Andrew from Cromwell pleased with his Rainbow ‘keeper’ from nymphing in the TRB below the Bridge Pool about mid-day on Tuesday. We also met another regular visitor from Christchurch enjoying the Tongariro yesterday.
It is natural for so many tourist anglers seeking giant canal raised salmon and trout fed by the salmon farms, heading for Twizel and the South Island canals. It is hardly comparable to the wild Tongariro River conditions as they use surf casting rods with frozen shrimps or fire out big spinners. But there is no doubt about the popularity – it must compete with the Tongariro as the most popular “pool” in NZ.
On our last visit down there in March there were van loads of 8 anglers driving up from Christchurch for daily visits. Cars and camper vans were spread along the canal roads and continually moving up and down other canals. But for many fresh water anglers there is more to the enjoyment than just the size of the fish. A wild fishery in natural surroundings is still top of the list nationwide.
Meanwhile the anglers in the deep south head north for the Tongariro for fly fishing. This proves SWMBO’s theory. The biggest cost for anyone considering taking up trout fishing as a recreation, and hardly ever factored into all the other costs, is fuel…
(I apologise for my photo which does not reflect the splendid condition of his trout – a real fresh run fatty sporting bright spawning colours. Their fighting ability and endurance defies their size.)
In the last 13 years here we have never seen so many with such good condition factor. Many have suggested they are even better than the traditional winter spawning runs of the 1990’s.
Others have booked for two or three days and extended their stay by several additional days as, after struggling for the last 12 seasons, they fear they will never experience fishing like this again. So even if you only have time for one trip this year get here asap while it lasts.
TRM anglers yesterday were spread all over from Hine to TT to Waiotaka due to the crowding in the more popular pools on the Tongariro. The braids car park off Grace Road had 13 cars parked for the afternoon session, yet one TRM angler – Ross from Napier – advised there were only two fishing in Reeds Pool all morning. He landed two as did his fishing mate who had landed twelve the day before from the same spot. Once Ross moved up river his strike rate improved remarkably. So it is still important to move around.
The Tongariro is still flowing strongly and falling slowly after the weekend flood. Yesterday it remained at around 40 cumecs and is now down to 37 – some anglers suggest the higher flows are due to ‘displacement’ from so many trout on their spawning runs…