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Whangamoa River Trout Fishing

The Whangamoa River is an easily accessed river with a low number of fish that can be spotted and fished to in the clear water.


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Fish type, number and size The Whangamoa holds brown trout in low numbers but sizes are generally in the 2 - 4lb range.
Situation The Whangamoa is approximately 30 minutes drive from Nelson.
Setting A small river that flows from the Bryant range to enter the sea at the Whangamoa Heads near the Marlborough Sounds.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Nelson.

A small clear river that flows over a rocky bed between banks covered with good vegetation cover for the fish. It is easy to wade. The fishing is difficult in the headwaters but much easier in the lower reaches. The Whangamoa is best fished either early or late in the season.


Access is easy as the river flows alongside the Nelson-Blenheim Highway (State Highway 6) for much of its length with the more attractive waters of the lower reaches accessed via Kokorua  Road.

See the access map

Recommended lures

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

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

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and emerger sedge patterns such as Invicta work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are lethal when fishing the evening rise.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished into the faster water or through the deep pools are best for this small river.

Applicable to Whangamoa River
Region Nelson/Marlborough >>>
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2 (with only one fish exceeding 500mm in length)
Size limit (cm) No minimum size








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