HomeNorthlandNorthland: Where to FishKaihu River

Kaihu River

The Kaihu river is a pleasant small fishery that holds reasonable numbers of small fish throughout its length.
Fish type Rainbow trout averaging just under 1 kg although fish over the 2 kg mark are occasionally caught.
Situation The Kaihu river rises in the Tutuamoe Ranges and flows for most of its length alongside State Highway 12 before joining the lower reaches of the Wairoa River at Dargaville.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast.


The Kaihu River is a very pleasant small river that flows over a mostly stone and shingle bed. It is easily wadeable throughout its length, with the best fishing being found upstream from Kaihu settlement. The river is a series of runs and riffles interspersed by some deep pools. There is good bankside vegetation providing good cover for the fish. The water flow can get very low during the summer months making it best fished in the cooler months. The water is generally clear, allowing fisherman to spot the fish in the water.


State Highway 12 runs alongside the river for most of its length, with the more attractive fishing to be found in the upper reaches that can be accessed via small side roads. See the Kaihu River access map.

Recommended tackle Because of the size of this river and clarity of the water, the upper reaches require light weight rods around the 8' 6" length and preferably in a 5 weight or lower. Spinning
also requires light tackle with rods capable of casting 7g or lighter lures preferred.
Recommended lures

In the upper and middle reaches, lightly weighted stoneflies and mayfly patterns such as Pheasants Tail, Halfbacks and Hare and Copper in sizes 14 to 18.

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

Wet flies / Streamers:
Small bully patterns such as Mrs Simpson and Hamill's Killer 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 Governor and Hardies Favourite in sizes 12 to 14 during the evening rise when fish
are often taking emerging insects just subsurface.

Day time:  Hamill's Killer, Mrs Simpson,  Red Setter, Parson's Glory, Invicta, March Brown

Spinners: Black and gold Tobys and silver Tobys in the lower reaches and small bladed spinners such as Mepps or Veltic in the middle and upper reaches. As this is a predominantly rainbow fishery, brighter colours such as gold and red tend to work well during the day.


In the upper reaches the river divides, with a number of small tributaries offering fishable water. These include the Waima River, the Waingarara Stream and the Mangatu Stream.

Applicable to Kaihu River
Region Northland regulations
Season Oct 1-Apr 30
Methods Artificial fly, spinner.
Bag limit Trout: 2
Size limit (cm) Trout: 300mm minimum

Other fishing waters of the region


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

Advertise Here