On Tuesday the TRM Facebook reported:
On my bike lap inspection of the Tongariro River down to Red Hut Bridge yesterday I counted 10 fish in Cicada Pool, 16 in Duchess, 22 in Admirals, etc. The only dry fly (aka cicada?) surface feeding activity was in the riffles of a small run which remains nameless, although I have heard it referred to as the TRM run?
(In the foreground of the aerial photo is Kamahi Pool, centre photo is Admirals Pool and the Cicada is tucked under the high cliff at top left. On top of the cliff the Tongariro River Trail can be seen)
I intended to fish the TRB but once the wind increased, in the interests of survival I moved over to the TLB and ended up at Stag Pool where I headed out to the Cicada Pool under the high bluff. During my ride about an hour earlier I had counted about 10 trout but someone had been there since as they had disappeared. I covered the pool with a big juicy cicada and dropper (belt & braces rig) but did not attract any interest.
The only rise I noticed was on the far side in the tail of the pool in slack water well beyond my casting ability. So the cicada rig was retired in favour of a nymph and I decided it might still be too early for the trout to switch into cicadas. On my return I was hit by two cicadas – they almost knocked me off my bike. So they were swarming and we needed to watch for when the trout recognise them.
That happened yesterday.
A regular devotee of TRM Daily Reports is Matthew Crnojlovic from Wickham in Western Australia. After living in the stark hot remote mining area the Tongariro must seem like Paradise.. He had travelled a long way to follow his passion. He arrived yesterday afternoon and within 5 minutes had his waders on and, full of pent up enthusiasm, took off in a rush to the Cicada Pool.
There was another car at the Stag Pool car park so he had to be quick to get across the stones to the Cicada Pool beach at the head of the pool where I had seen the 10 trout waiting for anglers. He just made it ahead of the other fishos and waded out about to cast when they hailed him – asking if that was his blue car in the car park? He confirmed. They suggested he should not leave it there with the door open!. So he beat a retreat back to the car park and, as you would expect, when he returned the two fishos were well positioned to cover most of the eye of the pool. You can guess the end…
Matt was forced to retire to the very run-out tail of the pool (where I never spot any trout )and immediately landed two good Rainbows on his Cicada rig… It gets worse. He returned there this morning and landed another.
(Aerial view looking up river over Admirals Pool to Cicada Pool at top of photo)
On my late evening bike rides along the Tongariro River Trail, from the elevated cliffs I have occasionally spied a couple of really huge brown trout cruising around the deep hole in the tail. I think they must be resident fish. My theory was that they chase any Rainbows out of that hole up to the head of the pool feeding in the faster water. About five years ago I caught a huge hen in this quiet tail out on a cicada – probably the biggest Brown out of the Tongariro for me – but have not had any luck since.
But now Matt has confirmed twice in two days the trout are holding in the tail perhaps the big browns have gone? That is why I can now tell you…