The Wilkin is a medium sized
river by New Zealand standards and tends to be very large
and discoloured early in the season as snow melt adds a large
amount of glacial silt to the water. Consequently it is best
fished from January onwards. It also drains a large catchment
area and so with the frequent heavy rain in the area can rise
quickly and become a raging torrent at any time of the year.
The river flows drops quickly after rain however. Care needs
to be exercised when entering this area to fish.
The best fishing is upstream and requires a reasonable walk
to get to the best waters around the section known as Kerin
Forks. In this area there are long runs and stable pools in
which fish can be spotted when the water is clear. If a section
looks like it may hold a fish, do spend a bit of time fishing
it. Most fish are caught blind fishing especially in the faster
water where they can very difficult to spot. You can fish
up to a very steep sided gorge where the water is funnelled
through a narrow gap making fishing impossible.
This is a great river to fish flowing over a rock and stone
bed between beech lined valley slopes. There are good open
areas for fishing. Its beauty means that it is popular and
there is a popular tramping route along much of the best water
- be prepared to be asked "Have you caught anything yet?"
a number of times.
a challenging river to access and only those prepared to get
wet and are able to tramp some distance should contemplate
fishing it. To get to the Wilkin requires crossing the Makarora
- not an easy task even in the low water conditions of summer.
There is a ford across the Makarora about 2kms upstream from
the confluence with the Wilkin. But be very careful - the
river is cold and very powerful.
Alternativel get a boat to take you to
the confluence and up a section of the lower Wilkin (this
can be booked in Makarora settlement). And of course you can
either fly in by helicopter or even better, hire a guide and
let them arrange the transport for you.
This is great nymph water though
those wishing to fish with a dry fly will also do well.
This is great fly fishing country
and a 9 foot rod capable of casting a weight 6 - 7 line is ideal.
Most anglers fish with a floating line and indicator or large
dry fly / nymph combination. Length of leaders should be dependent
on water clarity (and the depth of the pools of course). The
clearer the water the longer the leader.
Attractor flies such as a Royal Wulff early in the season
with large bushy flies such as a Humpy
or cicada from
summer onwards. Also carry a blowfly
fly or two for summer fishing.
or even a red veltic
(afterall, these are mainly rainbow trout!)
There are a number of small
streams that enter the Hunter that provide excellent fishing
on small waters on their lower reaches (fish are stopped from
entering the upper sections of these small streams by waterfalls
a short distance from their confluence with the Hunter). Streams
worth investigating include the Siberia and Newlands