HomeAuckland – WaikatoAuckland-Waikato: Where to fishOhinemuri River

Ohinemuri River

The Ohinemuri River offers a wide range of fishing options within a beautiful environment for a good population of both brown and rainbow trout. The Ohinemuri was selected as one of the proposed venues for the 2008 World Fly Fishing Champs.

Fish type Rainbow and brown trout averaging around 1 kg though with many larger fish present, particularly late in the season.
Situation The Ohinemuri River rises in the ranges north of Waihi and flows inland west from Waihi through the spectacular Karangahake Gorge to join the Waihou River near
the township of Paeroa.

Access map

Check Conditions View the MetService weather forecast.

View the river level and rain fall.


The Ohinemuri is a small, very attractive river to fish. It holds good stocks of both brown and rainbow trout with some of the brown trout that are caught late in the season reaching very good sizes. Despite its relatively short length, it offers a great variety of fishing and is suitable for all fishing methods. As roads run along most of the river, access to all the sections is generally not a problem. It has some excellent small tributaries which also provide top-quality fishing for those who like the challenge of fishing small streams.

Upper reaches Above the Karangahake Gorge the Ohinemuri is a small river ideally suited to dry fly and nymph fishing.
Through this section the water flows over a shingle and stone bed with good bankside vegetation allowing good cover for the fish. Fish numbers are reasonably high, with the average size of the fish being just under 1 kg. The water is generally very clear especially during the summer when the water levels can also get quite low. This section of the river is easily wadeable.
Middle reaches The section through the Karangahake Gorge is the most popular and productive section of the river. The water is a mixture of long deep pools and boisterous rapids
as the river surges between large boulders and steep banks. The section is difficult to wade in places but it does hold good fish numbers. It offers a mixture of good dry fly, nymph, wet fly and spinning water. Some of the pools in the section are very deep and can hold good numbers of fish, particularly in the warm summer months.
Lower reaches Below the Karangahake Gorge the river widens as it flows over open farmland. The banks are often willow lined making this section best suited to spinning or using a downstream wet fly. A large number of fish, usually of larger sizes, enter this section late in the season. Many sections are easily wadeable.
Access Access to much of the Ohinemuri is relatively easy as SH 2 follows the river for much of its length. Within the Karangahake gorge there are a number of good access points
and parking spaces. See the Ohinemuri River access map.
Methods The Ohinemuri River is suitable for all methods of fishing although the upper reaches are best fished with a fly while the lower reaches are better suited to being fished with a spinner or a downstream wet fly.
Recommended tackle For the upper reaches, very light rods of around 4 to 5 weight and around 8 foot 6 in length. For the middle and lower reaches slightly longer rods of between 5 to 7 weight are suitable. Spinning rods capable of casting lures around 5 to 7g are best.
Recommended lures

Small weighted nymphs in sizes 14 to 18 in patterns such as Hare and Copper, Halfback, Pheasants Tail and Stonefly fish well throughout the season. During the summer, unweighted midge patterns work well in early evening.

Dry flies:
During the summer the Ohinemuri can offer superb dry fly fishing. Sedge/ caddis patterns work well throughout the summer, with beetle patterns working very well in early summer and cicada and cricket patterns from mid summer to autumn.

Wet flies/ Streamers:
In the lower reaches try Hamill's Killer, Mrs Simpson or a small winged wet fly such as a Dad's Favourite, March Brown or Greenwell's Glory.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners such as Veltic or Mepps work well or try a black and gold Toby .

Tributaries The major tributary is the Waitawheta River, which is an excellent backcountry fishery. The Waitekauri, Waimata, Ruahorehore, Walmsley and Mataura Streams all hold good stocks of fish despite their relatively small sizes.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Ohinemuri below Victoria St Bridge
Region Auckland/Waikato regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait.
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) 30cm minimum
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Ohinemuri above Victoria St Bridge
Region Auckland/Waikato regulations
Season Oct 1-Jun 30
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) 30cm minimum

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