Catch a trout

The Insider's Guide to New Zealand - - NORTH ISLAND -

Ma­jor Jones Pool is one of the most fa­mous in the world for trout.

The fish use it as a rest­ing place be­fore head­ing fur­ther up­stream. Fly-fish­er­man Jack Harrison hasn’t caught any­thing but he did have one nib­ble. The next day, he’s up with the dawn cho­rus and out on Lake Taupo, less than a kilo­me­tre from his river fish­ing spot. In 90 min­utes he catches four rain­bow trout, each weigh­ing about 2.2 ki­los.

Tu­rangi is the trout-fish­ing cap­i­tal of the world. Ex­perts in town will pro­vide equip­ment, ad­vice and lo­cal knowl­edge about the best places to fish. Leti­tia Taw­era, who has worked at the Tu­rangi i-SITE for five years, says the cen­tre will put vis­i­tors in touch with fish­ing guides – mostly re­tired fish­er­men who live in the area. The lake is bet­ter for larger groups. Guides will take only two an­glers on the river. It costs be­tween $300 and $375 for two peo­ple for a min­i­mum of half a day.

Fish not guar­an­teed.

Grant Al­ley, who owns Creel Tackle House (the old­est tackle shop in

New Zealand), has been com­ing to Tu­rangi for more than 40 years.

Women used to tie flies in the back room where Creel Café now stands (see Places to eat page 14). He sells ev­ery­thing for trout fish­ing, in­clud­ing waders (which can also be hired), flies and rods. The ad­vice is free. Good rods re­tail for about $400 to $500 but the top lines can go as high as $1500. Grant says most peo­ple buy flies to­day rather than make their own. He sells up to 20,000 a year; the most pop­u­lar fly for the Ton­gariro River is the Red Set­ter. nz­fish­;; tu­rangi­fly­; great­lake­­rangi-i-site; ton­

Bay of Plenty pic­ture framer and de­voted fly-fish­er­man Jack Harrison knows that dusk on the Ton­gariro River, when the tem­per­a­ture has dropped be­low eight de­grees, is a good time to cast his line. He’s fish­ing in Ma­jor Jones Pool, no re­la­tion to Sir Bob, although the fa­mous al­ter­ca­tion be­tween the prop­erty de­vel­oper and a press pho­tog­ra­pher oc­curred just down­stream.

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