HomeNelson – MarlboroughNelson Marlborough: Where to fishAnatoki River

Anatoki River


The Anatoki River is a great dry fly and nymph fishing river for large brown trout in a beautiful setting within the Golden Bay area. It is more suitable for experienced fly fishers.
Fish type, number and size Brown trout in good numbers with an average size of around 3lb. This river receives little pressure from anglers and so can be very productive. A few salmon are also present in the river though these are not common and mostly escapees from the salmon farm.
Setting The Anatoki is a small river that flows from the Tasman mountains and across farmland to join the Takaka river. The lower reaches are only about 10 minutes from Takaka and 45 minutes from Motueka.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast

View the river flow.


This river offers excellent dry fly and nymph fishing for the browns that live in it. It flows in a gentle gradient over a mostly shingle bed through a farmed valley and the water generally remains clear. There is good vegetation cover in parts providing an excellent trout habitat.

The lower reaches offer easy fishing over open land. Much of the river can be waded.


There is limited public access from side roads off SH60 (the Takaka to Motueka road) and Long Plain Road. Getting to the upper reaches requires some walking. See the access map.

Recommended lures

Pheasant Tail variants or Hare and Copper (sizes 16 or even smaller  when river is very clear and low) work well.

Dry flies:
Greenwell's Glory, Coch-y-Bondhu, Adams, Kakahi Queen, beetle patterns (in early summer) and cicada patterns (from mid summer) during the day and Twilight Beauty and Dad's Favourite for the evening rise. Fish will often be seen rising during the day but require very delicate and accurate casting to fool them.

Wet flies:
Greenwell's Glory, Grouse and Purple and Red Tipped Govenor fished sub-surface work well, especially in the evening.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners such as Mepps or Veltic.

Applicable to Anatoki River
Region Nelson/Marlborough

1 October - 30 April

Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region


NZFishing.com is the complete guide to New Zealand trout and salmon fishing.

Advertise Here