Turangi Fishing Report 30 September 2022

Beautiful colours these Hinemaiaia fish..

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 again fellow fly fishers,

Well there has been a lot happening this week so I’ll get on with it.  Just after I wrote the last report we had a pretty good dumping of rain which briefly took the Tongariro River up to 330 cumecs.  This dropped to an acceptable level by last Friday and by the weekend all rivers were in good fishable condition. The Tongariro changed its flow again by the carpark just below Tongariro Lodge. In the braided area where one crosses to get to the island and fish the main river was just a backwater the previous weekend but now it is a strong current that can only be crossed with extreme caution and if you are not too steady on your feet I suggest you don’t even consider it until the level drops to about 30 cumecs or less even.

Tongariro River en-route to 'The Reeds Pool'.
Another 'Tongi' rainbow.

This did make for some interesting fishing up this braid however and further upstream the current was a lot quieter and there were several fish cruising in the shallows. I love this visual fishing when you test your skills against sighted fish . It never ceases to amaze me when some fish will never accept your offerings even when your nymph is a perfect imitation and you throw the perfect cast or casts. Can trout truly be that dumb that they can’t accept a gift when it is presented right in front of them? 🤔.

I decided to do a bit of an experiment on Monday and spent a couple of hours on the Hinemaiaia River. Strangely, I had most of the middle section of the river to myself. The carparks we’re almost totally vacant. I thought I would Czech nymph today and on arrival at the river’s edge I could see trout everywhere. I proceeded to fish and had perfect drifts going through the fish but they were not interested. I could see that they weren’t really interested in eating but more on spawning.

Beautiful colours these Hinemaiaia fish.
Lots of trout in the 'Hine'.


I studied them for a while and every now and then the Jacks would start scrapping with each other and man are they vicious!!  I figured if I threw a nymph in their space while they were doing this they just might be angry enough to bite it. And guess what, it worked. I caught a few fish that afternoon but most were caught when the trout were chasing each other.  I went back to the “Hine” this morning with much the same strategy and with much the same success.  This afternoon I checked out the “Tongi” downstream from “The Braids” to “The Reeds” and beyond. I had good success down here with the Cleardrift Egg and The Tonga Bomb both available from the I Love Fly Fishing shop in Turangi. Strangely the Cleardrift egg was not doing as well in the Hinemaiaia River. I found The Tonga Bomb and conventional patterns like Hare and Copper and Pheasant Tail and variants of these , are starting to be the nymphs of choice now.

If you are looking to check out the Tauranga Taupo River , like the “Hine” you will find you will have large sections to yourself. I find this time of year is an excellent time to fish the “TT” and with rain forecast in the next few days this could juice it up nicely.  This coming Saturday October 1 a lot more water is going to be open around NZ to the fly fisher as it is opening day for Fish and Game waters. Make sure you have a separate licence from your Taupo licence so you can fish this water.  Lots of fishers are taking advantage of the many products available at the I Love Fly Fishing shop in Turangi. Remember, you can ring me anytime if outside normal trading hours and I will open up ( within reason of course 😀). 021667867.

Until next time.

Fresh Tongariro hen mint.
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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