HomeHawkes BayWhere to fishMaraetotara River

Maraetotara River


The Maraetotara River is a challenging clear water stream that holds a reasonable population of both brown and rainbow trout especially in the lower reaches. It often remains clean when other waters in the region have discoloured.

Fish type Brown and rainbow trout.
Situation The Maraetotara Stream rises on Mt Kahuranaki and flows north west to enter the sea at the small settlement of Te Awanga.

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Despite recent problems with some poor farming practices, the Maraetotara remains a wonderful small water fishery that provides challenging fishing for a reasonable population of good sized fish. The water will often remain clear when other rivers in the area have become silt laden and so provides anglers with an alternative venue.

In the upper reaches the river is quite overgrown making casting difficult. Trout can be spotted in the clear water and so short casts are often the only way to target them. In the middle and lower reaches below the Waimarama – Havelock North Road bridge, the river flows sedately over open farmland. There is good bankside vegetation providing good cover and insects for the trout. Care must always be taken, particularly in the late season when the fish nave become very well "educated" when approaching any fish. This is a river that will challenge and frustrate you should not "match the hatch" as the fish in this section can be very finicky feeders.

Fish numbers and size There are reasonable numbers of fish in the lower sections averaging around 1.5 kg. Numbers in the upper section are much lower.
Access The Maraetotara Road provides access to the upper reaches and the Havelock North – Waimarama bridge provides access to the middle section. Permission must be sought from landowners to access most of the productive waters in the middle and lower sections however.
Methods The is a true fly fishing water best suited to dry fly and nymph.
Recommended tackle Very light line weights (AFTM 4-5 are ideal) with as long a tippet as you feel comfortable casting.
Recommended lures Nymphs: Small 14 – 18 sizes Pheasant Tail and Hares Ear Nymphs. Adjust the weight to where the fish are feeding in the water.

Dry flies: Small mayfly patterns such as a Parachute Adams during the day or a Kakahi Queen or Twilight Beauty at dusk. Cicadas can be good in late summer.

Wet flies: Small spider patterns or a wee-wet such as an invicta that imitates an emerging insect.

Spinners: As small a pattern as possible and bladed spinners such as Mepps are the most likely patterns except at the mouth where Toby and wobbler patterns that imitate a small fish can attract the sea-run fish that occasionally enter this water.

Applicable to Maraetotara River
Region Hawkes' Bay region regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Jun
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region


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