In the morning it was fine as all fish were deep and I was getting plenty under the indicator. It wasn't until about 2pm that a ridiculous mayfly hatch started, at which point fish were taking off the surface left right and centre. All I had my pack was bead headed nymphs of all varieties as the weather was cold and rainy so I assumed most fish would be staying deep if possible. I assumed wrong. I would have given just about anything for an emerger patter, a Dads Favourite or a Kakahi Queen at that point.
|Where I was when the hatch started up|
I was still getting some on the deep nymphs but it soon became apparent that most fish were sitting higher in the water column. Usually if fish are eating of the surface during a hatch, there are usually a few more eating just subsurface before the bugs get a chance to get to the surface.
|Not only does it quench your thirst better, it tastes better too|
I used my best MacGyver skills and smashed the bead of a Pheasant Tail with some rocks. I used only that fly and it sat just subsurface and actually worked a treat! While I was pretty stoked to have pulled off such sweet improv fishing, a dry to tie on would have made life a heap easier.
|The result of my improvisation|
The moral of this story is no matter the weather, be prepared for anything. Sort of like a fly fishing version of the Scouts motto.
In other news, the Tongariro is fishing pretty well. The sporadic spring rain is pushing fresh fish up the river and they are pretty hungry. You have to persist a bit to find them but when you get one you normally get a few of their buddies. Also, fishing real small pocket water at the head of big pools was quite productive for me, maybe these spots get neglected a little bit?
|I think this is my first even Tongariro Brown!|
I have also been lucky enough to be fishing with my new toy, a 6wt Scott Radian. It's everything I would dreamed it would be and more. I was pretty sure it would cast well, which it certainly does. However I was really impressed with the hookset abilities of the rod. Sometimes on the bigger rivers, a strong and direct hookset is essential as current can to all sorts of silly things to your line.
|Turns out that this rod works pretty good!|
Less than a fortnight now until the new season. Make sure you have plenty of annual leave and sick days up your sleeve, it's gonna be a good one.