township of Te Kuiti, the Mangaokewa provides many kilometres
of interesting water for both the spin fisherman and the fly
fisherman. Those venturing into the upper reaches generally
prefer to use either nymph or dry fly.
These middle and upper reaches flow over
a gravel and rock bed and through a mixture of bushland and
open farmland. It always carries some colour making fish difficult
to spot in its waters. The water is a mixture of long riffles,
rapids and deep pools and holds a very good population of
mostly rainbow trout. Late in the season there can be a run
of larger fish as they move up the river to spawn.
Approximately 5 km upstream along the Te
Kuiti-Bennydale road a small side road leads to the Mangaokewa
Scenic Reserve, an open area often used by picnickers. While
good fishing can be found at this section, it is best to use
it as a place to park the car and then walk either upstream
or downstream from there. As fish are difficult to spot, this
water needs to be fished blind. It is excellent nymph and
dry fly water however with fish rising freely especially in
the warmer months or during overcast conditions.
The river quickly discolours after rain
and can become unfishable for a time. However, the headwaters
clear reasonably quickly.
The best access is from the Mangaokewa
Scenic Reserve, about 4 km south of Te Kuiti on SH30 (the
Te Kuiti to Bennydale road). A track then follows the river
The headwaters are remote and permission
from their landowners is often required. Alternatively, you
can walk along the river bank and access the fishing that