HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishAhaura River

Ahaura River

The Ahaura is a large scenic river with a good population of large trout in its headwaters and middle reaches that provides excellent dry fly and nymph fishing.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation The middle reaches are approximately 55kms from Greymouth and 60kms from Reefton.
Setting The Ahaura and its many tributaries rise in the Lake Sumner State Forest park and enters the Grey River at the small settlement of Ahaura approximately 30kms upstream from Greymouth. It drains a huge area of land and in its lower reaches below the Haupiri confluence can have a tea-colour stain for much of the year. The reaches above the junction with the Haupiri tend to have very clear water for much of the year.

Access map

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Description The lower reaches of the Ahaura can be difficult to fish as they flow through some hard to access gorges. In the middle and upper reaches the river opens out and flows over a stone and shingle bed and provides many kilometres of fishing. The best fishing is generally regarded as being between the Nancy River confluence and where the Haupiri enters the river. The river in this section holds good stocks of fish and generally runs clear over a gravel bed.
Fish numbers and size Fish numbers are good and fish can be every large. They are mostly in the 2-4lb range however.
Ease of fishing The lower reaches are difficult to fish but the section between the Nancy confluence and below the Haupiri confluence are much easier as the river flows over open land with good casting positions. The upper reaches require some walking.
Access The middle reaches are accessed via the Ahaura - Kopara (Watterson) road which turns off the Reefton to Greymouth highway while the upper reaches can be reached via the Kopara - Haupiri Rd and via Nelson Creek. See the Ahaura River access map.
Recommended lures

Small unweighted nymphs such as Pheasant Tail variants and Hares Ear, Hare and Copper though some weight may be required (use a bead head pattern) in the deeper pools or faster water. Also try emerger patterns when fish can be lying in shallow water.

Dry flies:
Cicada patterns are very effective from late summer and beetle patterns work well in early summer. Otherwise use small flies of the Greenwell's Glory, Royal Wulff or March Brown patterns. In the faster water use large visible palmered flies, especially in the hotter months when the river is lower and the water clear.

Wet flies:
Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and emerger sedge patterns work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are particularly effective when fishing the evening rise.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic).

Tributaries The Ahaura has many tributaries worth exploring by anglers. The Haupiri is an important fishery in its own right. Others include the Nancy, the Waikiti, the Tutaekuri, the Waiheke, and the Trent though any stream with sufficient volume flowing into the river is worth exploring especially early in the season.
Applicable to Ahaura River
Region West Coast
Season Trout: 1 Oct-30 Apr
Salmon: 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sports fish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit

Other fishing waters of the region


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