Again I was surprised at how few anglers were seen.
They were easily outnumbered by others and the summer traffic has hardly started yet.
One team of recreational mountain bikers had 10 in their group. Another parade of six young ladies were in tight leotards jogging their way around the circuit in a keep fit lose weight team. Ken was almost distracted. If TRM wanted to improve our ratings I should have taken their photos.
Ken Olsen is a keen angler who has come much further to test the Tongariro for all of November. He is attending to his top ‘bucket list’ entry spending one month at TRM on the Tongariro and then another month touring South Island rivers.
So I was delighted to watch his easy casting style while I waved to all the rafts floating down the river. It took him all of about ten casts to hook up after missing a couple of takes. The trout was a ‘standard’ recovering Rainbow jack about 18 inches (45 cm) but still put on a good fight to test Ken’s 6 wt rod.
We cannot identify the pool as Ken is here for another three weeks and will no doubt return there. The entrance track was so well hidden we missed it the first time.
Ken is now ‘hooked’ on biking along the trails to try out more pools now he has seen the how many are holding trout. At every vantage point we spotted trout with the most – about thirty plus – easily seen but I have forgotten which pool that was – there was just so many of them…
Most of the well known pools were occupied but the angler pressure was still only light compared to the winter runs.
Then on our return trip from Red Hut who did we find in Stag Pool car park collecting up all the strands of nylon discarded by martians (?). We know anglers would never leave their cut-offs of traces in the car parks so we deduced it could only have come from Mars?
This is such a pristine river environment that need lots of TLC. Ken was so impressed that the Tongariro is still as beautiful as ever after so many years. But the real reason is thanks to heroes like Dave Cade and DOC.
Last in the riffles above the Never Fail Pool we found another TRM inmate – Richard Hale from Wellington region – being closely followed and coached by his Spaniel Molly (Now Pumpkin’s new best friend).
Then as we returned back along the access road to rejoin the Tongariro River Trail, we missed the angler we were particularly looking out for – an American, David Bear from Northern California, who went nymphing in the run below Admirals Pool. We have to mention him too even if we missed his photo as he was so delighted to catch and release his first Tongariro trout on his first visit.
What a wonderful river.
(P.S. Richard has since advised that it was not him above? That’s OK. Nice photo anyway and you cannot be sure who it is at that distance. But he knew as Molly never goes in the river. TRM never let the facts get in the way of a good story…)