HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishJacobs River

Jacobs River


Jacobs River (or Makawhio River) is a remote river that provides excellent fishing for large trout in a wide range of environments.

Fish type Brown trout with sea run fish in the estuary
Situation Approximately 28kms south of Fox Glacier
Setting Jacob's River is in a beautiful setting as it rises in the forest covered hills and flows through native bush to reach the Tasman sea.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast

The lower and middle reaches of the Jacob's River are generally slow moving between well vegetated banks. The river is wadeable in places and in fact the close vegetation does require the angler to fish from within the river in many places. Many areas are too deep however and so spinning from the bank is often the only viable method in this section.

Anglers who are prepared to walk into the headwaters for a few kilometers however are rewarded with excellent fly water.

Fish numbers and size The river holds good numbers of trout mostly in the 3 - 5lb range.
Ease of fishing A moderately difficult river to fish due to the abundant vegetation that lines both banks for much of its length. The fine grey sandy / gravel bed also makes the spotting of fish very difficult. Beware of any adverse weather on this river which can rise very rapidly after heavy rain.
Access State Highway 6 crosses the Jacob's River and there is a small side road  on the true left bank that takes the angler upstream for a few kilometers. The upper reaches can only be got to by walking. See the Jacobs River access map.
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.

Dry flies: Well hackled flies such as a Humpy, Blue Dun, Coch-y-Bondhu or Royal Wulff all work well at all times of the day when fished over the faster water. Green Beetles are effective in early summer and Cicada patterns from late summer are also very effective.

Wet flies: Small wets  and emerger Sedge patterns work well when fished sub-surface.  Larger flies such as  a Parsons' Glory or Grey Ghost are excellent when the trout are chasing the whitebait in the lower reaches and estuary. Use large dark patterns such as a Hairy Dog or Scotch Poacher during the night.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished upstream into the faster water or through the deep pools. Spinners such as Silver or Gold Toby's also work well in the lower reaches when the whitebait are running.

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Jacobs River upstream of State Highway No. 6
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 Jacobs River downstream of State Highway No. 6
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


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