Turangi Fishing Report 29 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 I don’t think it matters where you are in the country, you have probably experienced a fair amount of rain this past week.

As I am writing this the heavens have really opened up and this is set to continue for the rest of the day. All the rivers are high and discoloured making fishing less than desirable. No real change is forecast until the end of the weekend and then, as the river levels drop, I would expect some superb fishing with wet liners and Spey casters reaping the rewards initially followed close behind by nymphers and Czech nymphers.

Last weekend I took a client to the Hinemaiaia River. His first choice was the Tauranga Taupo River and I thought this would be ideal as the day was fine and the level was at a very favourable 0.5m. On arrival at the TT carpark I was amazed to see no fewer than 30 cars and this was at about 7:30am!! I had my window down and one of the anglers next to his car looked at me and said “Greetings fisherman number 103.

Well he wasn’t quite correct because I quietly did a U turn and proceeded north to the Hinemaiaia River in hope of a bit more space. I had heard a rumour that there was a big influx of anglers from an Auckland and Hawkes Bay fishing club arrive in our area and it appeared that they were both testing their skills on the Tauranga Taupo.

Strangely, when we got to the Hinemaiaia River, the river wasn’t as busy as I thought it might be and therefore there were a number of gaps to fish and the river at medium flow looked the picture.

I set my client up with a clear drift egg tied behind the bomb and it wasn’t long before he was hooked up. It was very frosty this morning and I swear on close reflection that the trout was shivering as it came out of the water 😬.

We continued with our methodology and found some likely, faster, shallower water and hooked up immediately. In fact, the next hour was pretty busy with multiple hook ups and a fair portion of trout getting the better of the battle. Good stuff and typical Hinemaiaia River fishing when it is on.

Needless to say, my client was pretty happy and the splendid 5.5lb Jack he is holding is reward for his efforts.

Brian's client Jon with a strong rainbow trout jack
Brian’s client Jon with a strong rainbow trout jack

The Tongariro and Tauranga Taupo rivers have also fished very well this week but I would suggest are a bit high at the moment (especially the TT), but they will come right when the levels drop.

The ILFF shop in Turangi has been very busy this last week with many anglers coming in after normal shop hours to equip themselves with various gear so they can hit the water early the next day. I had one angler ring me up because he had run out of leader material. He had had a good day on the Waiotaka River but, because of the tight nature of the river, had lost a lot of tippet material on snags (and fish).  Other popular purchases have been jackets and vests. 

It doesn’t matter what you want, I will do my best to help you out. I had another man in who bought one reel of tying thread valued at about $4. It took about an hour to sort out the right colour but at 7pm he finally nailed it only to find that he didn’t have any money to pay for it. But all was not last as he went out to his car and came back with a bag full of small silver coins to pay for it. 

Even though the school holidays are behind us now, the rivers are still very well populated with fishermen and with club trips and seasonal migratory fishers, this will continue for a while yet.

Remember, if you want anything or just want a chat, come and see me or give me a call on 021667867 anytime.

Until next time,


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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