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Waiohine River

The Waiohine is a small river that begins in the Tararuas as a wilderness stream and flows through beautiful native bush till it opens out and flows through open farmland offering easy access. It enters the Ruamahanga near Greytown.

Access map

Topo map

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Fish type Brown trout though there are some rainbow trout also present. Perch may also be caught in the very lower reaches above the Ruamahanga confluence.
Situation The Waiohine rises as a small bouldery stream in the Tararua Ranges and flows through bust and some deep gorges till reaching the plains whereit mostly flows over open farmland.

Upper Waiohine maps:

Access map

Access map with topography

Lower Waiohine maps:

Access map

Access map with topography


The Waiohine is a delightful scenic river that offers a range of fishing opportunities from true wilderness fishing to easy fishing suitable for a novice.

In the headwaters the water flows through native bushland and the water is quite swift and clear. That siad the trout are not always easy to spot. Several sections flow through a steep sided gorge that only the very fit can attempt (unless they go in by raft). Fish in this section are few but generally large and fir.

After leaving the gorge the river is much more open with log runs and some very deep pools. The lower section before it enters the Ruamahanga holds reasonable stocks of fish. Evenings during the summer months can see some good rises with fish feeding in the slower water.

The section just up from the confluence with the Rangitikei is a popular and productive stretch to target with a spinner or dry flies on a warm evening.


Access to the headwaters is via a DoC track. Park your car at the ned of the road and cross the swingbridge and followo the track for a bout an hour (this section is around a steep sided valley with no foot access to the river). Once the track drops down to the waters edge you can then follow the river for some way fishing through some lovely pools and runs.

There is access to the river from the carpark at the swing bridge thoough this section is also popular with swimmers. Further downstream there are several acccess points where you can park and walk along the bankside.

Methods The upper sections of the river areideal nymph and dry fly water. Careful approaches are necessary as you will usually only get one chance at a fish.The long section from the swing bridge to the Ruamahanga is suitable for all fishing methods.
Recommended tackle

In the upper reaches where the water is very clear, a balance must be sought between using light enough tackle so as not to spook the fish but yet retaining enough power to land the large fish to be found in the section. It is recommended that a 9 foot (or even shorter rod) with a weight 5 line is used.

In the middle and lower reaches, rods around 9 foot in weights 6 to 7 are favoured, and spinning gear with around 3 kg/6 pound nylon capable of casting lures of between 7 g to 10 g.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Weighted nymph patterns in sizes 12 to 14 such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tail, Prince Nymphs, Willow Grub and Halfbacks all work well. Use a smaller size (16) during the height of summer in the upper reaches.

Dry flies: During the summer, size 12 to 16 flies fished over the faster water can be very effective during the evening. Royal Wulff, Blue Dun, Parachute Adams, Humpy and beetle patterns in early summer and cicada, hopper and cricket patterns in late summer and early autumn.

Wet flies / Streamers: Small wee-wet flies such as Invicta, March Brown, Greenwell's Glory, Dad's Favourite and Claret and Mallard work well, particularly in the evening when fish are taking emerger patterns just sub-surface. When fishing deeper try Hamill's Killer, Mrs Simpson or Red Setter, particularly in the middle and lower reaches.

Spinners: In the lower reaches larger spinners such as black and gold Toby or a Rapala pattern work well although in the upper reaches small bladed spinners such as Veltic or Mepps fished upstream and retrieved near the river bed just faster than the current works best.

Tributaries There are no tributaries of note.
Regulations 1
Applicable to
Waiohine River and its tributaries upstream from the State Highway 2 bridge      
Region Wellington
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 1 trout
Size limit (cm) None
Regulations 2
Applicable to
Waiohine River and its tributaries downstream from the State Highway 2 bridge      
Region Wellington
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 4 trout
Size limit (cm) None



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