where it runs into the pool. This water is shallower and fairly riffley so just occasionally you may find fish soaking up the oxygen in here which should accept a drifted nymph.
The Cliff pool is a very good looking pool on a sunny day and if you are up that way and need a picture perfect shot to remember the Tongariro you might want to consider snapping away in this pool. There are usually a family of Pigeons and Paradise Ducks which take residence on the Cliff and are good value to watch on a hot day while having your lunch. These ducks will see you coming before you see them and will welcome you with that annoying screech they make and circle by before letting their guard down-this could be a warning call to the trout in here that an angler is on the way and not to eat anything.
Access to the Cliff pool is fairly easy if you don’t mind walking and fishing the pools on the way up to the pool, which are generally a lot more productive. The best, easiest and safest way to access this water is to park the car at the Red Hut pool car park and cross over the swing bridge before taking a hard right turn on the track to follow up the true right of the river. This track will wind you up past Waddells, the bypass and spit you out on the Boulder Reach. The Boulder Reach is the best water on this walk and you should not walk past this if it is free and has not been fished. Boulder Reach used to be my favourite pool. Anyway walk past the pool or fish through it and keep wandering up river until you look like you will run out of track. There will be a very small shallow crossing of a bypass which will lead you to the Cliff pool, it is very obvious as it is the big deep piece of water with a pumice Cliff above it!!.
I hope that I have not put you off the Cliff pool and I’m sure that there are anglers that catch fish in this pool regularly – maybe? probably not!! haha. It is a beautiful looking spot which needs to be experienced if you are to say I have fished the length of the most majestic river in the world. You may even catch a trout in there.
Just getting ready for guiding as I have work on this afternoon but unfortunately the wind is with us again and the poor client is going to have to work around it somehow. Tight lines for the weekend and hope to see you on the river at some stage.