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The last report and some messages from readers.
It may be autumn ... but

The last report and some messages from readers.
Thu 14th March, 2019

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Dan the weatherman was spot on and the rain he promised arrived right on time. Unfortunately it was only enough to increase the flows a few cumecs and put a little color in the river. But it did get some fish moving.

The word along the river is there have been some reasonable rainbows landed. But the fresh ones I've caught have all been under three pounds. It doesn't mean the better ones are not there ... it just means I can't catch them.

I've fished all over the river since the last report and haven't landed anything particularly special.

There were still plenty of fish rising downriver to Passion Vine Hoppers ... before and just after the first of the rain. And I had a couple of fun sessions down there with Mike and Stu.

The confluence at the top of the Bain had dozens of fish rising as Stu and I headed back to the car park on Saturday morning, and we couldn't resist having a crack at them. Most of them were juveniles but every so often a better fish would break the surface. Up until then I'd been using a small Parachute Adams because Mike had done quite well with it a day or two before. But despite covering a lot of fish, on this occasion they weren't interested.

I mentioned last time that I struggle with small dries nowadays. But even I can pick out that white post on a small Adams. What I can't see well is a Passion Vine Hopper imitation so I tried the old trick of tying a light twenty inch dropper to the bend of the size 16 Adams and bingo ... first cast I was in.

The rest of the week I've been pottering around between town and Big Bend. And when I've been Euro nymphing I've had a few fish on small jelly eggs.

Its quite early for me to use egg patterns.
But with all the rumours of fresh run rainbows moving up ... and the water a little murky ... why not eh?

The rainbows weren't quite what I was after but its all relative. And on the light tackle it was fun ... which after all is what its all about.

This morning I headed to the TLB of the Stag. There was a guide with three clients on the opposite bank but other than a couple of tiddlers rising, it was pretty quiet. And I only saw one small rainbow landed while I was there. So I moved on up to Mill Race.

When I arrived Peter Vozjola had beaten me to it and was still fizzing after landing the nice brown above. Pete takes a size 14 boot to give you some idea of scale.

He usually fishes with his Dad ... but even though his father wasn't with him today, he had tied the bead head barbless nymph that tempted the fish for his son.

He also took this photo of Peter holding another brown earlier this week and although its a little smaller, it looks as if they're having a good trip.

The cicada season may be done and dusted for another year but if you've ever tried to find good published information about New Zealand cicadas you'll know how time consuming it can be ... not any more. There's a new book out all about these fascinating bugs called Cicadas of New Zealand. And its a must have for anyone who wants to know all about the 42 species found in Aotearoa.

Their life cycle, distribution and identification is clearly and precisely presented in this excellent field guide. And what's even more astonishing is that Olly was only ten years old when he began writing it.

It's a steal at twenty eight bucks, and compact enough to carry with you. If you want to get your hands on a copy have a read of this radio interview with the young author, aired last year. Olly Hills

Now for some bad news ... I'm afraid this will be the last report.

Although I retired some time ago I've kept the web-site "live" as a resource for anglers who may not have fished this wonderful river before. Or Tongariro regulars both in New Zealand and abroad who like to keep up to date with what's happening. But web-sites cost money and now that I've joined the ranks of the OAP's its no longer viable for me to keep it going.

It was over ten years ago that I posted the first report and it seems like yesterday.

The photo above is from 2010 and shows a mate of mine over from the UK hooked up to his first ever Tongariro rainbow. I'm sure many of you will recognise the pool. It is of course the much missed Honeypot over the old Braids.

I'm going to keep the site ticking over for a little while in case anyone wants to grab anything before it disappears into cyberspace. So the weather and flow graph will still update. But I'll no longer be sharing my week on the river with you.

I'd like to thank you all for your support, feed-back and kind words over the last ten years.

But for the last time from Blue and myself ...

Tight lines


Update and some of the emails since the report above was posted:

Below are some of the messages I've received since I mentioned the site would be taken down. I'd like to thank all of you who have taken the time to write to me. Some have even suggested ideas to keep it up and running. It was never my intention to make money from the site ... and still isn't ... but trying to find a sponsor maybe a possibility ... any suggestions?

The last few days the web hosting company for the site has had some connectivity issues ... which I hope are now resolved. But if this happens in future please feel free to contact me on 021 023 85008 or mikeandgailhughes@xtra.co.nz

This from my mate Alan in Oz

" Can I take the time to thank you profusely for the connection you have cultivated globally with your first class Tongarirofishinguide site that is now sadly unreachable due to your exit.

Not only has this site been an Encyclopaedia (nowadays Google reference), travel agency, Tourist Promotion facility, Pulse measurement meter of the Mighty Tongariro (how many Q's make a good Recreational Release?), Dream Factory for the poorly skilled, a resupply facility for the photographically clumsy ( Bugger I've just gone and dropped another bloody Mobile Phone in the River), Gentlemen's Fishing Outfitter Modelling Agency (exclusively Simms and yes I do like Dressen Up), Fly and Knot Tying Emporium for those to gaze at with envy, Escape Mechanism for the Educationally Imprisoned ( No questions Class as I'm engaged in important research now on this ere computer website.).

There are so many more elements that will be sadly missed globally, but, universally, my good friend you gave birth to and maintained a HOME for All of US.

Alan the Soppy Git from across the Ditch."

"Sorry to read you are stopping your weekly fishing commentary and closing down the website. I must say your great photos, words, hints and tips and general comments have helped me a lot and no doubt many other anglers too, consequently it will all be sadly missed

I must say your site is exceptionally well presented and a great promotional / marketing tool not only for fishing on the Tongariro but also for Turangi and the Taupo region. No doubt there has been many a visitor both local and international who your blog has inspired to visit and fish the Tongariro and elsewhere in NZ. Any chance of you finding a benevolent sponsor ? Or is it just the right time to call it a day ?

I’m thinking of coming up to the river again in a couple of weeks time so I’ll keep a look out for you and Blue. Meanwhile hope you have a few good days on the river and land a few nice fish.

Best regards Sandy"

"Hi Mike,
Sorry to see your web site is going, but I can understand the reasons why. Your reports have always been interesting to read with a wealth of information and importantly exceedingly well written. Have you considered combining them into a book? Perhaps self publishing could be a way to fill in retirement quiet times?

Best wishes from one OAP to another,


Hi Mike,
Soooo sorry the site will close! It was one of my regular points of contact for fishing in NZ!
Wishing you, Gail and Blue a wonderful retirement!!
I'm heading to NZ for my 5th visit next January and I have a secret plan to come over for an extended period in 2022 - hoping to organise a sabbatical at Dunedin University?
Let's stay in touch. It would be great to meet up at some stage. The Tongariro still owes me a decent fish!!

Tight lines,


Hi Mike,just read that you're no longer going to be doing your great reports that I know hundreds of fishermen follow, hopefully there's someone in the industry that could sponsor your reports in the future and keep it viable!

Cheers for having given us the great info and photos over the years to inspire that trip back to Turangi a little earlier than otherwise might have been planned.

Cheers Mike,

and Tight lines

Francis Stevenson

"Hi Mike, sad to hear you're closing the web site but I understand. I
ran a website for Linux a few years ago and it cost more than it was
worth. If I could find an easy way to archive your postings I would
(there are archive sites on the web like Wayback Machine but I'm buggered
if I can work them out), however in the meantime I'm busy taking
snapshots of the pages I want to keep. I can still get info from TRM
but your photography and guides are tops and not forgetting the very
photogenic Blue.

See you on the river one day, tight lines"

Brian Moyse @SE Quensland

Hi Mike I'm not sure if I have ever met you but I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and also thank you for the information you have provided for many out of town anglers. Personally I don't troll the fishing reports and so have never seen your site. I only came across it looking for a quick access to the Tongariro River Flow. After a good look I need to tell you that what impressed and motivated me to write this is your honesty to report the fishing as you find it and not as it is so common to hype it up.

I am sure your very informative site will be missed by many, as has already been indicated in your report. Thank you.

Kind regards

Herb Spannagl
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