Turangi Fishing Report 23 September 2022

Tauranga Taupo River on a beautiful morning.

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.

Hello fellow fly fishers, 

Well it has been another very active week on all the rivers with most anglers  having broad smiles on their faces.  This past weekend in particular saw the wet liners doing particularly well after the rains of last week but nymphers have also done very well once the rivers had cleared a bit. The last weekend saw all rivers at perfect fishing levels but we have had a fair bit of rain since which saw the Tongariro River rise from 35 cumecs to about 330 cumecs on Tuesday and once again there was extensive flooding over SH1 in the wetlands area just north of the Tongariro River.  The river is falling again and as I write it is sitting on about 80 cumecs and I suspect by the weekend there will be some new fish in the rivers with this rain triggering the late runs.  I found this week that the Tongariro fished the best but fishing is an unpredictable sport and this week one of the other rivers may take the number one spot.  The fish , as expected, are a mixed bag, but there certainly are plenty of them and some of them are in superb condition.

There has to be a trout up here. Tongariro River.
Client with a strong jack. Tongariro River.

For the nympher, I have found the Cleardrift Egg flies are still working very well but trout are increasingly being caught on the terrestrial favourites such as  Caddis, Hare and Copper and Pheasant Tail. The wet liners have been doing well on large streamers like Woolly Buggers, Intruders and Rabbit style flies are doing the job here.  The rivers are quite crowded with both wet liners and nymphers operating together and sometimes it can be hard to work out a spot to stand especially if no one is moving. When this situation presents itself I find communication with an angler as to where you would like to fish is key. Providing you are not hindering their chances, you will generally be granted permission to fish upstream or downstream of them unless they have a genuine desire to move in a certain direction. Sometimes this is not practical if there is no bank to walk on or if the water gets too deep to safely wade. As I say, communication is key, we go to the river to enjoy ourselves and want everyone else to do the same.

ILFF ambassador, Pawel, trying his luck at 'The Reeds'. Tongariro River.
Clients originally from Ireland enjoying a beautiful morning. Tongariro River.


Finally, it is with some sadness that I heard of the passing of “Louis the Fish”. (Louis deNolfo).   I have known Louis for many years and have always respected his expertise and knowledge as a great fly fisher with whom I had a number of conversations.  A legend for sure and my sympathy goes to his family.

The I Love Fly Fishing shop in Turangi has had a steady flow of customers coming in this week with a lot of interest in some of the new fly tying materials that we have on offer now to go with an already large range. Remember, if you require anything at anytime, ring me on 021667867 and I will fix you up.  So as always if you are in Turangi and need any fishing gear, come and see me or ring me on 021667867 anytime and I will be able to sort you out at the I Love Fly Fishing Shop in Turangi.

Until next time, tight lines.

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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