Fresh water and salt water fly fishing in New Zealand and Australia. Brought to you by Riverworks waders, wading boots, vests, jackets, fly rods and reels.

Jack Kos – Facing Mecca

There’s just something about Turangi. Fly-fishing has permeated the entire town. Sure, the fishing isn’t what it used to be, but it’d be rude not to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.  I made plans to head up with Andrew and Joel for a couple of days. Plans is probably overly generous, the whole trip was very spontaneous with minimal planning (as you’ll soon see).

I’d like to say that we spent the whole drive talking about fishing, but the reality is that when 3 guys get together girls is typically the topic of conversation. Although Joel did spend a while ogling my flybox. We made it up there and set about trying to find some accommodation. Remember what I said about planning? After a fruitless session at the mouth of the TT we decided to settle for the luxury accommodation option…the car. The logistics of sleeping 3 guys in a small car is not easy. I think I drew the short straw as I was curled up across the backseat while the others reclined their seats. There was one concerning moment when I cramped up in the middle of the night and wildly kicked out, nearly putting my foot through the window.

The next morning saw a tired group fishing the middle reaches. It didn’t take long before the local expert, Joel, hooked up to a nice 3lb jack. I then displayed remarkable skill in hooking a fish without realising it.

These fresh bows are quite something. 3lb fish tow you right round the pool in the strong current. I fish quite heavy drags in order to get fish to the net quickly and with a minimum of distress, so it was good to see the new reel handle it without a sweat. On the way back to the river I decided that I really needed my morning wash, so took a small unintentional swim. Bugger me that river is cold. It was a good test for my new pelican camera case though, as no water leaked through it.  A few minutes later I found out that Andrew shares my skill at hooking fish, as he wasn’t quite sure whether he had one on or not until his reel started screaming. The noise seemed to induce some sort of catatonic state as his smile didn’t leave for at least an hour.

While I only managed 1 more fish, Joel  proceeded to show off by catching 3 more before the fishing slowed.

A move up river brought immediate results. I hooked 3, landing two, out of a deep slow flowing pool. One fish was particularly satisfying, as it required a long downstream presentation with a heap of stack mends.The next spot was a bit of a partyzone, with 7 other anglers trying to fish the same pool.

I managed another nice bow out of here, but the number of anglers was a bit of a deterrent, so we headed off to find solitude (a rare occurrence on the big T). Walking through the trout centre we debated the likeliness of being caught if we dropped our line (accidentally of course) into the small creek flowing through there – I reckon a hare and copper might look enough like a pellet to do well.

At work Joel frequently goes on about how much he ‘slays’ the Tongariro… well, much to Andrew and my disappointment it’s true.

He’s got the river pretty well sorted, so it wasn’t much surprise when he pulled 5 fish out of the one pool. The best was this picture perfect 6.25lb brownie.

I’d like to say I did the same, but truth be told I just got grumpy.

There was a breeze blowing downstream which wreaked havoc with my tracking leading to a number of flies lost in bushes behind. After a couple of unlucky misses Andrew managed a nice bow late on in the piece.

With the sun setting we beat our retreat. Dinner was a formal affair of fish and chips eaten in the car and washed down with a service station ice cream.

All up it was a great trip, good company, good weather and good fishing. However, next time I’ll be sure to book accommodation!

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