Turangi Fishing Report 7 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 it has been another great week in the central plateau with more brilliant weather..

Earlier in the week I decided to target one of the small stream mouths entering into Lake Taupo. My aim was to catch a big brown that are abundant around shallow stream mouths this time of year.

I picked the Waipehi Stream mouth as I know this to be a good producer of browns. The trick to catching these elusive brownies is to target them and if a few simple thought processes are followed then more brownies will come to the net.

1 – When fishing stream mouths, fish at night.

2 – Pick a dark night, preferably with a bit of moisture in the air and fish to late.

3 – Fish shallow water. If you are standing in the water over your knees, you are too deep.

4 – Use floating lines and big streamer flies like Marabou or Woolly Bugger.

5 – Make sure the wind is right. Check the forecast and make sure you don’t get blown off the water midway through the night. In the case of the Waipehi a northerly is a no no.

I arrived at the stream mouth an hour before dark. I always come early when I am fishing at night to get accustomed to everything that is going on.

Where can I see big browns cruising? (The big square tails give them away). Where is the current going? If unsure, throw half a dozen pumice into the water. Generally they will all end up in the same place. Don’t worry too much about being in the rip where other fishermen may be fishing. Often the best fishing is where the current bends back towards the shore which may be some distance from where the stream enters the lake.

Anyway , this night was perfect. Certain to be dark as it was around new moon and a light southerly was blowing making the lake flat. Ideally I like a bit of a ripple on the top but all in all conditions were good.

Around 7:30pm it became dark and I was soon into a fish but lost it just as quick. I had an elderly female angler next to me and she could throw a good line. As usual in these situations, conversation begins and for the next hour we kept each other company.

Then I had a solid strike. I told her to stay where she was and I would steer the fish back to the bank. I had another angler on my left that I could just make out so I had to be careful. The fish was strong and I rightfully predicted it to be a brown.

I pulled him into the shallows and then it started thrashing around all over the place which is typical of browns and often when they get free.

My female fellow fly fisher was also backing out and I realised she also had a trout on. We both landed the fish, mine a splendid 8.5lb brown Jack (pictured), and hers a respectable 4lb rainbow Jack. She took a photo of me and I bid her good night as I had accomplished what I had set out to do and I had a big day tomorrow. The time was 8:30pm.

Now is the perfect time of year to target browns at stream mouths. I believe there are 2 good months left, April and May especially April so get out there while they are out there.

Dry fly fishing is still good on all rivers with some good catches reported in the upper Tauranga Taupo River. The Hinemaiaia also fishes pretty well on the dry fly at this time of year just before the early winter runs start. I like a parachute adams (red) for this river.

The Tongariro is enjoying the extended dry fly fishing but with some indifferent weather coming I think summer will soon be over and nymphing and wet lining will be the main methods.

Wilderness rivers like the Whanganui and Whakapapa are fishing very well and nymphing/ euro nymphing is doing it for me here.

As always if you want any tackle and want to talk fishing, come and see me at the I Love Fly Fishing shop, 8 Wiremu St, Turangi. 021667867. I’m home based so you can do business with me anytime.

Until next time,

Tight lines,


Brian Willson

NZPFGA member. Tongariro River Flow Tauranga-Taupo River Flow

Nice brown trout
Nice brown trout
Solid rainbow trout caught euro nymphing
Solid rainbow trout caught euro nymphing
Rainbow trout
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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