HomeAuckland – WaikatoAuckland-Waikato: Where to fishMangaokewa Stream

Mangaokewa Stream

The Mangaokewa Stream is a delightful small scenic river providing excellent fly fishing and spinning water in its middle and upper reaches upstream from Te Kuiti. The most interesting areas to fish are quite remote and will require some walking.
Fish type, numbers and size Upstream from Te Kuiti there are good numbers of brown trout, some large. Otherwise mostly rainbow averaging around 1 kg. Many large fish enter the river late in the season on their spawning run.
Situation The Mangaokewa Stream is a King Country back country stream that is a tributary of the Waipa River. It rises near the Pureora State Forest and flows in a north-westerly direction to enter the Waipa River near the township of Otorohanga.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast.

View the river level and rainfall for the last 7 days.

Upstream from Te Kuiti

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.

Downstream from Te Kuiti Downstream from Te Kuiti to the confluence with the Waipa river the Mangaokewa is of less interest to the angler. The section holds a good number of fish but tends to be slow and sluggish and generally discoloured and the banks tend to be lined with willows making access more difficult. The lower reaches below Te Kuiti are really only suited to spin fishing especially when casting under the abundant overhanging vegetation. See the Upper Waipa access map.
Recommended tackle

Weight 5 (or even lighter) rod with a floating line in the upper reaches.

Light spinning gear for the deep pools and lower section capable of casting small weights of 7 grams or less.

Recommended lures

Small weighted or unweighted nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Halfbacks, Pheasant Tails and Theo's Bombers in sizes 12 to 16 work well.

Dry flies:
Small dry flies (size 14 or 16) in patterns such as Hardie's Favourite, Greenwell 's Glory, March Brown and Twilight Beauty work well throughout the year. In early summer try brown and green beetles and in summer cicada patterns and Daddy-Long - Legs and in late summer, Lace fly patterns can be very effective.

Wet flies:
In the upper and middle reaches small wet flies such as March Brown, Dads Favourite, Invicta, Greenwell's Glory in sizes 14 to 16 are  effective when fished just subsurface when trout are rising.

Spinners: Mepps and Veltic patterns in gold and  red during the day and darker colours such as green and black late in the evening. A small Toby can be effective in the lower reaches.

Related waters

Other waters in the area include the Waipa, the Mangaotaki, the Waimiha, the Ongarue and the Awakino.

Applicable to Mangaokewa 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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