HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishCrooked River

Crooked River

The Crooked River is a an excellent fly water flowing over a for the angler prepared to walk a little to reach some back-country water. The water is generally clear and although stocks are low it is a great river for stalking fish.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation 10kms from Moana, 30 kms from Greymouth
Setting The Crooked River flows from the Alexander Range west to enter Lake Brunner at Howitt Point. In its lower reaches before it enters the lake it is slow moving and meanders across open land (hence its name). The middle reaches mostly flow over farmland and just below the confluence with the Evans River it moves into a bush lined valley.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description The Crooked river offers very different fishing throughout its length. The lower reaches can be fished by boat (with there being particularly good fishing where it enters the lake). In the middle reaches from Te Kinga to the Crooked River Reserve there is excellent dry fly and nymph fishing though fish numbers are not high. The upper reaches are in back-country and the water generally very clear offering the opportunity to stalk the larger fish in the runs and pools. The river mostly runs over rock and shingle
and the further upstream you go the clearer the water is. The bridge on the Bell Hill - Inchibonnie road gives good access (and an excellent vantage point for those who raise their heads carefully above the railings to look upstream where a few large fish are usually feeding). The river directly above this bridge is harder to access as it flows for part of the way through a steep gorge.The Crooked is a reasonable size river and has a number of long clear glides where fish can be spotted in the blue tinted water. The very clear water is often much deeper than it first appears and the fish may be lying lower than anticipated. Long leaders and a stealthy approach are necessary.
Fish numbers and size There are good numbers of fish in the Crooked especially when late in the season when they move up the river to spawn.
Ease of fishing The lower reaches can be fished by boat. The middle reaches are easy to fish with wide open banks but above the confluence with the Evans River it becomes more challenging.
Access Access is via the Moana - Rotomanu Road for the middle and lower reaches and the Rotomanu - Kopara Rd for the first section of the upper reaches. The headwaters require some walking. See the Crooked River access map.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: 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 March Brown all work well at all times of the day.

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and sedge emerger patterns work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are particularly effective when fishing the evening rise at the mouth of the river where it enters the lake or anywhere along the middle section below the confluence with the Evans River.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished upstream into the faster water or through the deep pools are best for this small river.

Tributaries The only tributaries of note is the Evans River which is an important spawning stream but has limited appeal to the angler as it generally holds a small number of fish.
Applicable to Crooked River
Region West Coast

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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