HomeSouthlandSouthland: Where to fishWaikawa River

Waikawa River

 

The Waikawa River is a small peat-stained stream that holds well-conditioned brown trout. This is a river for blind-fishing of the pools and ripples rather than sight-fishing.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation The Waikawa rises in the Forest Range of the Catlins State Forest Park. It flows southeast to the sea at the settlement of Waikawa.
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Description

The Waikawa has long stable pools and shallow ripply runs where fly casting is possible from some stretches of open farmland. In other sections, the banks are lined with bush and scrub. Fish cannot usually be sighted due to the colouration of the water.

Below the falls on Wyndham Road, the stream is tidal.

Recommended lures

Nymphs:
Small lightly weighted or un-weighted nymphs such as a Pheasant Tail and stonefly
patterns.

Dry flies:
Small mayfly patterns such as a Blue Dun, Kakahi Queen or Twilight Beauty. In the summer a large cicada pattern or a blowfly during warm still days or a Daddy-Long-Legs (Crane fly) in the evening.

Wet flies:
Emerger patterns are also good on this water either fished as wee-wets or cast just ahead of a trout rising in the evening and left to float downstream rather like a dry-fly.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners such as a veltic or Mepps.

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Waikawa River and tributaries upstream of Niagara Bridge
Region Southland regulations
Season Trout: 1 Oct-30 Apr
Salmon: 1 Oct-31 Mar
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total: 2
Salmon: 1
Size limit (cm) No limit
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Waikawa River and tributaries downstream of Niagara Bridge
Region Southland regulations
Season Trout: All year
Salmon: 1 Jun-31 Mar
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total: 2
Salmon: 1
Size limit (cm) No limit

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