Turangi Fishing Report 28 April 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 this week has seen a lot of activity on the local rivers with the school holidays here and I have been pretty busy on the water with clients.

It is pleasing to see some fresh fish entering the river quite early this year. The photos of the anglers holding good size fish (me on Tuesday and a client of mine yesterday ), at around 5lb each show that we are indeed in for a good winter.

All rivers are very low and we are in need of some rain. This will jump-start the early winter runs. Another factor that may get some early runners started is that Genesis are releasing water this weekend on the Tongariro and that is sure to get the trout moving so keep an eye out for that.

Judging by the amount of trout I have seen in the rivers and the lack of fishing pressure over the last couple of years, I believe there is an exceptional winter for the fly fisher to look forward to.

I have come off the Whakapapa River today and had another very productive day. The lone rainbow trout in the photos was the biggest , a mint hen at 7lbs. I caught a few brown today one of which is shown. Czech nymphing was responsible for all fish caught on the Whakapapa while conventional nymphing techniques accounted for the trout caught on the Tongariro.

Soon, when the rains finally come, there will be more options for the fly fisher. There will certainly be more wet liners on the water and this can be a very productive method of choice. Many times I have turned up to a river that is quite discoloured and found I have pretty much got it to myself as all the nymphers have gone home or have sought clearer water. This is when a sinking line and a big dark fly like the woolly bugger reigns supreme. I have had some great action at times where some may look at the water and deem it unfishable. Remember, trout have very good eyesight, concentrate on the edges, you will catch them and who knows, you may catch that elusive brownie as they are often a bit easier to catch in these conditions.

Other rivers in the area all have good numbers of fish entering from the lake. The Tauranga Taupo River looks very promising and I will be spending a bit of time on this delightful river when the rains come. I have a soft spot for this river as it was the first river that I ever caught a trout in when I was a boy. I’ll never forget it. A 5lb Jack caught in the Ranger’s Pool on a Red Hairy Dog in the middle of the day.

I have a busy month coming up in May with the first group of Australian Clients coming over for a week of fishing and some more clients coming at the end of the month.

So if you are passing through Turangi and want some quality gear as shown on the I Love Fly Fishing website, come and see me or phone me on 021667867 anytime.

Until next time,
Tight lines,

Brian Willson

NZPFGA member. Tongariro River Flow Tauranga-Taupo River Flow

Hooked up to a good trout
Hooked up to a good trout
Successful client with a lovely fresh rainbow trout
Successful client with a lovely fresh rainbow trout
Lovely brown trout
Lovely brown trout
Fat rainbow trout
Fat rainbow trout


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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