Turangi Fishing Report 21 July 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 it has been another busy week on all rivers with the school holidays still with us. The wet weather that has been playing havoc around the country hasn’t been too bad in the Taupo region. Even though all the rivers are up a bit, they are all very fishable and with a bit of fine weather forecast I would envisage some very good fishing in the week ahead as the levels drop up a bit.

I fished the Tongariro last Friday and there were a number of anglers about. I was trying to work out if the higher water level was due to the rain, the anglers in the water or the fish in the river or indeed all of the above as there was plenty of each. 

I was nymphing and a couple of swingers entered the water below me. Suddenly one of them was hooked up and a split second behind him, so was I. His fish was behaving and was holding a position directly in front of him. My fish, on the other hand, had other ideas and bolted directly downstream. The swinger suggested that we do a scissor movement, that is to say I proceed downstream underneath his raised rod. I suggested that was a good plan and the truth was I didn’t have much choice as the fish by now was about 70 metres away and extending.

The swinger had his mate net his fish, (A 5lb brown) hence the reason it was in a holding pattern. His mate then followed me downstream some 400 metres and offered to net my fish to which I gratefully accepted. 

I had managed to get back a fair amount of line but this fish was still full of fight and I thought I might have something special.

Once netted it was a good fish for sure but not the monster I thought it might be. Sometimes these 4 pounders can fool you with the fight they can put up especially when they are in top nick.

I caught another very silver trout on the nymph then changed my methodology to the wet line.

I immediately had good action swinging woolly buggers and the fish seemed to be lying right throughout the entire reach which was quite a long distance.

The Tongariro has fished well all week and while my preference has been swinging a wet fly in the higher water, I have caught my share on the nymph as well with egg patterns working well.

The Tauranga Taupo is just coming down to what I call an ideal level (around 0.5m is ideal). This is a river to investigate in the week ahead.

Brian with a nice fresh rainbow trout

The Hinemaiaia River continues to fish well. Remember to up your breaking strain a bit on this water as when a big Jack is on, and in a grumpy mood, he will have great delight in breaking you around one of the many snags that are present.

Try not to give these fish too much line, they’ll win.

At time of writing, (Thursday 21 evening), there is no rain but very blustery at the moment. Hopefully this will subside overnight as I am guiding tomorrow and the wind is the worst enemy for a guide.

The I Love Fly Fishing shop has been patronised well throughout the holidays with several repeat customers coming through the door which tells me that you are happy with the goods and service we provide. As always, if you require any gear at anytime, just give me a ring 021667867 and I will open up.

Until next time,

Tight lines,


Brian Willson

NZPFGA member. I Love Fly Fishing Turangi Partner Store Location

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

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