trout and rainbow trout can be caught throughout the year though the
big fish enter this river from late autumn and winter.
Hinemaiaia is an inflowing eastern tributary of Lake Taupo which
joins Lake Taupo at the settlement of Hatepe just off SH1.
It drains the western boundary of Kaimanawa Forest Park between
the Waitahanui and Waipehi watersheds, flows north-west until it
enters Lake Taupo. The Hinemaiaia has three hydro stations, the
first of which acts as a barrier to fish moving upstream to spawn.
Consequently winter fishing (which coincides with the spawning runs)
is restricted to the section below the main highway bridge.
map with topography
topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260
||View the MetService
weather forecast for Taupo.
||The hydro stations on the Hinemaiaia
tend to keep the water flow constant even after heavy rain. Consequently
the Hinemaiaia is less prone to becoming discoloured after rain and
is often fishable when other rivers have become swollen and dirty.
Also, the regular release of water from the dams acts in much the
same way as a fresh in other rivers and so encourages regular runs
of fish to move into the river from the lake.
The lower reaches
of the Hinemaiaia offers great flyfishing as the fish make their
spawning migrations up the river between April and September. The
river is ideal for nymph fishing, though those wishing to wetline
for fish can also have success. The water is generally very clear.
Trees on the bank sometimes restrict casting
but tracks follow both banks of the river for many kilometers. You
may experience underwater snags along the length of this river as
it holds logs and other debris washed down in times of flood. Hooked
fish often find freedom by fleeing under bankside vegetation and
snagging lines or other hooks on branches in the water. For this
reason some anglers prefer to only use one fly when fishing the
|At the mouth
The mouth is
a favourite fishing spot, especially after dark when the fish are
running. It also fishes well during the summer, peaking in late
March and April. Locals tend to try and fish this mouth on very
dark nights and after there has been a good westerly wind to bring
fish to the river mouth.
You can drive to the mouth of the Hinemaiaia.
See the access
The runs just above the mouth are best suited
to downstream lure fishing (wetlining) but above this, fishing with
well sunk nymphs is the most popular and effective method. As the
trout lie in the deeper parts of pools or under the river bank and
will not rise far, you need to get your fly close to the bottom
whatever method you are using. When nymphing this means that
either you use a heavy nymph (usually with a light unweighted nymph
tied about 45cm below that) or put some split-shot on the leader
to ensure the fly gets to the bottom. When wetlining John
Kent recommends roll-casting or floating your line downstream
and retrieving it slowly and deeply against the banks.
This section of the river is easliy accessed
via Rereahu Avenue which turns of State Highway 1 about 350 metres
south of the Bridge. There are several small lanes and roads that
lead to the river where there are places to park your car. The river
is well serviced with lanes and tracks allowing the whole section
to be accessed on foot. See the access
Above the Hatepe
bridge on SH1 are some moderately deep holes and good lies against
the bank. However, in some sections, trees can impede casting. Despite
some bank erosion and deterioration, there is good nymph and downstream
lure fishing at times. Although some trout can be spotted, many
lie hidden under the banks. Snags are a real problem and consequently
many anglers prefer to use only ony fly as any reasonable sized
trout will find plenty of ways to hook a trailing fly on the large
number of subsurface obstacles.
From the south side of the Hatepe bridge on SH1,
take the track that runs upstream on the true
left bank. This track takes you to the limit of the fishing
on the Hinemaiaia (about 3kms above the bridge). The river is wadeable
and can be crossed in many places. See the access
Because of the
hydro-electric power dam, the upper reaches do not offer rewarding
fishing, though the middle dam holds small rainbow and the top dam
holds brook trout.
You need to obtain permission and directions
from Taupo Electricity in Manuka Street, Taupo.
Middle dam: From a side road near Hatepe.
Top dam: From Hatepe hydro road, south of Taupo Airport.
See the access
|Fish numbers and size
||Trout of around 2kg in weight make
their spawning migration up the river. The runs are spread out between
April and November with the main rainbow runs between June and October.
Runs are stimulated by rain (a fresh) and cooler water temperatures
though as noted above, the river level fluctauations caused by the
hydro dams can artificailly induce migratory runs into the river as
For nymph fishing:
A 5 to 7 weight rod.
A floating line.
A weighted nymph with lighter nymphs tied below.
Leader 4-4.5 metres in length and 2.5-4 kg strength.
An indicator (to detect strikes)
For wetfly fishing:
A 6 or 7 weight rod.
A medium to fast sinking line.
A short tippet of 2-2.5 metres.
Hare and Copper,
and Pheasant Tail
Use smaller flies such as
Red Setter and Rabbit
patterns, in sizes 6-10. Also Parson's
Glory, Mrs Simpson,
Killer. During the night when fishing the rip at the mouth or
larger pools in the river use dark
patterns such as Scotch
Poacher, Hairy Dog
or a Black Rabbit
Smaller patterns (wee-wets) such as Invicta,
March Brown and
Glory can be very effective, especially on a warm summers evening.
Dry fly: In the summer
when fishing for the resident fish try Coch-y-Bondu,
cicada patterns and
Daddy Long Legs
during the warmer months; and try small dries in the Greenwell's
Glory or March
Brown varieties at other times.
There are no
tributaries of note.
fishery area regulations
Above the lower
(HB) dam and the hydro lakes:
Fly, spinner, and boat fishing are permitted.
From the river mouth to the lower (HB) dam:
Fly fishing only, no boat fishing
|Size limit (cm)
fishery area regulations
||1 Dec-31 May except
for the area between the lower hydro-electric supply dam (commonly
called HB Dam) and the sign that is situated approximately 300m downstream
from the powerhouse, which is closed all year.
|Size limit (cm)