HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishHaast River

Haast River

The Haast River is large and although holds a small stock of trout is difficult to fish. Its many tributaries provided excellent fishing and these are of more interest to the angler. The Haast has a huge watershed and that combined with the high rainfall in the region means the river floods frequently. This has means the stony river bed is unstable with insect life being washed away providing difficult conditions for resident fish to thrive.

Fish type Brown trout and sea run trout at the mouth. A few salmon.
Situation The Haast River flows into the Tasman Sea near the small township of Haast in the southern area of the West Coast. Although the main West Coast Highway runs alongside the river for several kilometres in the lower reaches, it is still a wild and challenging river to fish.
Setting The Haast is in a beautiful setting as it flows down from the Southern Alps on the boundary of the Mount Aspiring National Park.

Access map

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Description A big flood prone river that flows over an unstable bed of stone and gravel. The water is generally coloured with silt from glacial runoff and so makes for difficult fishing conditions. The best fishing is to be had after long periods of dry clear weather. It is also a river where spin fishing is by far the most productive method.
Fish numbers and size Fish numbers are not high in the main river as it has an unstable bed and is prone to flooding especially during the early part of the season when the snow melt fills the river.
Ease of fishing A difficult river to fish due to the silt coloured water and the large unstable bed.
Access Access to the lower reaches is from State Highway 6. See the Haast River access map.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Larger dark patterns

Dry flies: Fish bushier flies over the faster water as these can sometimes induce a fish to rise when the river is reasonably clear though this is not a river suited to dry fly.

Wet flies: Larger wet flies such as Hamills Killer or Mrs Simpson. Try a whitebait imitation such as a Grey Ghost or Parsons's Glory at the mouth of the river or in the lower tidal section when the whitebait are running

Spinners: Large  Black Toby 12 gram or similar patterns fished through the deep pools or at the mouth. Spinners are best in the lower reaches and particularly in the tidal section as these can attract sea run trout or other fish such as Kahawai.

Biosecurity requirements
Biosecurity Because of the presence of the invasive alga didymo in these waters, anglers must clean their fishing gear including waders and boots, especially when moving between rivers. See Didymo Biosecurity Alert for details.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Haast River upstream of Pleasant Flat Bridge
Region West Coast
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sports-fish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Haast River downstream of Pleasant Flat Bridge
Region West Coast

Trout: All year

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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