HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishKokatahi River

Kokatahi River


The Kokatahi River is a medium sized river offering good fishing for reasonable sized trout in clear water.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation 20kms from Hokitika
Setting The Kokatahi River rises in  the hills to the east of Hokitika and flows west to join the Hokitika River approximately 12kms from where it enters the Tasman Sea.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description The Kokatahi above the Styx confluence has good water that runs through bush-lined valleys over a stable shingle bed in the section below the first gorge. In the lower reaches from where the Styx joins the river to the Hokitika River however it tends to run over unstable shingle beds that are flood prone and provide poor trout habitat. The lower sections can be dirty after rain but higher sections tend to remain clear.
Fish numbers and size In the lower reaches fish numbers are low. There is a good population in the upper reaches and some of the tributaries with fish being mostly in the 2-4lb range.
Ease of fishing A reasonable river to fish in the middle reaches from the Styx to the first gorge and very challenging in the remoter upper reaches.
Access Access to most of the river is via the small side roads that lead of the Upper Kokatahi road that follows the river upstream for about 10kms. See the Kokatahi River access map.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small unweighted nymphs such as Pheasant Tail variants and Hares Ear, Hare and Copper in the upper reaches and larger sizes of the same flies in the middle and lower reaches.

Dry flies: Cicada patterns are very effective from late summer and beetle patterns work well in early summer.

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and emerger Sedge patterns work well when fished sub-surface. These flies work well when fishing the evening rise which can be particularly good on warm windless evenings.

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

Tributaries The Kokatahi has several tributaries all of which offer good and varied fishing. These are the Styx, the Toaroha and Duck Creek. There are also a number of other tributaries such as Harris Creek, Arthur Creek and Murray Creek that are worth exploring especially when the main river is dirty as they tend to remain clear most of the year and despite their sizes contain good trout populations.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Kokatahi River upstream of Styx confluence
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 Kokatahi River downstream of Styx confluence
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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