Brian with a mighty river jack, Whakapapa River.
Brian Willson NZPFGA member, professional guide and I Love Fly Fishing shop partner, brings us his weekly fly fishing report from Turangi for the Central North Island lakes and rivers. For up to date info, for what flies are working and if you want to call to the shop – 8 Wiremu Street – call Brian on 021667867. Brian fishes Euro/Czech, Dry Fly, Trout Spey, Nymph and Wet Fly.
Hello again fellow fly fishers,
Once again this week has seen some fluctuating weather which is typical of spring and it looks as though we are going to get a brief cold snap in the next few days but not quite as harsh as it is going to be in the South Island. Last Friday it absolutely hosed down and I had to guide a couple of Australians on the Saturday. It was still raining when I picked them up but eased to be quite a pleasant morning. Strangely there was hardly anyone on the lower Tongariro and as it was at a flow rate of about 35-40 cumecs, it certainly wasn’t bad conditions and indeed looked very fishy. And so it proved to be as both father and son had some good action. I was to repeat the experience a couple of days later (Monday), with another father/son duo. It had rained heavily the previous Saturday night and at one stage on Sunday the river reached 230 cumecs.
By Monday morning the river had come down considerably however and while a bit more coloured than the previous Saturday, it was still very fishable. Neither of these 2 had caught a trout before. I threw out a line for one of them and handed over the rod and a trout hit immediately but was lost just as quickly as the strike was missed. I then proceeded to throw the other line out and handed it over and the same thing happened. Two demonstration casts and 2 fish on. I was immediately heartened by this and figured the fishing gods were with me today and so it proved to be. As it was the previous Saturday a number of fish were caught and lost and very few anglers were on the river. I am finding the Cleardrift Egg patterns are still working very well and while the fish getting caught are a mixture of conditions there are still several excellent fat fresh fish out there. I caught a number myself on Tuesday conventional nymphing and most of them were in superb condition.
The wet liners are still doing very well with the frequent bouts of rain we are having just juicing up the rivers nicely thus making swinging a fly very successful. I have had reports of consistently good fishing throughout the whole Tongariro River from different anglers so all looks good for the weekend. I suggest from now on you have a good range of flies/nymphs in your fly box because the trout are increasingly taking terrestrials. I have a few favourites but I tend to concentrate on the size of my offering more than the pattern. If you have a personal favourite (everyone does), then fish with it with confidence and you will catch fish. A lot of new water is open to us now and I will be exploring a few of them in the near future but not quite as as quickly for myself as I would like because of a fairly busy guiding schedule this month but I will be taking some clients to some water outside of the Taupo district so I’ll keep you posted on that.
Just be aware that all rivers have changed a bit in recent months and areas where there used to be snags are often in different places now. A few broken leaders and lost flies will quickly bring you up to speed. his last week has seen a lot of fly tying gear bought from the I Love Fly Fishing Shop in Turangi. We are increasing our stock all the time and it’s always a pleasure to talk fishing to fellow trout fishers. Make sure you have a separate licence from your Taupo licence so you can fish this water. Lots of fishers are taking advantage of the many products available at the I Love Fly Fishing shop in Turangi. Remember, you can ring me anytime if outside normal trading hours and I will open up ( within reason of course 😀). 021667867.
Until next time.