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Makakahi River

The Makakahi River is a gentle flowing river where cruising trout can be targeted in generally very clear water. This river fishes best in the early and late parts of the season.


Makakahi River access map

Makakahi River topo map

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Fish type Rainbow and some brown trout
Situation The Makakahi River rises in the Tararua Ranges and flows northeasterly to join the Mangatainoka near Pahiatua.

Access map
Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Palmerston north.
F&G pamphlet Upper Manawatu access pamphlet.

The Makakahi river is small and has a gentle current. It mostly flows over open land and between willow lined banks in a series of pools and gentle riffles. Fish can be spotted as they cruise the pools in search of food (as there are not well defined lies, the fish do not usually take up a station but prefer to move around in search of food). During the summer they rise freely throughout the day and respond well to lightly weighted or unweighted nymphs.

Although it is easy waded, care should be taken during the summer as the river bed can get very slippery due to algal growth. Many anglers favour pushing in between the willows and bankside vegetation and making short castes to cruising fish. Mastering the bow and arrow cast in these situations can be an advantage.

Fish numbers and size Moderate numbers of brown trout with a good population of rainbow trout. Average size around 1.2 kgs
Access There is good access all along SH 2 between Eketahuna and Pahiatua.
Methods Best suited to fly fishing using a dry fly or a nymph. Because of the bank side vegetation, it is often necessary to be very close to the fish requiring only short casts. A bow and arrow cast is often the best method when fishing to sighted fish.
Recommended tackle Very light tackle such as rods capable of casting a weight four to five line and long fine leaders.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Caddis patterns, Pheasant Tail and Prince Nymph patterns. Usually smaller sizes (14 – 18) and  unweighted is best

Dry flies: Caddis fly patterns and large Mayfly patterns throughout the season with beetle patterns around November and cicada patterns and crickets in the summer months.

Wet flies: Small spider patterns fished across and down.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners in dull colours.

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Makakahi River upstream from the road bridge at Eketahuna
Region Wellington region regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 4
Size limit (cm) None
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Makakahi River downstream from the road bridge at Eketahuna
Region Wellington region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 4
Size limit (cm) None


Go Fish Kiwi

Go Fish Kiwi

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