Turangi Fishing Report 17February 2023

American client with a great fish from the 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,

Well what a week it has been. It appears the entire North Island and much of the South Island did not escape the anger of cyclone Gabrielle. Strangely, in Turangi, we did not get a lot of rain but we certainly got plenty of wind and plenty of our trees have been uprooted around the town and indeed up the rivers. At time of writing, access to the Blue Pool on the Tongariro River is closed. I was guiding today and during the course of the day I checked out a number of the rivers.

Two Americans enjoying a day on the “TT”.
Nice rainbow trout from the Tauranga Taupo River.

The Hinemaiaia appears to be generally unaffected. The Tauranga Taupo River track is blocked in several places due to fallen pines. Indeed many of the trees up the Tauranga Taupo have been snapped in half like match sticks and many are ready to fall over so, while access has not been blocked up here, I would suggest you be very careful where you walk and keep away from suspect areas. I have been very busy guiding the last week with several American clients.

After a good scrap this trout deserves its freedom.
Two Americans fishing the Hinemaiaia River.

The fishing generally has been quite hard but with a bit of patience and perseverance, some nice fish have come to the net. I have found this week that the swinging fly has been as successful as the nymph so I have been mixing both methods up to get the best results. Yesterday I was pleased to see multiple numbers of Lacewing Moths on my grapevine. (My grape vine is always my gauge as to when the Lacewing Moths are about. This is a good sign and I am hopeful the trout will soon get a liking for them and we should see some more rising trout in a couple of weeks.


This week I have found the best nymph to be the gold beaded pheasant tail and the best streamer to be a black woolly bugger with or without a bead. There have been a lot of helicopters in the air today and also DOC workers on the ground surveying the damage. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we get back to some normality and even get a bit of an Indian Summer so we can salvage something out of what has been a pretty miserable summer.

The Lacewing Moths have arrived.
One of many trees blocking the streets in Turangi.

The I Love Fly Fishing Shop in Turangi has been quite busy this week with keen fishers looking to get into some action once everything settles down.

As always, all your fly fishing and fly tying needs call and see me at the I Love Fly Fishing Shop in Turangi, 8 Wiremu St, phone 021667867. 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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