Turangi Fishing Report 24 November 2022

Wet lining the confluence of the Poutu River and Tongariro River in high water conditions.

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 there is one word that can sum up this week and that word is WET!!! and as I am writing this report the Tongariro River is running at 163 cumecs and there is no sign that the weather is going to ease anytime soon. All is not doom and gloom however as when everything settles down there should be some good fishing to be had. I had a client from Sydney, Australia for 3 days and while the fishing was hard with fluctuating river levels, we did get some action by fishing a bit differently. The wet line seemed to be the best method fishing the edges whilst nymph accounted for some fish in the shallows over bouldery runs where the water wasn’t as discoloured. I decided to take my client to the mouth of the Omori Stream. I have caught a lot of fish at this stream mouth in the past when the stream is discoloured although generally at night but it was worth a shot. I like to stand right on the edge of the current (inside edge if the current bends), and cast a streamer out on a floating line. A big black or olive woolly bugger or marabou are my flies of choice here. There is the odd big rock out here so it pays to check this out before you lose a fly. If you arrive here late if you cast on the right hand side of the stream current then you should be safe.

The result. A good Jack falls to the Woolly Bugger.
The river is rising. The “Braids”, Tongariro River.

We didn’t catch any fish here as the thunder clouds were forming and thunderstorms and lightning aren’t good combinations when it comes to fly fishing so we packed up. Ironically, several years ago there was a violent lightning storm in this area of which I will never forget. It was easily the most spectacular, (and quite frightening), display of fork lightning that I have ever seen and been subjected to. I was in a phone booth at the Omori Store talking to one of my foremen back in Palmerston North in the evening. There was no hint of lightning about but it was dark and I couldn’t see the night sky. Suddenly the sky lit up and then I felt a belt on my left shoulder and then the cord of the phone booth was ON FIRE!! I opened up the door of the phone booth and was greeted with the loudest clap of thunder that I have ever heard. I was wearing gum boots at the time and I think things might have been a lot worse if I hadn’t. I got back to my Bach to find my TV had blown up (as were most of the residents TV,S and video players I was to discover). Fork lightning was everywhere and several trees were cut in half. I was very lucky that night. So, I have a healthy respect for lightning and if I am fishing and it is in the vicinity, then my fishing is over for the day.

A rising Tauranga Taupo River.
Two happy clients from Sydney, Australia.

Whilst at the Omori Stream I did spot some nice sized brown trout just inside the mouth so they are congregating and indeed are already moving up stream  ( especially in The Tongariro where  I have spotted several big browns cruising in the lower river), so I expect to see some more browns coming to the net in future weeks. If you can get a good, dark evening with a bit of moisture in the air, you can expect to catch a few of these fish. This goes for any stream mouth.

There doesn’t seem to be a particular pattern of nymph that I prefer at the moment so it pays to vary your offerings and the right choice may be as simple as size of nymph. The I Love Fly Fishing Shop has been quieter this week with the wet weather keeping people at home and , indeed, off the rivers. But this week is a good time to get your gear up to scratch, tie flies, etc and I can help you with that.

Remember, whatever your requirements, you can ring me anytime if outside normal trading hours and I will open up ( within reason of course 😀). 021667867.

Until next time.

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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