Response to a fishy complaint…
Complaint from a disillusioned frustrated dissatisfied Wellington angler will be of interest to other regular readers of TRM Daily Reports:
So glad to finally see a report about what’s going on with the fishing currently up there on your page again this morning! Had almost given up on even clicking on your link when tuning in for my daily fix of whats going on up there, due to lack of relevant content as far as what the current situation is. I’m down in Wellington so rely on the reports from you lot to know when to drop everything and come up when the fishing is good. Hope to see you keeping us updated with this a bit more as the season progresses, as you have done in the past.
Oh dear! Fortunately, at least to our knowledge, this is not a common problem, but we cannot please all the people all the time… Subscription is absolutely voluntary…
But in case others are suffering similar frustration about our neglect in reporting fishing status in 2016 we should attempt to provide an ‘insight’ as to TRM’s ‘editorial policy’ – in respect of the rules on reporting on the Tongariro fishing. Basically we have no policy! There isn’t any strict procedure. If the fishing is not the greatest then we are not going to ‘invent’ it just to attract custom. That would backfire on us for sure. If the fishing is slow and not worthy of comment then of course we select another topic which we know anglers are interested in. TRM inmates have learnt to read between the lines…
So far in 2016 I can only remember one day when anglers were regularly hauling them out of the Tongariro from 7 am to 5 pm all day. Usually by now we should have had many days like that. So this season is late. Biologically the trout still have to run up the river to spawn. It is a matter of ‘when’. Perhaps they might be running only at night when fishing is banned (for most anyway)?
On Saturday most anglers still struggled. One angler landed five and another landed nine. Yesterday one of our inmates released a real Tongariro trophy brown of over 10 pounds (estimates) but – out of respect for them – we cannot say where or how – unless you are a guest. Inmates qualify. Fair enough…?
TRM reports rely entirely on feedback from guests
That is an important consideration. So much of the positive reporting from us relies more on the ability and perseverance of guests. As any angler will acknowledge, it is called ‘fishing’ – not catching. But even in good years we often have blank days when there is nothing to report. There are many obscure reasons for this.
i.e. The Tongariro River and greater Taupo region is located in an unstable volcanic zone. This means irregular subterranean activity like tiny earth tremors that only trout and scientific instruments can detect. Over the last 11-12 years when the fishing goes quiet we have noticed a corresponding increase in volcanic activity. The fish are more sensitive to these tiny tremors and for no reason just stop feeding and sulk for a few days, regardless of weather conditions.
There are many anglers who visit regularly every year around the same time, ignoring weather conditions or rainfall patterns, and still manage to take home their maximum quota. At the same time there are many like the correspondent above who are waiting for us or some other website report to give him the ‘thumbs up’ to get here as the trout are running.
We patrol the river almost every day and still manage to miss runs or have slow or blank days. That is when the whole experience is more challenging and much more satisfying when you have to use your wits rather than just joining the queue and going through the usual combat casting routine in the Trolls Hole.
Regardless of the climatic conditions there are always trout in the river and easy access to fish for them when the river is too high for wading. That is the challenge of river fishing. If blank days are too stressful then we recommend to ‘invest’ in a boat – lake fishing is comparatively boring but at least you will usually catch something at the Delta.
But for the excitement and satisfaction of the ‘chase’ there is nothing to match river fishing. I am still amazed at how good it is. In fact, it is better than I had ever imagined before moving here.
So the message is not to wait until your stars are in line when every other competing angler will be here too, but just get here when ever you can. The trout are always in the river waiting for you. That is the challenge of river fishing.
Timing of spawning runs?
Perhaps the complainant is just being too impatient? Later spawning runs in recent years are confirmed by DOC Waipa Trap results although this is not the only indication. The gravel quarrying in the lower river during spawning runs (posing as flood protection works?) has to have a major negative impact too.
Whilst DOC report the largest runs through their Waipa trap in recent years are usually October, this is misleading for anglers. In a 2003 experiment it took tagged trout on average 61 days to swim from the Delta to the Fence Pool. To reach the Waipa trap could take at least another month as well. So the peak of spawning runs do not enter the river until July (starting next weekend?). The best spawning gravels in the whole system are upstream in the Whitikau where the runs are not monitored at all.
Anyway, TRM replied to the correspondence last week as follows:
Thanks for your comment – Yep I understand. The reality is 2016 is a very slow disappointing late season and not worth raving about until we have some evidence like up to date photos. (like the photos of trout landed last week by Pete West)
So we have been scrambling to find enough relevant subjects to comment on when the fishing is too quiet.
What we need is more input from anglers – i.e.
1 Name, brief background, where do you live. age, etc.?
2 When and where did you start fishing the Tongariro?
3 What was your reason to start and keep returning to the Tongariro?
4 Which is your favourite pool? Why?
5 Your most forgettable and/or unforgettable Tongariro incident?
6 Your best Tongariro achievement?
7 What do you like most about the Tongariro?
8 Which is your favourite fishing style – dry? nymph? streamer?
9 Your favourite Tongariro fly fishing trip?
10 Anything else would you like to add? Please include photos…
Any fishy stories anglers may like to share? After six months we are getting low on anglers stories..
Extraordinary images like that above (still being ignored by the Regional Council after several years) indicate why anglers are upset – such pollution of world class trout fishing rivers is no longer acceptable. The angler was a regular tourist angler who has been visiting TRM to fish the Tongariro River and other local rivers for about twenty years.
TRM Report tomorrow continues with more comment on this issue and other controversial subjects of interest to Tongariro anglers…
I’m sitting here waiting for a slowing of the heavy rain (6mm in the last couple of hours) so I thought I’d respond to the concerns about the lack of fishing reports in the Daily Report. I agree with you that it would be detrimental to have ‘false’ fishing reports if the fishing has been hard. I can personally testify it has been hard… (result censored!!!). Other anglers, tackle shop staff and a guide I’ve spoken to all agree it is hard at the moment. Some people have caught fish but they have had to work hard for them. One angler has been out from about 8:00am to 5:00pm everyday, constantly moving from pool to pool and he has managed a few fish on most days. You mention earthquakes, quarrying, timing of spawning runs as possible explanations. Another suggestion (from a tackle shop staff member) is that it hasn’t really been cold. The Whakapapa snow report indicates this. I’m sure that if you published ‘glowing’ reports about the fishing and people turned up to be disappointed you would get heaps of complaints.
As a West Islander (don’t mention the Wallabies, but I was born a Kiwi) I read your reports for a number of reasons. It’s great to read about 10lb brown trout, or anglers with 15-20 catches in a day, but it’s also great to read the political stuff. I hope anglers get concerned to read about declining water quality, poor environmental management, declining water stocks (South Island rivers), power company hydro flow management etc. These should concern us, not only as anglers, but as guardians of the environment.
When you went on the Great New Zealand Trek in February you entrusted me with the care of the Daily Report. After struggling to write 7 reports in that time I am in awe of your ability to churn out reports every day. Sure, there is some repetition, but the work that goes into each report is amazing. Another regular (fortnightly) report writer told me he didn’t know how you managed a daily report. Also, I don’t think readers want to constantly see photos of dead fish.
I try and read between the lines in your reports. When the fish are on, you say so. When they are not on you write about other things. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.