HomeNelson – MarlboroughNelson Marlborough: Where to fishWakamarina River

Wakamarina River

The Wakamarina is a beautiful scenic crystal clear river offering dry fly and nymph fishing for a small population of large brown and rainbow trout.

Fish type Brown with some rainbow trout
Situation 70 km or about 50 minutes drive from Nelson
50 km or about 30 minutes drive from Blenheim
Setting A very scenic river that flows through bush and open land to join the Pelorous near Canvastown. The river is usually very clear and runs over a bed of stones and gravel between banks covered with low vegetation
and bush.

Access map

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Descrpition The Wakamarina provides good habitat for large fish though due to its propensity to flood in spectacular fashion at times does not hold a large number of fish. It flows from the hills over a bed of gravel and stones and stays relatively cool in its upper reaches throughout the year. It is made up of long glides punctuated by rapids and some deep pools that flow under vegetation covered banks. Because of the water clarity, fish are easy to spot. Wading is mostly possible though some areas have vegetation along both banks making casting difficult. The one area that does hold reasonable numbers of fish is the kilometre just above the confluence with the Pelorus up to and around the historic old Trout Hotel at Canvastown.

Mostly brown trout in this river though there are some larger rainbow trout. This is also a major spawning river for the Pelorous river system and so the best time to fish it is either early or very late in the season.

Fish numbers and size Numbers of fish are low but this is made up for by their average size which is from 3-4lb (1.5 - 2kg)
Ease of fishing Moderate to easy.

The junction of the Wakamarina with the Pelerous can be reached on a small access road opposite the small Canvastown settlement. The middle reaches can be accessed by taking the Wakamarina Rd. The headwaters require some walking along defined tracks though the river is very small through this section. Some access points for anglers are signposted. See the access map.

Recommended lures

Small unweighted nymphs such as Pheasant Tail variants, Hare and Copper and Hares Ear.

Dry flies:
Cicada patterns are very effective from late summer and beetle patterns work well in early summer. Otherwise use small flies of the Twilight Beauty, Greenwell's
Glory or March Brown type.

Wet flies:
Small wets such as Dad's Favourite, Hardies Favourite or March Brown work well especially in the evening when trout are rising in early to late summer.

Spinners: Dark coloured Veltic  or Mepps style.

Applicable to Wakamarina River
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Season October 1 to April 30
Methods allowed Artificial fly and spinner
Bag limit 2 (with only one fish exceeding 500mm in length)
Size limit (cm) No minimum size

Other fishing waters of the region


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