At time of composing this we are still waiting for some promised heavy deluge of rain to add some colour to the Tongariro just in time for Easter weekend.
It can be confusing but if you peruse the photos from TRM’s library you may identify one consistent factor for success… it is so obvious once it is pointed out.
Some purists are still trying to extend summer patiently casting dry flies – varying from cicada jandal patterns to tiny vine hoppers or lace moths (although it seems to be too cold and blustery for the evening rise lately?).
Meanwhile others are somewhere in between on dries & droppers, other anglers swear by weighted nymphs – standard hare & copper bombs (with about 10 wraps of lead?) and pheasant tails – which achieved the best results from TRM’s anglers (Hi Scott and Greg – in larger photos at top and bottom) in the last week. Or did they just move around more than the others – see 1 below?
Worse, some have even been panicky enough to ask us where to use a wet line?
Anywhere in the river we confidently tell them.
If you haven’t got past Page 1 of Kama Sutra (??? See TRM Daily Report for 5 March – click on calendar on right) you’re heading out on the river to fish streamers in preparation for winter, then you may need to think a little differently.
Here are a few of the best tips from Orvis for adjusting tactics to score when the mercury is low:
- Keep Moving: Water temps are significantly lower in the winter, and fish metabolisms slow down considerably. Keeping this primary fact in mind, don’t get concrete feet. Covering water will increase your chances of finding a hungry trout.
- Know where to look. Trout do not want to expend as much energy during the winter and will move out of faster currents. Look for fish in cover and especially in tailouts, soft runs, eddies, and slower channels.
- Switch patterns frequently during the winter. Lighter colored flies typically work better in the winter But if you’re not getting strikes, change patterns.
- Always wear a TRM lucky hat. Actually that tip did not come from Orvis but the photos are irrefutable proof of their success… (And yes, those trout in the photo on left did come straight out of TRM’s freezer. They were hoping to convince their partners they had been fishing but got delayed in the various cute cafes around Turangi.)
Autumn/Winter is different, so think differently when you’re stripping streamers in cold water.