HomeNelson – MarlboroughNelson Marlborough: Where to fishWaikoropupu River

Waikoropupu River


The water of the Waikoropupu River is part of the largest spring system in New Zealand  (the Pupu Springs) and the river is an important spawning habitat for brown trout.

Fish type, number and size The Waikoropupu River has been known to produce some large brown trout.
Situation The Waikoropupu is a small tributary of the Takaka River in Golden Bay and is fed by the cold clear water from the Pupu Springs.

Access map

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast

See the river flow.


The water from the main spring that feeds the Waikoropupu is a constant cold of 11.7 degrees Celsius. Flows can vary between 7-21 cumecs. It provides ideal trout habitat. The springs where the river starts are regarded as some of the cleanest and purist in the world and anglers are asked to ensure they bring no invasive pecies from other waterways.

Heavy willow growth can make fishing difficult in many sections. The water is generally very clear and swift. I


There is limited public access from Pupu Valley Road which is off SH60 north of Takaka. See the Takaka River access map.

Recommended lures

Heavily weighted large nymphs are required to get down to the fish. Try sizes 10 to 14 in Pheasant Tail or Hare and Copper patterns.

Dry flies:
large bushy flies such as Deers Hair Sedge patterns work well in the faster water but try smaller patterns such as Twilight Beauty or a Black Gnat in the more sedate section near the confluence with the Takaka.

Wet flies:
Small wets such as Greenwell's Glory or Dad's Favourite are useful especially in the evenings.

Spinners: Bladed spinners such as Veltic or Mepps work best when fished upstream and brought downstream just above the river bed.

Biosecurity requirements
Biosecurity Because of the presence of the invasive alga didymo in the nearby Takaka River, anglers must clean their fishing gear including waders and boots when moving between rivers. See Didymo Biosecurity Alert for details.
Applicable to Waikoropupu River
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Season 1 October - 30 April
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) Only 1 fish may exceed 500mm.

Other fishing waters of the region


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