HomeHawkes BayWhere to fishTutaekuri River

Tutaekuri River


The Tutaekuri River provides top-quality fishing for a large population of rainbow trout some of which reach very large sizes.

Fish type, number and
Predominantly rainbow trout but with some brown trout. Fish average around 1.5 kg though many fish in the 2-3 kg range, particularly in the upper reaches. There can be a good run of sea-run brown trout in the lower reaches some of which also reach impressive sizes.
Situation The Tutaekuri rises in the Kaweka Ranges which are steep and covered in native bush. It then flows between high steep river terraces before meandering onto the Herertaunga plains to enter the sea at the mouth of the Ngaruroro River near Clive.

The varied terrain and fishing waters of the Tutaekuri catchment are within easy driving distance of Napier and Hastings.


Upper Tutaekuri access map

Lower Tutaekuri access map 

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Description The Tutaekuri river offers over 130 km of fishable water. The river offers the angler a wide range of fishing experiences from chasing large sea-run brown trout in the very lower reaches to the almost wilderness experience of fishing for large rainbow trout in the upper reaches. Throughout its length this river offers top-quality fishing for all angling methods.
Upper reaches: Above the confluence with the Mangatutu


The upper reaches are the most inaccessible part of this river but also provide some of the most spectacular wilderness and backcountry fishing. The river here flows between steep hills and as a consequence is fast flowing as the river flows over us stone and boulder bed. It is more suited to the fit angler and this is especially true for the section above the Lawrence hut. Fish in this section are predominantly rainbow trout with many reaching very impressive sizes. The water is clear allowing fish to be sighted in places, though fast-flowing current can make spotting fish difficult. This is top-quality nymph water.


Access to the upper reaches generally involves quite a bit of walking though Dampney Road crosses the river close to the Mangatutu stream confluence and Lawrence Road provides access to the upper reaches near the confluence with the Donald River. Neither road is really suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles and should only be used when the weather is stable.

Middle reaches: From the
Mangatutu stream confluence to Dartmoor.


The river in this section flows over mostly shingle bed in a series of deep pools and long runs. The water is generally clear allowing fish to be sighted. Fishing is usually very easy and suitable for all forms of fly-fishing and spinning. The river is mostly wadeable and the fish rise freely particularly during the warm summer evenings.


There are not many points of public access along this stretch, though those with a four-wheel-drive vehicle can access the river along the Lower Flag Range Road.

Lower reaches: From Dartmoor
to the mouth.

The lower reaches of the Tutaukuri are slower flowing and as a consequence the river is often braided. It is generally clear though does discolour after heavy rain and at times after high flows the path of the river changes course.

The section nearest the sea is tidal and can hold very large brown trout. Fishing here during the spring when the whitebait are running can be very productive. Above the tidal zone, the river is a series of deep holes and long runs often bounded by willow trees. Here the trout tend to move around and will often move up stream during the warmest months when the river flow is low and the water temperature has risen.


As the lower reaches flow past a number of small settlements, access to most areas is excellent. A number of roads including the Dartmoor Road, Omaranui Road and Springfield Road all run alongside the river for many kilometres. State Highway 2 crosses the river near the mouth providing access there, and a number of other bridges also cross the river further up.

Methods Upper and middle reaches: The Tutaekuri River provides water for all fishing methods though the upper and middle reaches are regarded as top-quality nymph water. They also provide some excellent opportunities for the dry fly enthusiast.

Lower reaches: The lower reaches and especially the section near the mouth are best suited to wet-lining using a whitebait or a smelt pattern. The section is also popular for spinning.

Recommended lures Nymphs: In the upper reaches weighted stoneflies and mayfly patterns such as Pheasant Tail; in the lower reaches caddis patterns and Hare and Copper.

Dry flies: Popular patterns include Royal Wulff, Adams, Blue Dun, Coch-y-Bondhu, beetle patterns (during the early summer) and cicada and cricket patterns late in the summer.

Wet flies: In the lower reaches, use large wet flies such as a Grey Ghost, Yellow Rabbit, Jack Spratt and other whitebait patterns during the day; and dark patterns such as Craig's Night-time and Scotch Poacher during the evening and at night.

In the middle and upper reaches use small wee-wets such as March Brown, Red Tipped Governor and Hardys Favourite.

Spinners: Use Black and Gold Toby's and small bladed spinners such as Mepps or Veltic.

Tributaries The main tributaries are the Mangatutu Stream and the Mangaone River.
Related waters The Kuripapango Lakes offer easy access and great fishing for a large number of small brown (Loch Leven) trout.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Tutaekuri River downstream from its confluence with the Mangaone Stream excluding tributaries
Region Hawkes' Bay region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) None
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Tutaekuri River upstream from its confluence with the Mangaone Stream
Region Hawkes' Bay region regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 June
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region


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