What a wonderful February we enjoyed. In the outstanding fine warm late summer temperatures the Tongariro continues to flow at very low levels – around 21 cumecs. This is the lowest consistent levels we have seen in the last 15 or so years, but it has continued at that low level for the last month or so. This enables the more ambitious anglers to wet wade to where they have never been previously – to access some tricky pools where the trout thought they could hide unseen all summer..
However fishos need to be aware that in some slower pools the wading can be treacherous. Boot studs are essential. The trick is to try to avoid the greasy stones. Wading poles have been used much more often lately.
The promised wet weather did not arrive last week apart from some drizzle which encouraged a small fresh – 45 cumecs. That was not sufficient to remove the slime but, based on the evidence through the TRM smoker, did encourage a few fresh trout to enter the Tongariro.
Some of these have us baffled. One angler cleaning three brown trout recently reported two hens had no sign of any eggs at all. So why do they still migrate up the river? Shoal mentality? Who knows…
The most common question asked every day is what fly patterns to use?. Yesterday morning one inmate from USA gave up on dry patterns and reverted to winter style wet line with a woolly bugger. He was surprised when he enjoyed instant success down river with five landed from one pool yesterday morning. His keeper for smoking was as fresh as…
Meanwhile Two Mountains fishing guide Richard was frustrated up river by so many Rainbows rising to tiny vine hoppers or lace moths etc. but they would not consider his tiniest version. So he encouraged his clients to heave out a big cicada pattern so they attacked that instead, with six soon landed including one brown. The anglers were delighted – much more spectacular casting and watching the trout attack big cicadas than trying to match the hatch with delicate presentation and trying to perfect a dainty drift routine.
Meanwhile in the last week others have also given up on cicadas or dry & dropper rigs to revert to traditional indicator nymphing with hare & copper and pheasant tails doing the damage.
In summary all inmates report they have had an interesting and varied week fishing with a full range of sneaky approaches in different pools in splendid conditions.
The only disappointment continues to be Lake Otamangakau which is still not recommended as the trout appear to be stressed out with the warm water temperatures. The inlet canal from Whakapapa and outlet to Rotoaira are still not flowing. Those that tried to catch and release their trout reported their trout could not recover from the strain of being caught and turned belly up after release. TRM have been redirecting the usual Lake O team to Lake Rotoaira where the results have been excellent. An additional day licence ($8) for Lake Rotoaira can be purchased from the Visitor Centre in Turangi.
So when guest anglers are desperate enough to ask SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed knows everything about Turangi except the fishing) She has been unusually confident in suggesting they use whatever rig they are most familiar with, as they all appear to be successful in different sections of the river. i.e. Wet lines down river, weighted nymphing rigs in town pools, dry flies with or without droppers in upper river, etc.
So now you might be confused as She is…