HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishRoaring Lion

Roaring Lion

A large tributary of the Karamea, the wonderfully named Roaring Lion offers the chance for anglers to fish for trophy-sized brown trout in a pristine wilderness environment.

Backcountry fishery The Roaring Lion River is designated a backcountry fishery requiring all anglers to obtain a backcountry licence.
Fish type The number of brown trout is high and the average size is around 4lb. This river also holds some trophy size fish.
Situation The Roaring Lion River is located in the heart of the Kahurangi National Park. It flows south from the Tasman Mountain Range to enter the Karamea near a series of small lakes formed by the large earthquakes in 1929 and 1968. It is a very rugged river that offers challenging fishing for the most adventurous anglers. Highly recommended as a wilderness river where large fish can be spotted and fished to.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description The Roaring Lion is a big river and in its lower reaches can be tricky to fish due to its depth and power. The river flows over a rock and stone bed through bush covered valleys. There are few defined walkways making this river more challenging to fish. The river is made up of long powerful glides, rapids and deep pools. Easier fishing however is found throughout its length though due to its isolation, extreme care should be taken.
Ease of fishing A challenging river to fish.
Access Several well marked and maintained tracks lead into this area. Those wishing to tramp in can expect a 1 - 2 day walk. Otherwise you will need to charter a helicopter.
Recommended lures Nymphs: Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tail and Caddis imitations all work well in sizes 14 or smaller.

Dry flies: Small flies such as Royal Wulff, Hardies Favourite, Dad's Favourite and March Brown all work well at all times of the day in the quieter water. Fish bushier flies (sizes 10 -14) such as Coch-y-Bondhu and Humpy over the faster water.

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and sedge emerger patterns work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are particularly effective when fishing the evening rise.

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

Applicable to Roaring Lion 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