Our History

Established in 1920’s

Turangi Tongariro great kiwi holiday aways has and always will be.

Tackle Shop and Guiding business is the only remaining commercial survivor from the original sleepy little village.


From the good old days on Taupahi Rd. The tackle shop and guiding business was established in the early 1920s by Joe Frost a famous guide who operated out of Taylors camp, he operated the store for some thirty years 1920 to about 1950 when he sold out to Geoff (pop) Sanderson..

Back in 1941 Geoff Sanderson created a trout fly, the Red Setter, probably the wet fly responsible for catching more fish in the Taupo region than any other during this time.
Such was the fame and reputation of this tackle shop, the structure was bought and shifted down the street and restored on the present location beside Creel Lodge.
The tackle shop was then owned by the Franks, Frank Schlosser, Frank and Carol Harwood all famous trout fishing guides in the area, the Harwoods still available for guiding.
Then in 1997 Brian Scott (Scotty) bought the business and has been there for the past 16 years until recently.

Way back when…

Old men still wore sports jackets, cheese cutters, and rubber waders, some still used split cane rods and nymphing was unheard of. The average fish was 5lb, river etiquette expected, I was too intimidated to fish the mighty Tongariro so did my apprenticeship on the TT and Hinemaia. Buying my flies from the “Redsetter” and “Creel Tackle House” picking up any tips I could like a sponge, my fishing book collection grew over the years along with a fine collection of old fishing “stuff”. We fished daylight until dusk, bagging, smoking, often 8 fish a day, the fun and humour with Zack, Pete and the boys cherished for ever, time moved on. Fishing trips, rivers, locations, guiding heli-fishing in the South Island high country amidst spectacular mountain scenery, experiences created a wonderful fly fishing history, I am most fortunate – Grant Alley.
My most memorable of mentors was Cliff the barber from Bulls, I still wash my hair with sunlight Cliff, and use a hogs hair brush. – Grant Alley

Way back when…

We are the proud new owners of the Creel Tackle House and Café. We are both looking forward to meeting regular and new customers.

Jason has lived in the Taupo district on and of for over 30 years, farming, fishing and hunting. I grew up in Taranaki with a farming family, and all our holidays were spent at Lake Rotoaira. So, for Jason and I, it is very much a case of coming home. Jason and I owned Troutbeck fishing lodge for eight years, so we are happy to be back in Turangi. Jason has been guiding for 11 years in the Central North Island area.
Jason was busy guiding overseas and kiwi clients at the lodge all year round. He and his clients enjoyed via helicopter, raft, quad bike, boat and walking the beautiful central north island rivers and lake.
While Jason was out guiding, I was taking care of our lodge’s day-to-day running and doing meals for our guests.
We both are looking forward to keeping the quality and customer service that ‘The Creel’ is known for.
We are also incredibly pleased that all the staff are staying on with us. We want to thank Deb and Grant for the fantastic job bringing The Creel up to the wonderful place it is today and is looking forward to meeting all of you that we haven’t met yet.
Cheers, Jason and Tracy (Bethune)

and some lasting words from Deb and Grant I once had to comment about guide fees (a long story); however, I retract that comment to say there are fishing guides and fishing guides, and Jason is one of those; his experience, river knowledge and success rate is second to none. He also has his range of flies which he will have available in the Shop. Should anyone be wanting Euro Nymphing gear, I will be around to help out with that. The Creel Tackle House begins another chapter, Jason and Tracy, now the sixth owners of the oldest Tackle shop in N.Z. Many thanks to you, our customers, for your support over the past eight years; any support issues you may have, we are still available to help out via the Shop.