Let’s have a game… See if you can pick the locations? Following images are all of local side streams leading from the Tongariro River. The main river was flowing about 27 cumecs at Turangi at the time. Some of the images have been ‘cropped’ to make it more interesting for you to locate them. If you lean forward closer to the monitor you should be able to smell the trout. If you do not recognise them then you will need to go exploring more often, or alternatively stay at TRM to find out more. These have all been included in our top producing ‘pools’ during the last four months or so. Can you pick them?
Above and below are what TRM inmates referred to as the “lower bridge pool”. The images have been reduced as we did not want the exact location to be too obvious or some regulars would get upset at TRM giving away their ‘secret’ pools. If you are prepared to do some exploring you will soon find them.
The common perception is that the trout need to avoid the floating pumice and ash that is swept down with each flood, so they sneak into the quiet backwaters and side streams until the river recovers. Perhaps they do not like getting the pumice in their gills but in truth nobody, not even SWMBO, has interviewed the trout (yet?) so we are just guessing…
At this later time of the spring season I am reliably advised the big old Brown Trout prefer these quieter back-waters and side streams too, but – being anglers, that may be just a rumour… We would not want to get you too excited. Previously TRM were not been allowed to report on them as they are much more sensitive to angler pressure and we always seemed to have some resident inmates who were concentrating on them.
These little side channels are so productive they almost deserve their own names. I know some who even use code names for them so others would not know exactly where they had been enjoying so much success.
i.e. The two photos above were described as the ‘lower bridge’ pools?.
Another more popular well known side stream through the old Braids has quietly being developing over the last couple of years. This is almost a stream and deserves a new name to itself. It leads from below the Bridge Pool into the channel leading off on the TRB past Tongariro Lodge and links up with the main flow in front of the Braids car park has been the most popular all winter. Before the Braids were destroyed by Waikato Regional Council excavating the canal down the TLB, this Braids area had famous reliable small pools such as the Honeypot, Spot X, etc. Now they have all gone but may be slowly returning – ever so slowly this run improves after each fresh.
Access is available directly from the Braids car park – image on right – or from Herekiekie Street. Sometimes a shoal of spawning trout could be spotted immediately below the car park. Every time I went there to explore the fishing this season the local guides were ahead of me. That says it all.
The overflow channel above the main road bridge that used to be the main river on the TRB leading up to Judges Pool is another. Then above Judges Pool along the TLB is the sidestream which forms the Island Pool. The best access for this is from Taupahi Domain opposite the public toilets. Spawning trout can regularly be seen from the walking/biking track where Creel Lodge have recently erected a new seat for weary anglers.
And on it goes. All of these side streams and bypasses will hold trout when the river is running higher than normal. Often they are lying in shallow riffles where they are difficult to spot. You will be surprised how shallow…
So do not be discouraged when the weather appears too wet and the Tongariro turns dirty and makes sight fishing impossible. Often it makes the fishing more productive as the trout are more concentrated in smaller shallow streams with easier access.
So now you know… These are just a few of the obvious spots within easy walking (waddling in waders) distance of TRM.