Anglers returning from fishing the world-famous Tongariro River pools above the Koura Street swing bridge have been asking how to access the new trail extension on the TRB (True Right Bank looking downriver) of the Never-Fail Pool and Kamahi Pools.
On older 1974 river maps, in Barbara Cooper’s book “Pools of the Tongariro” and on the original Sporting Life map drawn by Lyn Lloyd, this river stretch below the Never-Fail was referred to as the “Boulevard”
I remember often sliding down the steep bank from the Tongariro River Trail about 12-15 years ago but since then the lower river access shelf became hopelessly overgrown with blackberry and was inaccessible. The only anglers I was aware of who discovered this “Boulevard” back then in 2007 – see the photos below – were TRM inmates – back-packers Helena & Jerry – who made this their own little slice of paradise, when they consistently out-fished everyone else at TRM every day for two weeks! They employed their own sneaky Swedish technique.
Helena acted the “spotter” watching from the high shelf as the trout very slowly cautiously maneuvered their way up the bubble line hard against the bank. Jerry could not see them as he was perched lower down on the river bank and only cast when Helena confirmed the trout were on the hot spot. They only got one chance or they spooked them. Their success was not unusual; by wearing lucky TRM hats, they could hardly miss…
The other TRM inmates were very curious as to where they were sneaking off to. Now we can reveal their spot as a new track has been formed from above the Hydro Pool along the attractive elevated riverbank “Boulevard” plateau leading through the mature ferns and native bush up to the Kamahi Pool.
The exact location of the entry point is about 100 m up-river from the “Redwood Park” – refer to TRM’s last blog. In walking time, or waddling in waders(?), the track is about ten minutes above the Koura Street swing bridge but easily missed as it is not sign-posted. It takes about 20 minutes more to walk up to the Kamahi Pool, depending on how much time you spend spotting for “rises” and how many photos you take.
From the Tongariro River Trail there are 24 steps down to the lower level dominated by mature tree ferns providing a splendid natural setting. The track has a delightful soft natural leaf-covered surface carpet winding along the elevated river bank shelf and 20 minutes later emerges just above the better known Kamahi Pool side-track, where it drops down to the gravel beach on the river level.
Much of the lower beach of the Kamahi Pool has sadly become overgrown in recent years and now dominated by Broom, or perhaps there have not been enough floods to wash them out.
Walkers can now tramp a loop circuit to the beautiful Kamahi Pool.
This track will be of particular interest to Tongariro anglers – for wet lining or nymphing or dry fly. Indeed, the new access has already been discovered by a few select TRM inmates wading the long “Boulevard” reach below the island of Never-Fail Pool. To avoid angler pressure during the summer, please keep it a secret! That usually means you can only tell one other angler at a time. OK?