HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishInangahua River

Inangahua River


A large tributary of the lower Buller River, the Inangahua River is an excellent fishery providing many kilometres of excellent fishing for a good population of brown trout.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation The small town of Reefton is mid-way along the Inangahua River and makes for an excellent base as does the town of Inangahua which is at the confluence with the Buller. Westport is approximately 35 minutes and Murchison 30 minutes drive.
Setting The Inangahua rises in the Victoria Range near the small settlement of Springs Junction. It flows through mostly open country to join the Buller River at Inangahua township. This is a beautiful river to fish.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast

View the rainfall and river level

Description The Inangahua runs over a bed of stone and gravel. In the lower reaches before it joins the Buller it has many wide expanses where the water is fairly shallow and offers good sport to both fly and spin fishing. All along this area however there are deeper runs where the numerous trout tend to congregate. Fish tend to rise freely through these stretches making it an ideal spot for the dry fly enthusiast. As one moves upstream there are numerous deeper pools punctuated by long glides and riffles.

The middle section has some challenging water especially around the confluence with Larry's Creek where the water is faster and deeper. Above the township of Reefton there are many excellent areas to fish with easy access from the road. Downstream from Reefton is more challenging however. The headwaters are a mixture of glides and pools punctuated by some faster water. The Inangahua generally has slightly coloured water which makes the spotting of the fish more difficult. The fish however seem to be less concerned by the presence of anglers and cooperate accordingly when a fly is well presented. A great river to fish.

Fish numbers and size In the middle and lower reaches fish stocks are high with most being in the 2 -3lb range. There are many larger fish however especially in the middle reaches.
Ease of fishing This is mostly an easy river to fish though due to the diversity of water it offers there are places that suit all levels of angling skills.
Access Access to most sections of the river is via Highway 69 (between Inangahua township and Reefton) for the middle and lower reaches and State Highway 7 between Reefton and Springs Junction for the upper reaches. See the Inangahua River access map.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: This river responds best to lightly weighted nymphs such as size 14 - 16 Hare and Coppers, Pheasant Tail, or any green Stonefly patterns. (more weight may be required to get to the larger fish in the deeper pools and runs).

Dry flies: Coch-y-Bondhu, Molefly, Royal Wulff and Humpy patterns can work well when fished over riffles. Small sizes work best in the shallow waters but try a bushier palmered type fly in the more robust rapids.

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and sedge emerger patterns in size 14 work well when fished sub-surface especially during the evening or early morning. During the day bigger patterns such as a Woolly Bugger or Red Setter .

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished into the faster water or through the deep pools are best in the upper reaches. Toby patterns can also be effective near the confluence with the Buller or in any slower moving pool especially between October to December.

Tributaries The Inangahua has several tributaries that are worth exploring by anglers. These include the Waitahu River, Te Wharau River and Larry's Creek.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Inangahua River (Lower) except between Perseverance Bridge and the Buller confluence
Region West Coast
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sportsfish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Inangahua River (Lower) from Perseverance Bridge to Buller confluence
Region West Coast

Trout: All year

Salmon: 1 Oct-30 Apr

Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sportsfish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit

Other fishing waters of the region