HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishHeaphy River

Heaphy River


The Heaphy River is an important fishery that runs along the southern section of the world famous Heaphy Track providing anglers with excellent wilderness fishing.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation The Heaphy River enters the sea approximately 40kms north of the small settlement of Karamea
Setting The Heaphy is set in what many regard as one of the most beautiful regions in the country. The Heaphy track follows the river for around 11kms. The reaches above this are very remote and inaccessible.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description A beautiful river flowing through pristine native forest. Generally very clear and flowing over a stone and shingle bed, this is a great river to fish to sighted fish. The only downside is the number of others who are walking the track (so expect to be asked "if you have caught anything?").
Fish numbers and size There are moderate numbers of fish in the river that are easily spotted. They are mostly in the 2 -4lb range, though do grow bigger especially in the headwaters.
Ease of fishing A reasonably easy river to fish for those walking the track.
Access Access to this river can be gained by walking the Heaphy Track or by helicopter.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasants Tails, Hare's Ear, Gold Bead Hare and Copper, all work well in sizes 14 or smaller.  Use very light leader material in this clear water

Dry flies: Small winged patterns such as Greenwell's Glory, March Brown or Adams or Royal Wulff.  Green Beetles are effective in early summer and Cicada patterns from late summer are effective.

Wet flies: Small wet flies such as March Brown, Greenwell's Glory or sedge / caddis emerger patterns work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are particularly effective when fishing the evening rise.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners such as Veltic or Mepps fished upstream into the faster water or through the deep pools.

Applicable to Heaphy 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


NZFishing.com is the complete guide to New Zealand trout and salmon fishing.

Advertise Here