Upstream from the township of Te Kuiti, the Mangaokewa provides many kilometres of interesting water for both the spin fisherman and the fly fisherman. Those venturing into the upper reaches generally have more success when either nymphing or fishing the dry fly.
These middle and upper reaches flow over a gravel and rock bed and through a mixture of bushland and open farmland. It always carries some colour making fish difficult
to spot in its waters. The water is a mixture of long riffles, rapids and deep pools and holds a very good population of mostly rainbow trout. Late in the season there can be a run of larger fish as they move up the river to spawn.
Approximately 5 km upstream along the Te Kuiti-Bennydale road a small side road leads to the Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve, an open area often used by picnickers. While
good fishing can be found at this section, it is best to use it as a place to park the car and then walk either upstream or downstream from there. As fish are difficult to spot, this water needs to be fished blind. It is excellent nymph and dry fly water however with fish rising freely especially in the warmer months or during overcast conditions.
The river quickly discolours after rain and can become unfishable for a time. However, the headwaters clear reasonably quickly.
The best access is from the Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve, about 4 km south of Te Kuiti on SH30 (the Te Kuiti to Bennydale road). A track then follows the river upstream.
The headwaters are remote and permission from their landowners is often required. Alternatively, you can walk along the river bank and access the fishing that way. See the Mangaokewa Stream.