Guided River Rafting Fly Fishing Trips

Experience the incredible fishing of the Tongariro River in Tūrangi with our Orvis Endorsed guides. Our full day river rafting and fly fishing experience is ideal for advanced anglers looking to mix it up with something off the beaten track!

Trip Highlights

Rafting down the Tongariro River, stopping to fish at secluded, untouched fishing holes.

What’s Provided

  • An Orvis Endorsed fishing guide
  • A Taupō Fishing Licence
  • Orvis approved rods, reels, waders, boots and jackets
  • Rafting kit including life jackets and helmets
  • Required flies, leaders and tackle
  • Lunch, snacks and refreshments

Transport and Timing

The Chris Jolly team provides transport to and from our fishing spots as part of the costs. The trip is around 8 hours, including travel time.


We recommend bringing:

  • Thermal layers, preferably wool-based
  • Warm, dry change of clothes for the trip home
  • Sunscreen
  • Polarised sunglasses
  • All in a waterproof bag

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Join us for a special experience on the Tongariro River for the perfect angling and rafting adventure.

Rafting a great adventure for fly fishing enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities to catch fish.

The Ultimate Adventure

Chris Jolly Outdoors is taking Fly Fishing to another dimension the ultimate full-day Orvis endorsed guided Fly Fishing and Raft Adventure! Access pools unreachable by air or foot and glide across rushing waters to claim your Trophy Rainbow Trout.

Our expert guides have a passion for teaching beginners and experienced anglers alike the skills needed to be successful on the water, whether your an amateur fly fisher or you’re a seasoned pro. All gear, waders, boots, rods, reels, and flies are provided, as well as lunch, snacks, and drinks. Just bring your sense of adventure!

There is some fly fishing experience necessary for this experience.

Book your trip today!

Fly Fishing Seasons

The Taupō region is a fly fisherman’s paradise, with plenty of local rivers and streams to fish all year round.

  • Spring – October sees fish putting on great condition with an increase of feed
  • Summer – Perfect try for dry fly fishing with all rivers open in December
  • Autumn – A bit more of a challenging time, but worth the effort –  the remaining fish have learnt a thing or two
  • Winter – The spawning runs have made this area famous for incredible winter fishing

Local headwaters may be closed May – October. Backcountry rivers open December – May.

Your Guides

Chris Jolly Outdoors guides for our fly fishing trips are Orvis Endorsed. What does that mean? You’re in the care of a guide whom has been approved by Orvis to have a high level of competency, and incredible professional manner.

They’re put under scrutiny in lots of different areas to make sure they’re a skilled guide, prepared, with the mental alertness and physical prowess to accept any challenge – good or bad! Your guide is your leader throughout the day, and the Orvis Endorsement guarantees they’ve got what it takes to make your trip special.

As part of our Orvis Endorsement, we only use Orvis rods, reels, waders, and boots.

Orvis endorsed Fly Fishing Guide With A Rainbow Trout In Taupo New Zealand

Experience the Tongariro River

This package is an incredible adventure for fly-fishing enthusiasts to get into some hard-to-access pools on the river. An excellent combination of fun and fishin’; rapid rafting, beautiful scenery and crystal clear water. Anglers with varying capabilities are welcome, as the upper Tongariro River provides opportunities for everybody. Rainbow and brown trout are thick in the Tongariro River waters and are known for their strength and great size.

The challenge of trout fishing in this region is incredibly sought after by seasoned anglers, though the waters are varied enough for novice anglers as well. The Tongariro River is a major tributary of Lake Taupō and is New Zealand’s principal fishery, with thousands of trout spawning in its waters every year in wintertime.

The waters we take you to are flexible for all fly-fishing methods, from wet-lining and nymphing to dry flying in the afternoon sun. Nymphing is the most preferred method and ensures many solid hook-ups from deep swirly pools that even the best Polaroids can’t penetrate. A large terrestrial dry fly with a small natural off the bottom would also be a great option in the summer with good numbers of cicadas and evening mayfly hatches.

A full-day Orvis endorsed guided Fly Fishing and Raft Adventure

Get the Local Know-How

Tūrangi is world-renowned for its trout fishing, and we’ll make sure you have a chance to experience the Tongariro first-hand. Our experienced guides will help take you to some of the best spots for fly fishing, and you navigate the rapids on the Tongariro river .

Tūrangi is the perfect place to drop a line all year round. The fisheries here include local rivers and streams, the main Lake Taupō, and backcountry rivers – all of which offer excellent fishing for rainbow and brown trout. The average weight of the trout here is 1-2 kg, but there are always a few trophy fish up for grabs each season.

So come on out and enjoy a full day on the river, fishing with us – This is a fly fishing and rafting adventure you won’t want to miss!

The Tongariro River is home to premier fly fishing waters,  regarded as one of the world’s finest trout fishing destinations.

Tongariro river in Taupo with Trout

40 Years of Fly Fishing Expertise in the Tongariro river.

Chris Jolly Outdoors has been taking fly fishing tours for 40 years, and we know the Tongariro river like the back of our hand. Rafting down this beautiful river, surrounded by native bush and wildlife, is an experience you’ll never forget. Our experienced guides will teach you everything you need to know about fly fishing, and we’ll make sure you have a great time doing it. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, we can customise a Rafting Adventure to suit your needs.

Get the perfect fly fishing trip customized for you. Our experienced guides will make sure you have everything you need for a successful day on the water.

Tailor-made Trips for the Individual Angler

No matter what your fly fishing experience or needs are, we can tailor a trip to suit you. Whether you’re looking for a challenging fight on the Tongariro River or a relaxing day on a smaller stream, we can provide an adventure that’s perfect for you. Our experienced guides will make sure that you have everything you need to enjoy a successful day on the water.

The guided river rafting and fly fishing package is the perfect balance – the relaxation of fly fishing, with exciting bursts of white water rafting!

Ready for a float n fishin’ white water rafting adventure with Chris Jolly Outdoors?

Book your trip today!

What We Offer

  • Private charter boats with catering/bar/fishing equipment and crew
  • Access to private land, water and know-how of local’s secret spaces
  • Functions, corporate events & team building

Reliable & Experienced

  • Over forty years in the central North Island tourism industry
  • We’re a family business, with local Taupō knowledge
  • Our staff are experienced adventure experts

Adventure Qualified

  • 5 Star Rated Gold Qualmark
  • Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guides
  • Trip Advisor’s Travellers Choice 2023
  • Partnered with Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Your Taupō Activity Partner

From beautiful lake views, to fishing crystal pools, to scenic hikes in the central North Island wilderness; Chris Jolly Outdoors are the go-to guides to tick off that bucket list.

In Taupō, the adventure possibilities are truly endless. We guarantee one thing – we’ll create a memorable experience for you that you’ll treasure forever.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book a trip with Chris Jolly Outdoors?

You can book a trip with Chris Jolly Outdoors by either calling us on +64 7 378 0623, emailing us at or filling out the form to make an enquiry. If you want to book a cruise to the Māori Rock carvings, head over to the experience page to book direct.

Do you have transport available?

Yes. Some of our trips include transfers but we can arrange helicopter or road transfers from anywhere in the country.  Our guided fishing adventures have heli transfer options, with our grounds being either a 90 minute drive or a 25 minute flight from Taupo CBD.

Where is the best fly fishing in NZ?

We reckon the best fly fishing is on the rivers and streams that flow into Lake Taupō. The conditions here are just perfect for well conditioned rainbow and brown trout.

When is the best time to go fly fishing in Taupō?

From May through to October, the trout spawning gears up and runs upstream into the Taupo rivers. If you want a large trophy or very tasty rainbow or brown trout, this is the time to gear up and go!

Do I need a licence to go fly fishing?

Yes, you will need a New Zealand Sports Fishing Licence. We will supply all required licenses on our guided trips.

Is it necessary to have polarized sunglasses when fly fishing?

No, but we do recommend to bring them on your fly fishing adventure. Polarized sunglasses can be helpful when fly fishing, as they will help you to better see beneath the water’s surface. This can be helpful when trying to spot trout and make accurate casts.

What can I expect on a guided fly fishing trip?

On a guided fly fishing trip, you can expect a full day of adventure including 8 hours or more on the water. The river offers great fly fishing for trout. Our experienced guides will make sure that you have everything you need to enjoy a successful day on the water.

Do I need a license to go fly fishing in the Tongariro River?

Yes, you will need a New Zealand Sports Fishing Licence. We will supply all required licenses on our guided trips.

What is the best time of year to go fly fishing in the Tongariro River?

The best time of year to go depends on what type of trout you’re hoping to catch. The brown trout is most active during the winter months, while the rainbow is more active during the summer. If you’re looking for a challenging fight, then winter is the best time to go fly fishing on the Tongariro River. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, then summer may be a better option.

Fishing seasons:

Lower reaches – 1 July to 30 June;

Mid reaches – 1 December to 31 May;

Upper reaches – 1 October to 30 June

How long does the trip last?

Our guided river rafting fly fishing trips are a full day of adventure – be prepared for 8 hours or more.

Do you provide life jackets?

Yes, we provide life jackets for all participants on the trip. You are required to wear a life jacket at all times while on the river.

Can I bring my own food and drink on the trip?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and drink on the trip. Our full day guiding rafting and fly fishing adventure includes lunch, snacks and refreshments – please advise in advance of dietary requirements.

What kind of equipment do I need for fly fishing?

Our guided trips includes all required gear such as rods, reels, waders, boots, flies and leaders. If you’d like to bring your own kit we recommend:

In summer bring 5-7 wt rods (9 or 10 ft), breathable waders or wet wading if the conditions are right, rubber-soled boots, with plastic studs if necessary.

In winter bring 6-8 wt. rods 9-10 ft, bad weather gear, such as a waterproof fishing jacket, wool layers, winter hat, and gloves.

Please note- No felt-soled boots! Felt soles are banned in New Zealand.

What is the maximum group size?

We can accommodate groups of all sizes, contact us about your group’s requirements and we can tailor a trip to suit you.

What fish can be caught in the Tongariro River?

The Tongariro River offers great fly fishing for rainbow trout and brown trout.

What is the location of the guided river rafting trips?

Our guided river rafting trips are on the beautiful Tongariro River, near Tūrangi. The river offers great fly fishing for trout, rated one of the top 10 fly fishing destinations in the world. Rafting down the Tongariro is a great way to experience the beauty of this river and its surroundings.

Do I need experience to go fly fishing in Taupō?

You don’t need any experience to go fly fishing with Chris Jolly Outdoors. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman looking to catch a trophy trout, or a beginner wanting to learn the basics of fly fishing, we have an adventure for you.

Can I bring my own equipment?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own equipment! Anything you don’t have, we can supply for the best fishing experience.

What should I wear for fly fishing in Taupō?

Conditions are changeable in Taupō, so it’s best to be prepared! The locals joke that Taupō can have four seasons in a day!

  • Rubber-soled boots, with plastic studs if possible
  • Sun hat or warm beanie – pack one and wear the other
  • Sunglasses – wear or pack, NZ has harsh sunlight
  • Gloves in polypropylene/wool – wear or pack for winter
  • Socks in polypropylene or wool (a spare pair is always a good idea)
  • A fleece or light jersey just in case for summer
  • Thermal layers in winter

Layer up your clothes:

  • Base layer – top and leggings in polypropylene/wool, quick dry shorts or pants
  • Mid layer – long-sleeved top in wool or polar fleece – wear or pack depending on the weather
  • Exterior layer – Wind and waterproof jacket with hood – wear or pack depending on the weather (waterproof overtrousers optional)
  • Bring your own outerwear, or we can provide!
What is the best way to learn fly fishing?

Practice makes progress! We recommend learning how to fly fish on a half-day fly fishing experience with a Chris Jolly Orvis Endorsed guide.

Can I wear felt-soled boots while fly fishing?

No. Felt-soled boots are banned in New Zealand as they can contribute to the spread of invasive species in our waterways. Learn more on the Fish and Game NZ site.

Do I need to clean my gear before and after fly fishing?

If you have fished in other waterways, you should always Check, Clean, Dry your kit to protect the waterways from invasive species.

Check – remove debris from your equipment. Clean – wash gear with detergent. Dry – If cleaning’s impractical, dry the item then leave drying for an additional 48 hours.

Learn more on the Fish and Game NZ site.

What risks are involved in your activities?

All our activities include some level of risk. Your guides takes all practicable steps to ensure your safety, and with any activity in the outdoors you acknowledge an element of risk involved.

Scenic Cruise / Private Charters are operated on Lake Taupō, which is a deep and exposed body of water, with its inherent risks.

Mountain biking is an inherently dangerous sport.

Hiking in the outdoors is an inherently dangerous activity.

Fly Fishing is a water based activity, and that with water, risks are increased.

Please read our Disclosure document for a full list of potential risks.

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