Whenever I bike up the TRT (Tongariro River trail) I always stop above the Admirals Pool where there is a good look-out at the top of the cliff. Apart from needing an excuse for a rest there is a wonderful elevated view over the upper Tongariro. But more importantly the Duchess Pool is a good barometer to see how many trout are passing through the upper river pools.
The first impression for peak time on a Saturday afternoon were so few anglers fishing?. The only other anglers seen were one in the Hydro, three (Dutch tourists previously reported on – see: http://www.tongarirorivermotel.co.nz/daily-report/page/2/ ) in Kamahi, and this one in Duchess Pool.
It was a relief to know I was not the only angler wet wading in late October.
That is how pleasant the temperatures have been, despite Dan on TV1 always painting the worst forecast.
As usual the trout were all lined up in military fashion as shoal fish do just off the lip of the sand bank (beyond the over-flow river bed) while our brave angler was just daintily drifting his nymph down over them.
It is not often that one can clearly view such blow-by-blow details of a hook-up from such an elevated viewpoint where we could see all the action. Some of the feeding trout waiting for anglers (?) can be seen without polaroids in the photo above.
Fortunately one trout was fooled into attacking his nymph and then did an excellent impression of the traditional hard fighting spirit of Tongariro trout with firstly a full panic reaction and then putting on a tough act trying to out-muscle him in the depths of the pool. Then our brave angler waded back to shore and followed down river while patiently playing the trout which as a last resort tried to use the strong current in a last ditch attempt to escape. It failed.
Meanwhile all the other trout bolted.
After the angler dragged the exhausted trout into the sand bank we surprised him with a big cheer. Up until then he had no idea he had an audience watching from the heavens. See him looking up in surprise when we shouted out.
Then the inevitable priest was produced and the trout was quickly and humanely as possible dispatched.
This Duchess Pool has always had trout waiting for anglers for at least the last four-five months so is well worth the extra walk from the Red Hut Car Park.
Also below is a short video of the Duchess Pool showing location info filmed from ground level with another inmate, Murray Cullen showing how it is done. Some anglers make it look so easy…