Taramakau holds brown trout with some rainbows in the upper
reaches. A small run of salmon is also possible in mid to late
reaches of the Taramakau lie approximately 12kms south of Greymouth
and 18kms north of Hokitika.
The Taramakau is a large river
that rises in the Dampier and Crawford Ranges and flows west
to join the Tasman near the small settlement of Kumara Junction.
In the headwaters it is a small river flowing quickly over a
boulder and stone bed. Downstream from the junction with the
Otira River it widens and becomes a braided river for a while
and flows over a shingle bed. The last section of the river
is wide and less appealing to the angler though this section
does have some salmon runs between Jan and April and can also
have large sea-run trout at times.
The Taramakau is a river of
contrasts. The lower reaches below Kumara are of limited interest
to the angler. The middle reaches have a range of long glides,
rapids and deep pools flowing over a wide bed through reasonably
open land that hold a good number of fish (mostly brown trout).
The upper reaches has the most interesting fishing water however
with good fish numbers and can provide the occassional large
rainbow trout in a lovely backcountry setting. All levels of
skill and all methods are catered for on this river somewhere.
Fish numbers and size
There are reasonable numbers
of fish in the Taramakau with the upper reaches providing the
best fishing with a greater number of medium sized fish with
some larger rainbow trout also present. Sea-run fish can be
caught in the lower reaches in spring and early summer.
Ease of fishing
The river is easy to fish in
the lower and middle reaches with the more remote upper reaches
providing more challenging fishing for the competent angler.
The lower reaches are reached
via State Highway 6 though the better fishing in the middle
reaches is accessed via highway 73 that turns inland at Kumara
Junction.The upper reaches and headwaters need to be walked
Small nymphs such as Hare
and Copper, Pheasant
Tail and Caddis
imitations all work well in sizes 14 or smaller. Use smaller
flies in the headwater region. Some weight will be required
in the larger pools and faster water in the middle reaches.
bladed spinners (Mepps
or Veltic) fished
upstream into the faster water or through the deep pools.
Bright spinners such as a Silver
Toby or Cobra
work well in the lower reaches when the whitebait are running.
The main tributary is the Otira
which joins near Aickens. The Otira provides reasonable fishing
especially early and late in the season.