Turangi Fishing Report 20 January 2023

Whanganui River valley as viewed from Piriaka.

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, we are now well into January and the days seem to be getting hotter. Not much rain this week and all rivers in the area are low and clear but not impossible. More stealth is required if you want that trout to come to your fly. A couple of days ago I visited the Whakapapa River. I love this river. It is a bouldery fast flowing river and one should be reasonably fit and have their wits about them if one wants to seriously fish this river. I only guide people on this river whose agility and fitness I know because it can be quite dangerous in places with slippery boulders, fast current and irregular depths.

The cicadas are here.
Overhanging tree. The perfect place to swing a streamer.

I normally Czech Nymph this river as it has so much pocket water and protruding boulders that makes this style of fishing ideal. I was joined this day by 4 big goats for a while, but they didn’t hang around long enough for a photograph. You should be warned that you should make sure your boots are well secured to your feet because these trout are likely to pull your feet clean out of them if they are not. They are great fighters and almost always in great condition and often quite large. This trip I spotted some very large brown trout in the river that would have been close to that magical 10-pound mark.

Father and daughter clients trying
their luck on the Tongariro

The Tongariro River has been quite hard this week, but it has been heartening to see (and hear) the cicadas finally underway in some numbers. Hopefully the Trout acquire a taste for them soon and then we can have some real fun throwing cicada patterns at them in the days and weeks ahead. The lacewing moth hasn’t arrived as yet but won’t be far away. Get prepared for this with a few lacewing moth imitations (I like size 16). There is a short rise in the evening at the moment lasting about 20 minutes or so. Try using small flies like Adams, Dad’s Favourite or Twilight Beauty.


I suggest if you want to catch a big brown then fish the Tongariro early morning or late afternoon/early evening with a Royal Wulff or similar size 10 or 12. Another way to score a big brown is to target the small stream mouths like the Omori, Mapara and Waipehi at night and fish late into the night. It is ideal at the moment as it is new moon and so one can expect a dark night. Fish large woolly buggers or Marabous and retrieve slowly, very slowly.

That’s about it for this week so if you’re in the area look me up. For all you fly fishing 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
The beautiful Whakapapa River.


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.