HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishWaitakere (Nile) River

Waitakere (Nile) River

The Waitakere or Nile river is small and provides good fishing for brown trout in a beautiful environment.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation The lower reaches are about 24kms from Westport.
Setting The Waitakere rises in the Paparoa Range and flows north west to join the Tasman Sea just south of Westport. Mostly it runs through very isolated native bush.

Access map

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Description For most of its length, the Waitakere River is very challenging to fish as it runs though virgin native forest and can be swift and rough in many places. It flows over a boulder and stone bed and offers the angler a series of rapids, glides and deep pools. Anglers prepared to walk however can find many open spaces in which to fish.
Fish numbers and size Good numbers of fish mostly in the 2-4lb range.
Ease of fishing In the lower reaches the Waitakere is easy to fish with either a spinner or fly. The middle reaches and headwaters are very challenging however and for the most fit and adventurous angler.
Access The lower reaches can be accessed via State Highway 6. A small side road (Darkies Terrace Rd) takes you about 4kms inland from the mouth. The upper reaches require some walking
Recommended lures Nymphs: Small Hare and Copper, Pheasants Tail variants and any small straggly looking nymph in small sizes (size 16 preferred) work well. Some weight may be required in the deeper and faster sections.

Dry flies: Small winged patterns such as Greenwell's Glory, March Brown or Adams are all effective. Green Beetles are effective in early summer and Cicada patterns from late summer are very effective. Use bushy flies in the faster boisterous water.

Wet flies: Small wet flies such as March Brown, Greenwell's Glory or sedge emerger patterns work well throughout the days when fished under the ample vegetation and are particularly effective in the evening rise. Large flies such as Dorothy, Parson's Glory and Grey Ghost can be very effective when the whitebait are running in the lower reaches and the estuary.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners such as Veltic or Mepps but in the lower reaches use a Silver Toby when the whitebait are running.

Applicable to Waitakere 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

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