TRM was hesitant to post this fishy report as we know some anglers would prefer it if the trout fishing on the Whakapapa River was never mentioned on our blogs. Indeed, I suspect they might even curse me?
But as this raft trip was a new experience for our TRM inmates, exploring the mainly inaccessible stretch of Whakapapa River from Owhango to Kakahai, Brendon provided heaps of photos which should illustrate the story instead, as I am not allowed to show any enthusiasm to rave about it…
Our favourite rafting team at RaftingNZ set this trip up for our two most able fishos, Brendon Mathews (who drove the camera) from Nelson (known locally for his 2003 book “Volcanic Trout – we can safely mention his book as it is now a collectors item and being out of print it cannot compete with “Tongariro Skulduggery”) and Jason Klivington from Wanaka took up the challenge. Jason has been a regular inmate for about 15 years spending his summers at TRM chasing BIG browns from all over.
The superb RNZ guide was Jesse who fulfilled everything asked of him technically – according to their feedback. He did warn that this raft fishing trip may not be suitable for older Tongariro duffers (like me?) as it is physically demanding and requires a higher casting skill level than usually seen on the Tongariro. In particular, the big slippery volcanic boulders covered in grease means extremely difficult wading conditions. So you have been warned.
Fortunately, the quality and superb fighting condition of the trout more than compensate. Many were of trophy status. The images illustrate just a few to indicate how good this fishery is – for those with the courage and fitness to match the rugged back-country conditions.