Previous updates to report on changes to the Tongariro River and anglers access since the recent 700+ cumec flood include the following:
10 January Town Pools i.e. Bridge to Hydro Pools
12 January Middle Pools i.e. Kamahi to Red Hut Pools
18 January Braids i.e. below Bridge Pool to Braids car park.
19 January Lower River – from Duffs to Reeds Pools.
22 January Lower Pools – below Reeds
26 January Upper River – Waddells and Poutu
27 January – Upper River – Boulder Reach
More fishy images of changes to the upper river… Big Bend Pool car park is 1.8 km from SH 1 on the Blue Pool road.
Image above demonstrates the higher level of the Tongariro River compared to the over-flow bypass at the head of Big Bend Pool.
During the flood this is where it broke out of the main flow to form the new bypass which wrecked the walking access to Boulder Reach – image on right. It looks like a river waiting to happen. It appears to be inevitable that the another bypass will take this route soon – which will hinder access to TLB of Boulder Reach and Big Bend and Fan Pool.
This has been a difficult exercise as since the flood the Tongariro River refused to drop to more normal 26-27 cumec levels.
At the time of this last report on Sunday 28 it was still flowing high at around 35 cumecs. The grey colour was from a slip up beyond the walking tracks somewhere in the gorge. On Friday the Kaimanawa region was hit by storms and heavy rain, Saturday the river was coffee coloured and unfishable, so Sunday we took the chance that it might have recovered.
So all comment is subject to a higher river level and difficulty in being able to spot any major changes. Anglers who know the upper river from the Blue Pool access road may identify changes in the flows to the heads of pools but they do not appear to be significant.
The biggest impact is still from the forestry harvesting before Christmas changing the scenic character of the access road. It looks ugly but is now much easier to navigate with the giant pot holes now a memory only.
Just one final note – the new forestry access road at the Blue Pool turnoff is not a short cut to the Blue Pool. We found a Canadian tourist angler walking down it looking for the river after parking his van out of sight.