Fishing the Tongariro

Book Review Cameron Reid

Wow, not your traditional fishing book filled with stories and anecdotes, but a comprehensive, and very well researched book on the history of trout fishing on the Tongariro River, and surrounding Taupo fisheries.

This very impressive book has literally been years in the making! During Henderson’s meticulous research he contacted renowned Taupo based trout fisherman, photographer and author John Parsons (1926 – 2014). This led to a sharing of ideas and trout fishing history, and with a number of Parsons photographs featuring in the book.

Henderson has been a trout fisherman for more than 60 years, and his passion for the sport, and the depth of his research shows within the text of the book. Covering the development of the fishery from the early 20th century, when trout were still being established within Taupo waters, the trophy years prior to, and between both World Wars, the decline of the fishery, and restoration measures utilised to bring it back, the construction of the Tongariro hydro-electric power scheme, and the conservation issues this raised, to the scientific fisheries management practices that resulted, this book has it all.

While being based in Nelson, I have travelled north to fish the Tongariro and other Taupo tributaries multiple times. And after having read this book, it will enhance my enjoyment of future trips, with a better understanding of the characters who influenced and shaped the fishery, and the history of the river, and its place in the world as a premier rainbow trout fishing destination.

To be honest, this type of book isn’t my preferred reading, I like to get my teeth into a good fishing tale, or series of stories, following a fellow trout anglers adventures. But all in all, this will be a valued addition to any New Zealand trout fishing library. Hardback, jacketed book with 324 pages from Bateman Books.

RRP $59.99.

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