Fishing the Tongariro – A History of Our Greatest Trout River

Fishing the Tongariro - A History of Our Greatest Trout River By Grant Henderson 
Fishing the Tongariro - A History of Our Greatest Trout River By Grant Henderson 

Fishing the Tongariro – A History of Our Greatest Trout River

By Grant Henderson 

Since the 1900s the fly fishers mecca that is the Tongariro River has lured people from all over the world to cast a line on its wide waters. Author Grant Henderson tells the river’s angling story – tracing the rise of the Tongariro River’s popularity as a fishing destination, the creation of the trout fishery, the famous and notable anglers who have returned to it time and again, and the development of scientific fishery management and the river’s conservation.

Illustrated with rare vintage photography, Fishing the Tongariro is a comprehensive history of our greatest trout river and it’s ongoing appeal as a celebrated trout fishing destination.

The Author

Born on 1953, Grant Henderson grew up fishing the brown trout rivers of the Wairarapa before discovering Lake Taupo’s wonderful rainbow trout fishery around 1960.  He has fished the lake and it’s rivers, including the Tongariro, for many years. Despite years of experience with a fly rod, he finds there as always something new to learn about the sport.

After working as a lawyer for 10 years he switched to legal publishing. He has spent the last three decades in this industry editing law publications.

He lives in Auckland with his wife and son. Fishing the Tongariro: A History of Our Greatest Trout River is his first book.

Contents (Chapters)

  1. The geography of the Tongariro River
  2.  Establishment of the Fishery
  3.  Catching trout by the ton
  4. The first Tongariro anglers
  5. Robert Jones’s private fishery
  6.  Decline and recovery
  7.  Zane Grey in New Zealand
  8.  Royal visitors
  9.  A public fishery emerges
  10.  The name of the river
  11.  Nelson, Begg and Heckling
  12.  The Upper Waikato and Tongariro Anglers Club
  13.  The dry fly revolution
  14.  Tongariro camps and lodges in the interwar years
  15.  Three great Tongariro pools
  16.  World war II years and later
  17.  The great flood of 1958
  18.  The Tongariro power development scheme
  19.  The effects of the Tongariro hydro-electricity scheme
  20.  The arrival of nymph fishing
  21.  Bridges and floods
  22.  Voices for the river
  23.  The Tongariro National Trout Centre
  24.  Trout by numbers
  25.  The future of the fishery

For a first effort at writing an angling publication the author Grant Henderson has produced a magnificent work in both text and illustration. At 324 pages this hard cover volume is comprehensive, interesting, entertaining and informative. There are many old photographs that I have not seen before. Whether you have or aspire to fish the Tongariro River, this book will enhance your experience and enjoyment of it considerably.  Fishing the Tongariro – A History of Our Greatest Trout River by Grant Henderson has more than “done justice” to this New Zealand and world famous trout fishing river.  Allan Burgess


ISBN 978-1-77689-004-0. Hard cover. 324pp. 252mm x 190mm. Published by David Bateman Ltd, 2023. www.batemanbooks.co.nz

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