Despite its relatively easy access, the
Awakino offers an almost wilderness experience in the headwaters
above Mahoenui Bridge. In these upper reaches the river flows
over farmland on the left bank, with native bush to the water's
edge on the right bank. The river in this section flows over
shingle and rock and is a series of easy rapids and long gliding
pools. It provides the angler with easy wading along most
of its length though there are some very deep pools in places.
Expect to share your fishing experience with a variety of
native birds and the occasional goat that will come down through
the bush to the waters edge to drink.
Note: At the end of Gribbons Road the river flows over farmland before it enters bushland. Although there is a DoC track up to the hut at Leitches landing it is asked that you phone the farmers Chris and Jan Barker on 07 877 8746 to enquire about local conditions and ask for permission before crossing the farm land. (There is no cellphone coverage up this valley so phone before arriving). Please ask the Barkers for permission to camp on their farm. They do not charge a fee for this, but would appreciate a donation for a charity ORA: Hope for Every Child.
They do not charge a fee for this but do appreciate a donation for their charity ORA: Hope for Every Child.
The upper reaches of the Awakino are highly
regarded and are restricted to fly fishing. The river is easily
wadeable and is ideal dry fly and nymph water. Those wishing
to float a dry fly over likely water can also do very well
especially in the evening when there can be a spectacular
evening rise. Generally the water is quite clear, allowing
fishermen to spot fish in the water. Much of the water flows
between tree lined banks however and the shadow cast does
restrict the spotting opportunities somewhat. Consequently
most anglers fish this section blind.
Fish numbers and size
Although trout numbers are low the fish
can be large, making for an exciting fishing experience.
Above the Mahoenui Bridge, Gribbon Road
runs alongside the river on the true right bank for several
kilometres and then a DOC walking track follows the river
to its headwaters. To reach the track you need to pass through
private property, so please contact the landowner (at the
end of Gibbon's Road) for permission. There are several good
camping sites and, at Leitches Clearing at the end of the
track, there is a well-maintained hut.
See the access