Where is Smallman’s Reach?
Reeds Pool spreading down to Jones Pool have been very reliable resulting in increasing angler pressure this season, as has the Bends Reach – where the 4 WD track now provides access onto the beach from the end of Graces Road. Meanwhile, the gravel beach on the opposite TLB (True Left Bank looking downriver) between the two above crowded pools remains deserted… Curious anglers have been asking how to get there?
There used to be an anglers access down there but that has now eroded. They had heard of a new DOC track being developed but had not seen any anglers fishing from the TLB. W
The old access track down the TLB has now completely eroded into the river. DOC recently started to redevelop the track down to TLB below Reeds Pool, but apart from extending the track inland around a washout, it leads nowhere in particular.
Prior to the WRC (Waikato Regional Council) project to excavate a canal between the Braids (Swirl Pool) and Reeds Pool, anglers could drive as far as Reed Pool and an easy track extended to the beach.
The stone beach on the TLB has a confusing history with several known names. As the river keeps changing shape some pool names have shifted. The most common is “Smallman’s Reach” which was adopted for TRM’s latest map (Tongariro River Bucket List – Fifty Pools To Fish Before You Die) although other anglers also refer to it as the “Asian Pool”.
Previously, historically it was also described as Nellie’s Pool fished from left bank in
It was also called Smallman’s Reach on the map drawn by Lyn Lloyd – and experienced local angler who has an extensive knowledge of this area having previously operated Sporting Life tackle shop in Turangi. He may even have known Nellie? Smallman’s was further confirmed on the “official” 1955 and 1977 maps for which pool names were approved by the NZ Geographic Board (so I hope Nellie does not mind..). The Smallman
All this pedantic naming background evidence is mentioned as invariably some angler or club will claim TRM have got it wrong again…
Some anglers can become a bit precious about the names and history of these famous Tongariro Pools. This is perfectly understandable when they have known them by some other name for many years. Many of the names of pools in the 1955 map above – before Turangi town was developed – and the updated version below after the township had been developed, have gone as the river below the SH 1 bridge continually changes from continued excavation or gravel extraction, which the council prefers to call “flood protection” works.
The lower river keeps changing, previously formed from regular floods but in the last forty years, since the Tongariro Hydro Project controlled the flow, the recent changes are more a result of WRC’s “flood protection” or “gravel extraction” works (? – take your pick). The 2018 image below of gravel piled for removal at Downs Pool and the access roads developed down
Images below are the new DOC track extension (?) cut out to bypass the washout opposite Reeds Pool but unfortunately does not lead anywhere near to