Turangi Fishing Report 26 August 2022

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, what flies are working and if you want to call to the shop – 8 Wiremu SDtreet – call Brian on 021667867.  Brian fishes Euro/Czech, Dry Fly, Trout Spey, Nymph and Wet Fly.

Hello fellow fly fishers,

Well, it has been a real roller coaster of a week as far as weather goes. Since the last report we have experienced a lot of rain, especially last Wednesday to Friday. The Tongariro River was as high as I have seen it for many years peaking at 615 cumecs and I am guessing a lot of the river has changed in format in some form or another. I will check this out in some detail in the next week.

The Tongariro and Tauranga Taupo Rivers have only become fishable in the last couple of days with the TT really only fishable today (Wednesday). This is evident with about 3 cars in the carpark yesterday (Optimists), to a packed carpark today.

At time of writing, the TT is at a level of about 700 while the Tongariro is running at about 60 cumecs. Both rivers are very fishable as they are both falling in level, a perfect time to capitalise on snaring some active fish. The outlook in the next few days is more rain so we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Hinemaiaia River 23AUG22
Tauranga Taupo River Mouth

The Hinemaiaia River has been fishable throughout the entirety of last week. This river can rise and discolour very quickly after rain but also clears very quickly as its journey from the dam up stream to the lake is short and when the water from the dam is released it is more a flush than a flood and one can expect to be able to fish this river most of the time.  And so it proved to be. When the rains came and made the TT and Tongariro unfishable, the “Hine” was really the only south end river to fish. The Waitahanui River further north was also fishable being spring fed but does not get the same attention as the “Hine”.  While the rain was coming down and the other rivers were rising, the “Hine” became packed with anglers. This puts a lot of fishermen off but shouldn’t. The trick with this river is , when it is crowded, find a spot , (any spot), and fish with confidence. The trout are always on the move in this river and they will find you rather than you find them. Also, I have found, fishermen tend to move around a lot on this river, (some will set up camp), but more likely spots will appear at different stages and it is seldom that I go to this river and not be able to fish some quality water.


Tongariro River SH1 Bridge 615 cumecs
Hinemaiaia River also 23AUG28

I managed to get to the “Hine” yesterday for a fish and found it to be packed with fishermen. I proceeded to start fishing to some sighted fish but even the most perfect drifts were not being accepted by the fish. I heard a fisherman upstream yell out to his mate “I’ve been fishing for ages and haven’t had a touch!!”  By this time I had hooked and lost one fish but the action wasn’t as fast as what I thought it should be.  Good time to have lunch I thought and rethink my tactics. When I resumed fishing I noticed a number of fishermen had vacated and must have been experiencing slow action as well. The fish were there though and after trying a few extra patterns , I figured that the trout were probably a bit spooked with all the activity of the last few days. My plan was to go downstream a bit and find a number of trout that may be more receptive.


I found some ace water where I have had a lot of success in the past and could see plenty of fish moving up in the shallows. I was nymphing with a bomb and Cleardrift egg trailing. I was immediately into a fish and then several more landed and lost. Funnily enough the photos taken of me are by another angler that had earlier been in the I Love Fly Fishing shop asking me where a good place to fish would be.  I caught and released my last fish of the day and offered him my spot after giving him a few tips how to fish it so hopefully he did OK.  The I Love Fly Fishing shop in Turangi has just received many more fly tying materials including some great looking neck cape and saddle feathers from India. Definitely worth a look.  I suspect, if the rain isn’t too severe, the fishing this coming weekend should be supreme.

Until then, tight lines and remember, you can ring me anytime for your fishing requirements. 021667867.



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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