Waters: Lake Tutira and the Tukituki River
This sun-drenched region embraces a number of significant rivers
flowing east from the Kaimanawa and Kaweka Ranges.
These are magnificent mountain rivers, which bubble along over
shingle beds. The water is clear enough to see big rainbows lying
in deep runnels and browns swinging to and fro in order to
intercept drifting nymphs. Sight fishing during the evening rise
on these superb rivers is a singular pleasure.
The Tukituki River along with its tributaries, is a major source
of sports fishing. The trout average 1.5 kg. and have a
reputation as frenzied fighters, peeling line off the reel at a
furious rate. The river flows down to Hawkes Bay through an
attractive landscape of summer-browned hills where willow-lined
banks offer the only shade. Rainbows can be tempted with a dry
fly or nymph during the day but they vigorously resist capture.
The Waipawa and Makaroro rivers contain rainbows and browns
averaging 1 kg. and browns over 4 kg. are taken regularly.
The Ngaruroro, Tutaekuri and Mohaka rivers are nationally rated
as top headwater fisheries and offer anglers great trophy trout
opportunities with relatively easy road access. The mighty Mohaka
is a long, powerful waterway that penetrates deep, boulder-strewn
gorges, which are often inaccessible to the angler. Very large
brown trout specimens inhabit the upper reaches and rainbows
predominate over many kilometres of fishable water further
downstream. The Ripia River holds both trout species averaging 1
kg. with much larger fish often taken.
Lake Tutira nestles between hills on the Napier-Wairoa highway.
It is a serene sanctuary for birds and a magical mecca for keen
anglers of all ages. Restocking takes place each year using
fingerling rainbows from the Greenmeadows Hatchery as well as
browns and sometimes tiger trout (brown-brook trout crosses). The
Kuripapango Lakes on the Napier-Taihape road have good quality
brown trout originally sourced from Loch Leven in Scotland. These
superb lake fish are renowned for their free-rising
Guided wilderness fishing by helicopter, raft or 4WD vehicle is
available in Napier, Hastings and Havelock North.