HomeAuckland – WaikatoAuckland-Waikato: Where to fishMangaohae River

Mangaohae River

The Mangaohae River offers a wide range of fishing some of it in stunning scenery. The best fishing does require a walk and so is best suited to reasonably energetic anglers.
Fish type Rainbow trout
Situation The Mangaohae River is the major tributary of the Tawarau River which in turn is the major tributary of the Marokopa River. Its headwaters are in the rugged hills to the west of the small settlement of Piopio from where it flows north to join the Tawarau River deep in a stunning gorge.

Access map

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Description The Mangaohae River is a beautiful river that offers the angler the chance to fish for a large population of rainbow trout in a stunning scenic setting. Although relatively small, this river provides some good fishing throughout its length. Much of it is found along bush lined  DOC track runs parallel to the river providing moderate to easy walking access. In the middle and lower sections the river runs through a steep gorge providing wonderful scenery and a wilderness experience.
Upper reaches

The upper reaches of the river are small but hold a reasonable population of good sized fish in the deeper pools. The upper reaches are best either early or late in the season though fish will be found in the deeper pools throughout the season.

Fish numbers in this section are lower than the rest of the river but there are some surprisingly large fish. Careful approaches are necessary as they will "freeze or flee" if they become suspicious of any back-side activity.

Access: Ngapaenga Road runs alongside the Mangaohae. Where access is over open farmland, you must ask permission from the local landowner before fishing. See the Mangaohae River access map.

Middle reaches

The middle reaches from the Pomarangi Bridge to the gorge is the most fished section of this river due to the easy access and large population of fish. The river flows over open farmland and across a rock and gravel bed. While being very popular for spin fishing, it also provides excellent dry fly and nymphing water.

Fish numbers can be very high and mostly around the 1kg size range.

Access: Ngapaenga Road and Were Road run alongside the Mangaohae, making access easy. To reach Ngapaenga Road, turn off SH3, 3 km north of Te Kuiti, into Oparure Road. See the Mangaohae River access map

Lower reaches

The lower reaches of the river from the beginning of the gorge to the confluence with the Tawarau River provide spectacular wilderness quality fishing for a very high population of hard-fighting rainbow trout. Scenery in the section adds to the excellence of the fishing experience as huge cliffs rise from the river banks and much of the river
flows through stands of beautiful native bush. A reasonable degree of fitness is required to fish this area.

There is an excellent population of rainbow trout mostly in the one to 1.5 kg range.

Access: Access is by a track which follows the river from the end of Were Road down to its confluence with the Tawarau River, then runs parallel with the Tawarau until it meets the end of Speedies Road. Camping sites are available along the track. See the Mangaohae River access map

Methods Both spinning and fly fishing work well on this river though many regard it as a top-quality dry fly and nymphing water.
Recommended tackle Weight 5 rods or very light spinning tackle is recommended.
Recommended lures

Small lightly weighted nymphs in sizes 14 and 16 such as Hare and Copper, Pheasants Tails and caddis patterns.

Dry flies:
Throughout the season small dry flies such as Twilight Beauty, Greenwell's Glory, or Royal Wulff work well. In late summer cicada patterns and Daddy Long Legs can be effective.

Wet flies/streamers:
Any small wet flies such as March Brown, Invicta and Greenwell's Glory can be very effective when fished just subsurface during the evening rise.

Spinners: Use small bladed spinners in red and gold patterns such as Mepps or veltics.

Tributaries The Pomarangi Stream is a small stream that holds some large fish. Access to the middle and upper reaches of the Pomarangi is from Pomarangi Road. But as the banks are lined with overhanging blackberry access is very difficult. Not highly recommended.
Applicable to Mangaohae Stream
Region Auckland/Waikato regulations
Season Oct 1-Jun 30
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 5
Size limit (cm) 30cm minimum

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