Turangi Fishing Report 03 November 2022

A trio of clients fishing the lower Tongariro River.

Brian Willson NZPFGA member, professional guide and I Love Fly Fishing shop partner, brings us his weekly fly fishing report from Turangi for the Central North Island lakes and rivers.  For up to date info, for what flies are working and if you want to call to the shop – 8 Wiremu Street – call Brian on 021667867.  Brian fishes Euro/Czech, Dry Fly, Trout Spey, Nymph and Wet Fly.

Greetings fellow fly fishers.

Another week has past and the fishing remains very good if a little harder in the central plateau. There are still plenty of fish in the Tongariro but some of them are proving to be very stubborn. Many areas that fished extremely well a month ago are now requiring a bit of thought. I have found that if I move around a bit I can find some areas are providing a higher strike rate than others. With the weather warming up as we head towards summer, the fish are also starting to hold up in different water.

Tauranga Taupo River.
Lower Tongariro River.

Faster shallower water is starting to get more attention from me as the trout move into more oxygenated water. The slower glides are still producing but fish these areas thoroughly (fish the clock), and be sure you cover every square inch of water before you move on to another spot. Generally in sure to hot spots a month or so  ago, the fish are still there in some numbers but may just not be on the bite. If you are not hogging an area i.e. no other fishermen are around it pays to trust the area to produce action soon enough and be patient before vacating the area. This happened to me yesterday on the Tongariro when I fished one of my favourite runs for an hour and a half with no joy and then caught 4 good fish in the next half an hour.

Nice coloured Whakapapa River fish.
Waioeka River Eastern Bay of Plenty.

I am finding the Cleardrift Egg flies towed behind a Tonga Bomb are still working well enough but increasingly small nymphs like Hare and Copper and Pheasant Tail are starting to work their magic. A lot more spent fish are turning up now but some of them are putting on great scraps as they attempt to put condition back on after spawning. Some nice browns are entering the river at the moment. I was guiding this morning and a fellow fisherman downstream caught a nice one. He was an elderly gentleman and fortunately the trout followed him to shore without any dramas. I looked at him and said “Nice Brownie” as I could see it quite clearly.

He replied “Yes, I think it is. I have never caught one before.

My own client had some good action throughout the morning but was broken by a couple of really good fish that took off like freight trains to the other side of the river. The I Love Fly Fishing shop in Turangi has continued to be busy with customers preparing for the summer fishing ahead. The odd trout is starting to rise now and a dry/dropper rig will be becoming more popular in the weeks and months ahead.

Remember, whatever your requirements, you can ring me anytime if outside normal trading hours and I will open up ( within reason of course 😀). 021667867.

Until next time.

Brian Willson - NZPFGA Member.


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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