HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishWaitangitaona River

Waitangitaona River

The Waitangitaona River is a spring fed river that provides top quality dry fly and nymph fishing in its clear waters. Fish are generally of a good size and easily spotted in the crystal clear water (but hard to catch). A river for the purist.

Fish type There are a good number of brown trout in the 2 -5lb range.
Situation 15 kms north of Franz Joseph
Setting The Waitangitaona (sometimes written as the Waitangi-Taona) is a medium sized river that usually runs very clear.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description As the Waitangitaona travels down from the hills it flows over mostly open tussock country. It is a fast river that bounces over a bed of rock and gravel and provides an ideal fishing habitat. It is surprisingly deep in places and invariably very cold.

The open aspect of the river means it is easy to fish but the crystal clear waters and wary fish mean that it is a challenging river to catch fish.

Access Turn of Highway 6 at Whataroa towards Rotokino and the Purcell and Gunn side roads give access to the river. Ask landowners permission before crossing private land.
Recommended lures Nymphs: Any caddis nymph, Pheasants Tail or Hare and Copper are favoured though they should be in a reasonable size such as 10 to 14. Use some weight to get them down in the faster water or pools where fish can be spotted. It will also be necessary to use quite long leaders in the clear water.

Dry flies: Fish respond to dry flies such as Adams, Geenwell's Glory, Dad's Favourite or Twilight Beauty throughout the day and into the evening when there can be an excellent rise. Keep well dressed flies in the 10 to 12 size range so that they remain visible in the fast boisterous water.

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.

Applicable to Waitangitaona 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


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