HomeWellingtonWellington: Where to fishOhau River

Ohau River


The lower reaches of the Ohau River offer reasonable fishing especially during late summer evening rises, while there is some sight fishing in the middle reaches.

Fish type Brown trout averaging around 1 kg. A few larger estuarine or sea run trout enter the lower reaches.
Situation The Ohau River rises in the Tararua Ranges and flows west to enter the sea on the Kapiti Coast south of Levin.

Access map

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast.

Upper reaches: The upper reaches within the Tararua Conservation Park offers only patchy fishing.

Middle reaches:
The middle reaches are unstable but worth a try sight fishing with a small dry fly or nymph.

Lower reaches:
Below SH1 the river is slower and deeper with well-developed pools and shallow ripply runs, and there is often a good evening rise in late summer. However a number of factors including flooding and gravel extraction, have had a detrimental effect on the fishing.

The river is easy to cross, wading is safe, but the willow growth along the banks can make casting difficult. The recommended methods are blind nymph fishing and spinning.


Access is from SH1, either onto SH57, or in the lower reaches onto other side roads.

See the Ohau River access map.

Recommended lures

Weighted stoneflies, mayfly (throughout the season) and caddis patterns (from early summer). And if in doubt try Hare and Copper which  is always a good standby, particularly when tied in a dark and rough pattern.

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

Wet flies / Streamers:
Use small wee-wets such as March Brown, Red Governor and Hardies Favourite.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners such as Mepps or Veltic fished deep in the rapids and pools.

Tributaries The Makaretu and Makahika streams can hold fish early in the season. Access is from Gladstone, east of Levin.
Applicable to Ohau River
Region Wellington region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) Max 450mm

Other fishing waters of the region


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