Advocate 17/14


Ben Alton First Casualty  

I read and much enjoyed Ben Elton’s novel The First Casualty

The novel is set in the time of Passchendaele or Ypres 3 or Bath of Mud. The walk downstream from the Bain pool to the Reed takes 20 minutes and allows one to think. The track which I praised 2 or more months ago became a muddy mess. It doesn’t take many people to turn a wet track to convert to a sticky mud mess. To have thousands of troops and horses traversing the same area for an extended time makes it easy to understand the quagmire that was Passchendaele. Enough to swallow an unfortunate soul. The muddy fields of Flanders were the 4 miles of the front. Fortunately the river track was only up to ones calf in the worst part. The Flanders winter of 1917 was a very wet winter. The Turangi winter of 2017 was very wet.  Otherwise apart from rain and mud nothing compares.

The situation here was fishing as it once used to be. I fished today with Advocates President, Gary Brown. Between us we have more than 100 years of angling experience. Gary likes to go way downstream to where others don’t go. The solitude and peacefulness are an answer to “why fish”?

Despite the fact that it is October the river is still full of  quality fish. Not a slab amongst them. 4 were Jacks. the smallest was 1.2kg and the biggest just over 2kg.

The fish were full of fight having just left the lake.

There is great satisfaction in catching good fish.

We each have a favourite fly and didn’t lose a fly between us despite the debris brought downstream by a higher river than usual due to the almost constant rain of winter. The question is which is the more successful fly?

Debris included a full mature pine tree. With the next big flood it could well be in the lake.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this years fishing. The fact that it is school holidays hasn’t seen great pressure on the river at this time. I remember to about 2000 we stopped river fishing in August although there were good fish to be caught after that. The problem was that catching spent fish gives little pleasure and encourages you to put your rod away.

Spring Fishing.

It is wonderful fishing in the Spring. The sun warms you. The native vegetation is attracting the native birds. We get wood pigeons each day in our garden. The Kowhai trees are a mecca for Tui and Bellbird. I heard the first Shining Cuckoo (pipiwharauroa) today. It is the sound of spring. The walk along the left bank of the river through the town sees great flockd of Tui in the Kowhai trees,


Todd Baldwin

A surprise email from Todd  told that Todd was leaving his job with Waikato Regional Council this Friday. Todd has taken a new position as Environment manager with Contact Energy. We enjoyed working with Todd for his passion for his work. We wish him well in his new position. 

Gate to the Blue Pool  

A forestry gate has been installed. I have not talked with Dave Conley and will wait for the next Taupo Fishing Advisory Committee meeting for an update on future access.

Change of   Details

Thank you to those of you have notified us of your change of details. All contact details are important. Email is now the main form of contact. Postal services are still important. Mobile phones are more frequent and immediate than landlines. In my last blog I included a tribute to three members who have died.Letting us know what has changed is appreciated.


Next week we will have 2 grandchildren with us less than 10 years old. They are keen anglers having caught fish from the boat. They are still to catch a fish in the river so my challenge is to find a spot where they can enjoy success from the bank. 

Eric Wilson