Above are TRM inmates – Rob from Foxton just returning with his morning’s catch from the Breakfast Pool last week – with his guide Peter Barber.
Rob is the main reason for this report as he sadly informed us this would be his last trip (?) as at 86 years young he is finding the wading too difficult physically. I have to appeal to these senior anglers as they are such an inspiration to all us youngsters to never ever give up….
So this report is TRM’s sneaky way to persuade Rob not to retire but to return in the warmer summer months to convert to TRM’s rafts. To encourage him, all the anglers pictured are of a similar vintage.
TRM often go on about young people getting into the sport of fly fishing but there is another significant group often overlooked that are equally important.
This is the “over 80’s”. A few are even in their 90’s. TRM has their share as many have “aged in place” over the years we have been here. They are our mentors and such an inspiration to all us younger fishos. They make ‘old age’ more of a pleasure to look forward to…
Most of these ‘senior’ fishos have such a wealth of experience on the Tongariro and elsewhere. Their fishy stories of the ‘good ol’ days’ are remarkable and very informative on how our rivers have deteriorated. But don’t let me start – that is another story.
Terry was here last week when the swarm of quakes spoilt the fishing.
On left below is Doug Davison from West Island who is another recently retired from fishing the Tongariro now but fortunately left his special Lake O raft here – just in case he changes his mind? More on that below…
That is one of the most wonderful features of trout fishing. It is one hobby that can be practised all our lives, long after other sports or recreation pursuits become physically impossible. Thanks to modern medicine most of these ‘veterans’ have an amazing array of spare replacement parts to keep them mobile.
So many have confessed that trip will probably be their last as the difficulties of wading over the slippery stones on the Tongariro have become too much of a hurdle. But then invariably a year later they return for their ‘fix’ – the river fishing is like a youth drug. It is wonderful to see them return again and again.
If possible we try to direct them more down river. By the time the stones have been swept by floods down river they have rolled and rolled and ground themselves into sand. Then when the wading down river gets too difficult we have another even better option.
These “water-strider” rafts are perfect for older anglers suffering from personal mobility problems.
The rafts can fit in the smallest car, easily transported as a car battery quickly inflates them (except for the back rest) they are light to carry into the lake and the fishing is all done from a more comfortable seated position complete with back rest.
It is a completely different style of fishing to the Tongariro requiring more perseverance and patience, but can be very rewarding.
See Stuart Nicol’s photo below is only about 50 m from the weed barrier at the boat ramp.
This angler can only escape work during the busiest holiday periods – Christmas and Easter. As you can imagine the lake gets very crowded during these peak holiday times.
Yet despite fishing in the worst conditions he has averaged over six trout per day since 2012.
There are no other rivers or lakes in NZ that could match that. OK? But please keep it to yourself – it is a special small trophy lake and we need to keep the angler pressure down.
The images above and short video below illustrates the TRM rafts best with another ‘over 80 years young’ skipper – Stuart Nicol (who has booked again for next summer season).
If you want to know more about Lake Otamangakau watch the following brief videos…