Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tongariro - across the ditch.

It had been a few years since I had fished the winter run of steelhead in the mighty Tongariro river in the middle of New Zealands North Island.  From my place on the far south coast of NSW to the small township of Turangi near Lake Toupo is a good 2 days travel on bus, train, plane and car.
I have previously had some world class fishing  on the Tongariro and surrounding rivers but sadly this trip was something of a let down in terms of fish numbers. 
We managed some nice fish but sadly the day after we arrived the heavens opened up and did not close for several days.  Overnight the river rose to flood levels that had not been seen in years, leaving it a seething mess of chocolate milk like water for the next 5 days.
We tried fishing some of the smaller local creeks like the Hinemaiaia and Waikato but the rain seemed to have flushed most of the fish from all the systems.  We managed to pick up the odd fish here and there but it was very tough fishing in the swollen fast waters.
Eventually the levels dropped but the fish were slow to re-enter the river, the final two days saw us find some pockets of fish which hinted at the fishing I have come to expect on the Tongariro.
So...for 8 days fishing I guess we managed 2 fair days, but as they say "a bad days fishing is still better than a good day at work".  Our stay at the Tongariro River Motel was excellent and Ross that runs it was and amusing trove of local information.  It is an easy and affordable trip to fish Toupo region,  I just hope the weather is kinder next time.

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