HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishLa Fontaine Stream

La Fontaine Stream


The La Fontaine Stream is regarded as one of the best dry fly and nymph streams on the West Coast for wild hard fighting brown trout.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation Approximately 58kms south of Hokitika
Setting A beautiful spring fed small river that flows gently from an area of wetland near the township of Harihari over open land to join the Wanganui River about 8kms upstream from where it enters the Tasman Sea.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description Regarded as one of the finest dry fly fishing rivers in the South Island the La Fontaine is a river to challenge the even the most experienced angler. The water is generally lightly coloured and flows between banks which provide good cover for the fish. The water has prolific insect life and the trout seem to thrive in its waters. The river is quite short (about 16kms) but is fishable for most of its length. The trout are very wary however and although spotting them in the weedy water is possible, tempting them is much more difficult. A water for the purist who wishes to try their skills on good hard-fighting well conditioned fish.
Fish numbers and size Good fish numbers with fish in the 2 -6lb range
Ease of fishing Easy access though a river for the experienced angler with inexperienced anglers finding the fish challenging to catch
Access The Wanganui Flat Road and the La Fontaine road give access to most of the river though permission will be needed from land owners when crossing their land. See the La Fontaine access map.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Any lightly weighted or unweighted Caddis nymph, Pheasant Tail or Hare and Copper are favoured though they should be in small sizes (16 or even 18 is best) and fished with as light a leader as dared in this water.

Dry flies: Fish respond to dry flies such as Royal Wulff,  Adams,  Twilight Beauty throughout the day and into the evening when there can be an excellent rise. Keep sizes in the 16 to 18 range.

Wet flies: Small wets fished subsurface can be effective (such as Greenwell's Glory, Twilight Beauty or March Brown)

Spinners: Very small bladed spinners such as Veltic or Mepps are best but this is not a river best suited to spin fishing.

Applicable to La Fontaine Stream
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


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