Turangi Fishing Report 01 July 2022

Brian Willson, professional guide, 021667867, brings us his weekly fly fishing report from Turangi for the Central North Island lakes and rivers.

Hello again fellow fly fishers.

Well it has been another busy and very active week on the Taupo rivers.

Last Friday (Matariki holiday), the rivers were absolutely packed with anglers. I took one client up the Tauranga Taupo hoping to avoid the crowds that had swarmed on the Tongariro and Hinemaiaia Rivers but when I got to the car park there must have been about 30 vehicles already parked up at 8am in the morning.

I was not put off however as the river looked perfect and the Tauranga Taupo River can be walked up for some distance and there is always a bend somewhere that will be free to fish in between all the anglers. I figured that is all I needed to find and there would be enough fish in the river after the recent floods that if I could find a suitable position then the fish would find me.

And so it proved to be.  Fish were being caught frequently upstream and downstream from me with the frequent unmistakable yells that only a fly fisher can make when a hard fighting rainbow is on. My client too was soon into action and soon (after dropping his first one), had a fish that he managed to steer over to my waiting net with a bit of guidance.

The Tauranga Taupo is hard to beat after a big fresh but to make the most of it you do not want to leave it too long when the river level starts to recede. This goes for all rivers. The trout seem to go into a feeding frenzy for a few days but once they are full, the action slows down.

I have come off the Tongariro River today which is a week after the fresh and the fishing is still good but not as hot as it was 7 days ago which is understandable.

A note on etiquette

From what I have seen on the rivers everybody seems to be enjoying themselves with etiquette generally being employed well.

  1. Remember, if you are nymphing and other fishermen are doing likewise, enter the river downstream of them.
  2. If the fisherman in the water is wet lining then you enter upstream of him. If you are not sure what they are doing then talk to them and tell them your plans.

Of all the fishing I have done in the central plateau over many years I have found the average fellow fisherman to be a pleasant breed. Nobody wants unpleasantness on the water and sometimes this happens with a misunderstanding of what a fellow fisher is doing. It pays to sort this out early, even educate, and if the other fisher doesn’t want to be friendly then you are best to swallow your pride and find some other water where you can enjoy your therapeutic day (fly fishing) in peace.

Today is the last day for the 2021/2022 fishing license so if you haven’t already done so, get online tonight and purchase your new license. Easy to do, just go here: Taupo Fishing License and follow the prompts.

The photos show a couple of my clients with their first fish in the Tongariro and Tauranga Taupo Rivers. The top photo shows the Boulder Reach in the Tongariro today with about a dozen anglers. The action wasn’t electric but the odd good fish was coming out.

A couple of days ago I went over to the Whakapapa River for the last time for 3 months as the river is closed to fishing from tonight and reopens October 1. Fishing was slow as most of the fish in this system have moved upstream into the tributaries to spawn. I did manage to hook up a nice brownie however. I have had a good season on this river and October 1 can’t come quick enough.

The ILFF shop on Turangi remains busy and I appreciate the custom. We are here to please and give advice when and if needed so don’t hesitate to contact me about anything fishing. I will do my best to accommodate you and assure you will get top class service.

Until next time,

Tight lines,


Brian Willson

NZPFGA member. I Love Fly Fishing Turangi Partner Store Location

Tongariro River Flow Tauranga-Taupo River Flow


My name is Brian Willson and I have been a fly fisher for over 50 years. I am a professional fishing guide and current NZPFGA member of which I have served at executive level and have guided anglers of different skill sets, ages and gender from all over the world. I have also written two books on fly fishing and am a keen artist. I am passionate about fly fishing and the therapeutic qualities it offers and enjoy sharing this experience with people on and off the water. Over the years I have made some amazing friendships that continue to this day. I have partnered up with one of these friendships, Barrie Barnes from I Love Fly Fishing, and I sell exclusively, quality, affordable fly fishing gear at my premises at 8 Wiremu Street, Turangi, the designated I Love Fly Fishing shop in Turangi which is open all hours— just ring 021667867 anytime. I take a serious interest in my clients and freely offer advice when asked and am happy to talk fishing anytime. Tight lines, Brian Willson

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