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Little Wanganui River

A small river that flows through bush, the Little Wanganui River provides a wilderness fishing experience for those willing to walk into the middle and upper reaches.

 

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Fish type There are good numbers of brown trout, mostly in the 2 -4lb range , though there are also some very large sea-run fish in the lower reaches and esturine area and the upper reaches hold some large trout in the pools.
Situation

The Little Wanganui River drains the Scarlett and Allen Ranges and flows west to enter the Tasman Sea just north of Westport. The river flows through beautiful virgin bush and the water is generally clear enough to be able to spot fish.

It takes about 50 minutes to reach the Little Wanganui from Westport and around 15 minutes from Karamea.

Maps

Access map

Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Westport.
F&G pamphlet West Coast Sports Fisheries access pamphlet  >>>
Description The lower reaches flow over  shingle and can get dirty at times. This section is best for spinning for the large sea-run trout that move into these reaches, especially when the whittebait are running. The middle and upper reaches are much more suited to fly fishing however being mostly clear water flowing over a stone and gravel bed and through pristine native bush.
Access

The lower reaches are easy to fish but the upper reaches require considerable walking and wading.

Access to the river is via State Highway 67. A small side road leads off from the highway and follows the river to the beginning of the Wangapeka Track for most of its length.

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tail and Caddis imitations all work well in sizes 14 or smaller.

Dry flies: Small flies such as Royal Wulff, Hardies Favourite, Dad's Favourite and March Brown all work well at all times of the day. Fish bushier flies such as Coch-y-bondhu and Humpy over the faster water.

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and sedge emerger patterns patterns work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are particularly effective when fishing the evening rise. Large flies such as Parson's Glory and Grey Ghost are good when fishing the lower reaches when the whitebait are running.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished upstream into the faster water or through the deep pools. Also try spinners such as Cobra and Tobys in the lower reaches when the whitebait enter the river.

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Little Wanganui River upstream of the cableway
Region West Coast  >>>
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artifical fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sports fish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Little Wanganui River downstream of the cableway
Region West Coast  >>>
Season

Trout: All year

Salmon: 1 Oct-30 Apr

Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Brown trout: 4
Rainbow trout: 2
Salmon: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit

 

 

 

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