Turangi Fishing Report 16 Mar 2022

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

Well it has been another fabulous week of weather and fishing in the central region.

It was a pleasure to have Barrie and Mike  (fellow I Love Fly Fishing team members), come down from Auckland and assist me with packaging a great range of fly fishing lines, some of which are new and exclusive to the I Love Fly Fishing range of products. I have in stock fly lines for all types of fishing and at very affordable prices and am looking forward to trialling some of them in the weeks and months ahead.

The three of us did manage to get in a couple of days fishing. The first day we decided to try out the Whakapapa River. Some very good rainbows were landed and just as many were lost as is typical on this river as the trout fight like kingfish.

Early in the day I lost a monster brown ,(it jumped clean out of the water right in front of me and, alas was gone. I swear I saw it poke it’s tongue out at me as it submerged back into the depths. I was to lose another brown later in the afternoon which I had on for some time before it eventually won the battle and outsmarted me around a large rock in the middle of the river.

The next day we decided to tackle the Tongariro river. The day was once again fine and warm and the river low and clear. The fish were very spooky and not very receptive although a number were caught but most of them were quite small. A good fresh in this river will do wonders and get the fish on the bite. There are certainly plenty of fish in the river.

I bid farewell to my comrades on Saturday and spent a bit of time in the shop displaying my new lines etc. I decided on Sunday I would have to go back to the Whakapapa River and try and catch this elusive brownie. I wasn’t fishing long and I was soon into another big brown. It took off downstream and just pulled. I had as much strain on it as I dared and there was no way I could follow it downstream so had to play the long game and hope I could wear it out. Alas this wasn’t going to happen and after about 10 minutes of tug of war, the brown worked himself free and that sickening feeling was upon me when the line goes slack.

I was beginning to think this was not going to be my week for browns as I had lost two earlier on in the week on the Tongariro. Fortunately, 10 minutes later I was hooked up again and I could see that it was a sizeable brown Jack. Like the brown that I had lost 2 days prior, the fish tried to work me off on a rock, (the same rock), but I managed to manoeuvre it into a better area. I got the trout right up to where I could touch it with the net and it made one last attempt to circumnavigate a rock behind me. I swear if the fish had got off at this point, I would have broken the rod over my knee and gone home. Fortunately I snared him on the next attempt and at 6 pounds it was a satisfying moment.

I managed to catch a few nice rainbows after this but the brownie was the biggest fish of the day.

The next few days promise more fine weather and you can bet I will be out there making the most of it.

My fishing preference this week has been dry fly for the Tongariro and Euro Style for the Whakapapa.

For all your fly fishing needs, come and see me at the ILFF shop, 8 Wiremu St, Turangi. Ring me 021667867 anytime, I will open for you.

In the meantime, tight lines,

Brian Willson

NZPFGA member. 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

all author posts
Join Waitlist We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Please leave your valid email address below.