Waters: Karamea and Hokitika Rivers
This region extends some 800 kms from Karamea to Haast covering 2
million hectares of pristine wilderness.
The Coast offers a great range of challenging sport
fishing experiences with literally hundreds of lakes, rivers and
streams to provide a lifetime of angling.
The Karamea River delivers wilderness fishing at its very best.
Both the Karamea and the Mokihinui rivers have a well-deserved
reputation as wild, scenic brown trout fisheries. Big brown
cruisers inhabit the deeper pools, moving sideways and then
darting upwards to seize drifting insect larvae. You have to work
hard to place a nymph above them but when they strike you feel
that exhilarating throbbing pull as the fish rushes downstream.
The Grey River boasts one of the highest catch rates in this
region. It would take several weeks to do justice to all the
angling options on this river, including the spring and rain-fed
tributaries of Lake Brunner and the wonderful Arnold River.
Spinning and bait fishing are popular in the lower Grey River and
after Christmas those delectable sea run salmon travel upstream
to their traditional spawning grounds.
The Hokitika River has everything to please the ardent angler
with sea run browns and salmon in spring and summer as well as
good fighting rainbows in the upper reaches. The Whitcombe River
provides good threadline fishing in deep pools that release
magnificent fish. South of the Hokitika a dinghy becomes useful
on idyllic natural lakes such as Ianthe, Mapourika, Moeraki and
Paringa. These oases of peace and solitude are all well suited to
spinning or casting along the bush-fringed margins with a dry fly
or bully imitation.
South of the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, the itinerant angler
will discover unlimited new fishing water. The Haast River
emerges from the grandeur of South Westland rainforest and joins
the Landsborough River to form a most accessible and breathtaking
backcountry waterway. These rivers never fail to delight the
With all West Coast rivers it should be noted that heavy rainfall
produces flood conditions, which can quickly become hazardous.
Remarkably the rivers drain equally fast and soon return to a
Guided backcountry fly-fishing by helicopter, boat or 4WD vehicle
can be arranged in Greymouth, Westport, Hokitika, Haast and Lake