HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishBeautiful River

Beautiful River

A small river that provides excellent fishing for large brown trout in a pristine wilderness environment.

Backcountry fishery The Beautiful River is designated a backcountry fishery requiring all anglers to obtain a backcountry licence.
Fish type Brown trout
Situation The only way into this river which is located in the heart of the Kahurangi national park is by walking in or by helicopter.
Setting The Beautiful River joins the Roaring Lion just before it enters the Karamea near the series of small lakes formed by the 1929 and 1968 earthquakes. It flows south from Lake Barfoot but only the lower three or so kilometres are able to be fished as the upper reaches are rugged and inaccessible.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description The fishable lower reaches of the Beautiful provide good fishing in clear water that flows over a stone and rock bed. In the lower section above its confluence with the Roaring Lion there are a number of enticing pools that hold good numbers of fish.
Fish numbers and size There are good fish numbers and fish are mostly in the 3-4lb range though there are some considerably bigger fish as well.
Ease of fishing The lower reaches are difficult. The middle and upper reaches are extremely challenging and probably not worth the effort.
Access Several well marked and maintained tracks lead into this area. Those wishing to tramp in can expect a 1 - 2 day walk to get to the river. Otherwise you will need to charter a helicopter. See the Beautiful River access map.
Recommended lures

Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tails and Caddis imitations all work well in sizes 14 or smaller.

Dry flies:
Small flies such as Royal Wulff, Hardies Favourite, Dad's Favourite and  Coch-y-Bondhu and Humpy over the faster water.

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) fished upstream into the faster water or through the deep pools are best for this small river.

Applicable to Beautiful 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

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