Every Sunday the tired TRM Daily Report editor gets the day off as we continue the series from so many anglers who submitted their own reports on why they prefer fishing the Tongariro River. So much better than stories from the TRM laundry! In late 2015 TRM asked the following questions and today another West Island inmate answered them. Thanks Tony.
Tony Pennacchia, 56 year old, Melbourne Aust, Job: IT …..closest fly fishing water is just over 1 hour drive away (no quick walk down to the creek here) and not quite as spectacular as the Tongariro, cant fish it in summer as it too low and too warm!
2 When and where did you start fishing the Tongariro?
September 2010…Stayed at Creel Lodge with wife and kids and I was under the misguided impression that this was a fishing trip but was alerted to the errors of my ways and forced to divide my time equally between local attractions and fishing!
Was introduced to the Tongariro River for the first time on a TV show called “Wildfish” by Peter Morse then on another TV show called “A River Somewhere” (see below) – I had seen enough, I was hooked and decided to visit for myself. When I did finally get to the Tongariro I was a little overwhelmed as its not what I’m used to back home – large boulder strewn river, great surrounds (snow peaked mountains and a volcano in the distance) , the cold clear water, the friendly people I encountered on the river and at TRM (Ross) and the great fishing, which is exactly what I envisaged from watching those TV shows. Do I really a need to explain why I keep coming back!!!!
4 Which is your favourite pool? Why? This is a hard one….all town pools and upper pools are favoured but if I had to choose one it would be Island Pool – the reason, quick easy access from TRM and it was the pool where I caught my first really big (by my standards anyway) rainbow during my first visit back in 2010
5 Your most forgettable and/or unforgettable Tongariro incident? Most unforgettable incident was being told by a local well known guide that the trout I was fishing for were not catchable and then landing several of said trout!!!
7 What do you like most about the Tongariro? Scenery, clean water, easy access and catching big rainbows.
8 Which is your favourite fishing style – dry? nymph? streamer? My favourite fishing style is indicator nymph/globug rig….just cant beat the thrill of watching an indicator being dragged under and then pulling up tight on a big rainbow, even better when I spot them first!
9 Your favourite Tongariro fly fishing trip? August 2015, lots of water and lots of fish!!!
10 What else would you like to add? Please include photos…I don’t get to catch fish like this on a regular basis here at home!!!
Tony also wrote to TRM after his last visit in 2015:
Hi Ross and Pip,
It’s been well over a week since I left TRM to return to my home in the “West Island” and I’m feeling “it”, you know the one – that wish I was still there feeling!…..
Every day I go to work, turn on my PC and what’s the first thing I do? Check the TRM website of course – and I have to say that at times it does make me “wishful” for lack of a better word! This was my second trip to TRM and I must confess, I am secretly counting down the days planning my next return and with tongue in cheek I hope you will take my application for membership to the TRM inmate circle into favorable consideration upon my next visit!!!
I just wanted to say thanks for your welcoming, open and tireless embrace into the TRM family and for the cabin which you allocated me, it was unpretentious and very comfortable but more importantly I never felt that I was not at “home”.
It offered the perfect blend of position and ambiance for a fly fisherman looking to spend some quality time on the Tongariro River or any of the other nearby rivers or for that matter just going into town for a quick purchase.
As for the fishing it was remarkable!
I am in no doubt that this was/is due to my lack of experience with bombs and bigger fish and needless to say not wearing my lucky TRM cap, this fact alone cost me several lost fish 😉
Your advice certainly saved the day and as for you showing me around the various Tongariro River pools as well as your sneaky little secret spot – what more could I have asked for?
You know it’s quite amazing, if I manage catch a 14 incher in my regular creek here at home (no bigger, on a good day, than the bypass at Island pool) it’s considered a trophy and normally fish this creek with a 2 weight. Moving up the scale to a 7/8 weight has its own conglomerate of new issues to overcome least of all having to dodge a hook laden tungsten “Bomb” making its way with laser guidance straight to the back of my head.
This of course all translates to an overwhelming desire to return to TRM on a regular basis just to hone my skills you understand! And as far as I am concerned one must never relinquish the opportunity to improve one’s skills and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape and the enthusiastic people at TRM!
PS…Pip, I hope that I did not take Ross away from his never ending laundry duties for too long whilst he took me under his wing! If I did please forgive me, I will make a point of not distracting him from his duties on my next visit.
Last month I wrote a short piece about the Tongariro River, sharing my thoughts on how the fishing has improved this year, especially for visiting anglers. I even included a few video clips to help bring the scene to life.