Turangi Fishing Report 06 January 2023

An acrobatic hen on the nymph.

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,

Happy New Year to everyone. May 2023 bring many fish to the net. We have experienced some good weather from in the last week but at time of writing the weather is turning to custard and it doesn’t look to be improving in the near future.

A lean but strong Jack on his way back.
Another good Jack shortly after.

 However, all rivers are very fishable at the moment, so it is a good time to get out there and wet a line. The cicadas have started but not in huge numbers as yet and I would expect this to improve in the next week or two.

Track to The Reed’s Pool, Tongariro River.
Silver Jack, almost beaten.

Fishing is quite tricky at the moment, but the fish are there, and you have to exercise a bit of patience to catch them. I have found nymphing and Czech nymphing is the way to go at the moment with small naturals being the way to go although I have caught a number of trout on the Tonga Bomb this week. There are a lot of people in the area at the moment and I think today, for some reason, was about the busiest that I have seen the roads. You can expect this invasion to continue throughout all of January and then there will be a mass exodus and a number of tourists will take over but not nearly in the same numbers.


Dry fly fishing is an option at the moment, but this will get more attention from me in a few weeks’ time when it will become my main fishing method. A few days ago, I went out on a fine warm afternoon and spent a couple of hours down in the lower river. I found a nice seam line with a very slow drift and even more importantly, I found some trout at home. The casting wasn’t easy as I had no back cast room but roll casting was OK even though a fairly stiff breeze was doing its best to spoil the party. Once I got a good rhythm going, I managed to hit a few fish and it ended up being a very pleasant 2 hours. Whilst there are a number of new people in the area at the moment, there are still lots of areas on the river that are vacant.

I am open at different times throughout this festive season at the I Love Fly Fishing Shop in Turangi, 8 Wiremu St, phone 021667867 so if there is anything you need, give me a ring and I will open up anytime (within reason of course 😀), just call me and I’ll sort you out. 021667867.

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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