Turangi Fishing Report 19 May 2022

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

Hello fellow fly fishers,

Well the rains have finally come and from now on we can expect some superb fishing with the early winter runs having well and truly started.

In the last few days more fish have entered all rivers with good reports coming from lots of happy fishermen. All fishing methods are having success and there are some beautiful looking fish coming out of the water.

This last week I have been guiding three Australians. They are all very keen fishermen, in fact they booked me the same day the announcement of the borders reopening. At the start of the trip I took them to the Whanganui and Whakapapa rivers for the first couple of days. The weather was very fine and the rivers were low and clear. They had a great time with some beautiful fish caught and probably even more lost.

The Whanganui in particular fished very well and the 2 rainbows shown came from there and were caught within about 30 minutes of each other. Around this time period there were a number of hook ups and some real horses lost. I didn’t quite know what was going on. It appeared a family of big trout entered the area we were fishing for a short period and it was full on for a while.

Night Fishing at Stream Mouths

As an extra treat I suggested to them that I take them for a night fish (no charge), but as the moon was nearing full we would have to wait for an overcast or even rainy night to try to block the moon. I always prefer to fish small stream mouths on a very dark night (preferably either side of new moon), but as their visit here coincided with a bright moon, I would just have to do my best.

As it turned out I picked the full moon as it was very overcast with frequent drizzle.

I elected to fish the Omori Stream, an old favourite of mine. The Waipehi Stream was considered but a stiff north-westerly breeze was blowing making it a bit rough and awkward to fish at night so I figured the Omori Stream to be a better option.

My hunch was correct as on arrival to the stream we were greeted with a flat calm lake and no company.

The night was not totally dark but dark enough considering the full moon trying to burst through the clouds. I thought it was a great night to catch a brownie as moisture was in the air and on similar nights I have caught browns regardless of the moon.

And so it proved to be. The superb 8lb brown hen shown was one of 3 browns caught that night along with a number of good rainbows.

We finished fishing around 10:45 as one of the Aussies had somehow got a fairly decent hole in his waders and was getting a bit cold. The night itself was actually surprisingly very mild.

All fish were caught on Brian’s Big Black Bugger available at the I Love Fly Fishing shop in Turangi.

There are also a good range of egg style flies available at the shop and online.

The next week sees some indifferent weather coming so you can expect to see more fish coming to the net.

Until next time,

Tight Lines,


Brian Willson

NZPFGA member. Tongariro River Flow Tauranga-Taupo River Flow

Beautiful brown trout caught night fishing
Beautiful brown trout caught night fishing
Great fly fishing conditions on the river
Great fly fishing conditions on the river
Happy angler with a great rainbow trout
Happy angler with a great rainbow trout
A lovely central north island river full of trout
A lovely central north island river full of trout


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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