Morning all A.B here, it's been a while since I've tapped away at this report but you'll have Neil, Theresa and Connor back on board tomorrow giving you the good oil on the comings and going of the Sporting Life - Turangi crew.
After what feels like a blurr of activity over the last few weeks the Tongariro has settled back to a mild 23.6 cumecs of flow with the changes from the bigger flood events from the previous weeks really now starting to show how the river is shaping up and it's all gravy. with new runs, riffles, pools and tailouts to play with.
While it is low and clear the fish numbers are still high and the size and condtion of this seasons rainbow trout run is still exceptional, the only change being that they are a bit harder to catch than they were with the higher murky water so dialing in your finesse game will see you continiue to pull numbers.
I captured this footage a couple of days back of some amazing numbers of fish crusing about and this was consistent throughout the Tongariro, lower and upper river and the following photo Neil took this morning on the way to work illustrating how much the flow has dropped back in recent days but crickey it looks like a lot beter place to be than in front of the laptop.
Glo Bugs are still by far the dominant force of flies moving through the till in store but in these conditions smaller natural nymphs have made for some exciting times getting the indicator to drop, smaller Hare & Copper and Caddis patterns sizes #14 & #16 have been deadly trailed behind a heavier fly, bare in mind in this lower water your heaveier fly doesn't have to be a monster, just enough to get you down and into the zone from where your fly penetrates the water to where it needs to drop to reach the fish.
Wetliners and Swingers of the Spey can benefit too in these lower conditions by adapting a stealthy approach also by lengthening leaders and scaling down the size and profile of flies, I went to a size 10 unweighted olive woolly bugger the last few days on the two handers, with a leader of about 10ft off of a faster sinking tip and the hit rate went up a lot, making sure that your target fish see the fly first before any tip or leader swings past them, you need to place your cast in a postition to make this happen but each body of weater this will be different so work that out before you make the cast.
Remember this is all just advice on what has worked on recent trips, it's not gospel so play around with your setups and deliviries till you dial in what is working that day because it changes often, especially as the rivers lowers and clears, use what you need to from these reports, filter out what you dont need and make a plan and go at it.
There are some exciting bits of kit coming through the door every day into Sporting Life so when you can, pop in an say g'day and get yourself geared up and if you can't make it instore check out our winter wonderland online of goods to keep you in the game. CLICK HERE FOR WINTER FLY FISHING MUST HAVES