Turangi Fishing Report 1 December 2022

Brian has success at The Judges Pool, 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.

Hello fellow fly fishers.

Well summer is officially here and with that news we can expect some great fishing in the central plateau in the months to come. This last week has once again been a mixture of wind and rain with some snippets of sun but with fluctuating river levels it has not always been easy to get a handle on what the fish are doing. Some days wet fly has been the preferred method and other days has seen nymphing dominate. Most days I have been using both rigs at different times with some success. The best streamer for me this week has been the Black Woolly Bugger and the best nymph patterns have been pheasant tails, hare and coppers and still the Cleardrift Egg. This time of year is the start of stream mouth fishing for me which will steadily improve over the next few months. It is a great time of year to unwind in the evening at a small stream mouth ( or even the Tauranga Taupo and Tongariro Delta mouths anchored in a boat preferably).

A raft greets us whilst fishing The Boulder Reach, Tongariro River.
Happy client with a good jack, lower Tongariro River.

Last night I decided to go down to The Omori Stream mouth. There was a half moon present (Ideally I like a really dark night say 5 days either side of new moon), but I figured it was dark enough. The wind was pretty gusty from the northeast making fishing The Waipehi Stream mouth on the eastern side undesirable so I decided to fish The Omori Stream on the southwest side of the lake. On arrival at the Omori I was pleased to see the conditions were very favourable. The lake was pretty much flat with just a nice fishy ripple on the surface. I had the stream to myself and my anticipation was high. A good current was coming out the stream flowing well out into the lake. At these small stream mouths I like to position myself on one side of the current . You can actually feel this in your legs when you will have one leg that is slightly cooler than the other. I also like setting myself up at least an hour before dark so I can take mental notes of what is going on. Is the current consistent? Which way is it bending? Where are the trout cruising? At what point does the current come closest to the shore (If it does, another good place to fish at night and a good place to target especially if there are already a number of fishers in the rip).

High water brings wet lining into play.
Ideal conditions on the Tongariro River.

Don’t be too worried if the rip is already occupied by other anglers when you arrive. Many fish at night will just come into these bays (especially if they are shallow), and there will be plenty to find your fly even if you are well away from the rip). The Tongariro Delta and Tauranga Taupo mouths, because of their much deeper water, require you to be in the current however. Well as I was fishing and darkness was upon me, I had not spotted a single fish, (the Browns are easy to spot with their big square tails), so my hopes were diminishing. I continued fishing for another 45 minutes or so and received no takers so I called it an early night. I figured the lake hasn’t quite warmed up enough yet therefore not attracting lots of fish to the shallow stream mouths but it won’t be far away and I will be there when the tide turns. So, no joy, but still a very pleasant evening where I succeeded to solve a lot of the world’s problems in my time of solitude.


Another string to the bow of the fly fisher at this time of the year is fishing the dry fly. There are already some fishers out there having some success with this method right now but as the temperatures get warmer, dry fly fishing will be very much a consideration and , for some, even dominate their methodology for catching that elusive trout. Personally, I don’t think anything quite matches casting to a trout and see it rise and take your offerings. Highly visual, rewarding and pleasantly frustrating. Be prepared to get plenty of rejections. Some one once said to me that they believed a trout had an IQ of about 2. I give them a bit more credit than that. Trout can be very selective what they eat. Do some dry fly fishing and you will know what I mean. The dry fly/ dropper is another good method to use now where you are fishing two methods at the same time. Just be sure

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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