Advocate 20/4

I am indebted to Mike Forret, our go-to person when computer things go wrong. During the week we took the opportunity to trial Zoom for meetings. At our last trial I said I would write this blog. Halfway through I had the challenge of finding my way back in to complete the blog. I was locked out. Mike was also challenged but with thinking hat on the problem was solved. Despite the criticism of Zoom for reasons of security it is our intention to be prepared and if we can not meet in person then we hold our next committee meeting using Zoom. We are weighing the possibility of holding our AGM using Zoom. To participate members would need to have Zoom downloaded. Given that we cancelled te AGM we still have a requirement to file Annual Report matters with the Charities Commission and it is for this reason that we have looked at the possibility to use Zoom. Will keep you posted.

A walk along the river

Tuesday there was a strong Police presence in Turangi with road blocks to check where are you from, why are you out and where are you going. My neighbour reported to me the measures being taken. I agree that it is good that they are doing this. The sooner Level 4 restrictions can be lowered to Level 3 there will be a sense of returning slowly to a new normality as yet unknown. This Easter has been very quiet.

State Highway 1 almost devoid of vehicles
The Bridge Pool

Under lockdown fishing has not been allowed. I have not seen any evidence of fishing. I have seen evidence of fish, as seen from the river bank, in the river and reasonable schools of fish in some pools. My comments are restricted to being no further than 2 km from home. Before the Lockdown there were good fish being caught. The river flow is low. Below 20 m3. The lake level is low. It has been some time since we have had consistent rain and we haven’t had the floods usually experienced around this time.

Fishing Report

Preparation for a return to fishing. Flies.

Fortunately I have a stock of fly tying equipment and have a few flies ready. I simpy tie a single pattern of wet fly. When I came to live in Turangi and fish the Tongariro I was a novice. I bought gear from Geoff Sanderson. His recommended fly was the Red Setter tied to a #2 or #4 hook. I couldn’t believe when nymphing was permitted that tiny little hooks (#16) could hold fish. Until then the river was wet fly only.

Reading about fishing and the History of the Taupo Catchment.

Lockdown has meant a great time to read. Here I have chosen to present some of my key trout fishing books. Among my early aquaintances in Turangi were Alan and Barbara Cooper. Alan turned up at my home in his Rolls Royce and from that visit I joined TALTAC and the Turangi District Historical Society Inc. Together, in 1975, Barbara and Alan Cooper produced “Pools of the Tongariro, Some History and Humour”.

Barbara, an avid local historian,wrote “The Remotest Interior” (1989), a History of Taupo.This is a valued resource for understanding the Tongariro river catchment. It remains one of the few books written about this area.

A further publication was the 1981 ” Te Mata O Tauponui A Tia, The Head of the Lake”. The 32 page monolith is a good background to the development of the catchment from a European perspective. John Gardenier, a MoW engineer on the Tongariro Power Development, (TPD) contributed with a brief summary T.P.D. THEIR MONUMENT. Barbara’s research is thorough and reliable.

Later I purchased the 1992 reprint copy of Sir John Te Herekiekie Grace’s 1959 book, ” Tuwharetoa The History of the Maori People of the Taupo District.” It is thoroughly researched and valuable for an understanding of Ngati Tuwharetoa.

The book “Lake Taupo” (1982) co-ordinated by D.J Forsyth and C Howard-Williams is an excellent scientific publication written for all to understand. Budge Hintz wrote in the foreword “The future depends on a genuine appreciation of the ecology of the entire Taupo Basin, and it is to this end the chapters of this book are devoted.” O.S. (Budge) Hintz wrote one of the early (1955) Taupo angling classics ” Trout at Taupo”. As the first book devoted to fishing Taupo it established the dream fishery still held today. ” Freshwater Admiral” (1960) by Harold Hickling is also a classic. Of particular interest to me is the final chapter – the Future of the River – “the problem therefore which confronts the management is to keep the correct balance between the number of fish and the amount of food that is available”.

The final book that I value is “The Artful Science of Trout Fishing” (2005) by John Hayes and Les Hill. I only learned to fish as an adult. I found this book to be the best guide to learn how to successfully fish. There are other books that members may value more than my selection but in a time of Lockdown I rank these highly.

From the Treasurer

And finally, just a reminder to please renew your subs for 2020 if you haven’t already done so. If you have, many thanks, otherwise just go to If your payment is a repeat of last year you can just pay directly to our bank account – 38-9000-0863130-00 / Advocates Tongariro River with appropriate references and without filling out the membership form.  Thanks again

Practice is necessary when the real thing is unavailable

Hoping that the effect of Level 4 can be reduced and allow us to return to activity that we enjoy.

Eric Wilson