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Makuri River


The Makuri River provides anglers with the chance to target large fish in a small challenging clear water stream.

Fish type Rainbow and brown trout
Situation The Makuri river lies to the east of Pahiatua and rises in the limestone country in the Puketoi Ranges and flows west to join the Tiraumea (a tributary of the Manawatu River).

Access map

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast.

The Makuri has been described as being the closest to a chalk stream in the region. It is a challenging water to fish and many areas are inaccessible and unfishable. Above the gorge upstream of the small settlement of Makuri, there is some good fishing. Much of the river is accessible in this section and holds a good population of fish in generally clear cool water. This section of the river flows over open land and through stands of willow lined banks and is made up of a series of pools and long riffles.

Downstream form Makuri township to the confluence with the Tiraumea the river flows rapidly through a bush-lined narrow gorge making both access and fishing very difficult. Only those prepared to bash there way through the bush should attempt to get to the fish that lie in the deeply cut channels and holes in this section. As much of this part of the river is very fast flowing and swirls around large boulders it does not make for good trout habitat however.

Early in the season the river fishes well but becomes more challenging as the season progresses and the trout become more "educated". The water is generally clear and great care should be taken in approaching and casting to sighted fish.

Fish numbers and size Rainbow and brown trout in reasonable numbers averaging around 1.5 kg with some larger fish also present.
Access The best access is from the Ngaturi – Makuri road. A good starting point is the Makuri domain.
Methods This is great fly water and especially well suited to the dry fly and nymph enthusiasts.
Recommended tackle Rods of around 9 feet with a weight 4 – 6 AFTM line. Long leaders with a light tippet is also a key to a successful days fishing.
Recommended lures

Small lightly coloured nymphs such as Pheasants Tail, Hare and Copper and Halfbacks during the brighter days with darker patterns as evening approaches. Some weight may be required to get the nymphs down in the pools on the warmer days when the trout may be lying low.

Dry flies:
Large flies such as Humpies, Royal Wulff and Caddis patterns throughout the season. Try beetle patterns around November to mid-December and Cicada, Cricket and blowfly patterns through summer to early autumn.

Wet flies:
Small wee-wets in spider patterns and winged patterns fished across and down the faster water can be effective.

Spinners: This is not spinner water (and no spinners are allowed to be used above the Makuri Bridge)

Tributaries There are no tributaries of note.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Makuri River downstream from the township bridge
Region Wellington region regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 April
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 1 trout
Size limit (cm) None
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Makuri River upstream from the township bridge
Region Wellington region regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 April
Methods Flyfishing only
Bag limit 1 trout
Size limit (cm) 450mm maximum

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