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Mangatainoka River Trout Fishing

The medium-sized Mangatainoka River is a highly rated and heavily fished river which is protected by a conservation order. It contains a very good population of fish throughout the system.

View Mangatainoka River photos

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Fish type Brown trout average 0.75-2 kg.
Situation The Mangatainoka flows north parallel to SH2 until it joins the upper Manawatu River south of Woodville at Ngawapurua.

Access map

Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Palmerston North.
F&G pamphlet Mangatainoka access pamphlet >>>

The Mangatainoka offers 45 km of fishable water. This water is highly recommended and will provide soemthing for all anglers and all levels of skill.

Upper reaches: The pools and bouldery runs of the upper reaches are unstable during floods. Anglers can expect good sight fishing early in the season near Putara, but as the river warms and the flow reduces later in the season the fish head downstream.

Middle and lower reaches: There is good fishing through out the year in the deep pools, long glides and shallow runs over a shingle base. Blind fly fishing and spin fishing are the methods of choice, and there is generally room for casting from at least one river bank. When you need to cross the river, especially in summer, beware of slippery stones (due to algal growth). When the water is clear fish can be spotted in the lies and pools. Look to see what they are feeding on and at what depth) and then try and match it.


There are many access points from roads running west off SH2, and at the many bridges which cross the river; and where SH2 crosses the river at Mangatainoka.

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small lightly coloured nymphs such as Pheasants Tail, Hare and Copper and Halfbacks during the brighter days with darker patterns as evening approaches. Some weight may be required to get the nymphs down in the pools on the warmer days when the trout may be lying low.

Dry flies: Large flies such as Humpies, Royal Wulff, and Caddis patterns throughout the season. Try beetle patterns around November to mid-December and Cicada, Cricket patterns and blowfly patterns through summer to early autumn during the days and sedge patterns in the early evening.

Wet flies: Small wee-wets in spider patterns and winged patterns fished across and down the faster water can be effective.

Spinners: Try small rapalas and bladed spinners such as a veltic.

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Mangatainoka River upstream of the Scarborough-Konini Road bridge
Region Wellington region regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2 fish
Size limit (cm) 450mm maximum
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Mangatainoka River downstream of the Scarborough-Konini Road bridge
Region Wellington region regulations
Season All year

Artificial fly, spinner

Bag limit 2 fish
Size limit (cm) 450mm maximum

A rainbow from the Mangantainoka (photo by Manawatu Fly Fishing)


Altitude Fly Fishing

Altitude Fly Fishing Guide

Andrew Watt

Manawatu Fly Fishing


Go Fish Kiwi

Go Fish Kiwi

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