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Haast River Trout Fishing

The Haast River is large and although holds reasonable stocks of fish is difficult to fish. Its many tributaries provided excellent fishing however.


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Fish type Brown trout
Situation The Haast River flows into the Tasman Sea near the small township of Haast in the southern area of the West Coast. Although the main West Coast Highway runs alongside the river for several kilometres in the lower reaches, it is still a wild and challenging river to fish.
Setting The Haast is in a beautiful setting as it flows down from the Southern Alps on the boundary of the Mount Aspiring National Park.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Hokitika.
F&G pamphlet West Coast Sports Fisheries access pamphlet  >>>
Description A big flood prone river that flows over an unstable bed of stone and gravel. The water is generally coloured with silt from glacial runoff and so makes for difficult fishing conditions.
Fish numbers and size Fish numbers are not high in the main river as it has an unstable bed and is prone to flooding especially during the early part of the season when the snow melt fills the river.
Ease of fishing A difficult river to fish due to the silt coloured water and the large unstable bed.
Access Access to the lower reaches is from State Highway 6. See the Haast River access map.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Larger dark patterns in the style of Hare and CopperPheasants Tails or Hare's Ear that have enough weight to get down to the fish are good in the lower reaches where the water carries a lot of colour. Smaller nymphs in sizes 12 - 14 work well in the cleaner headwaters

Dry flies: Fish bushier flies over the faster water as these can somtimes induce a fish to rise though this is not a river suited to dry fly.

Wet flies: Larger wet flies such as Hamills Killer or Mrs Simpson. Try a whitebait imitation such as a Grey Ghost or Parsons's Glory at the mouth of the river or in the lower tidal section when the whitebait are running

Spinners: Large bladed spinners  such as Veltic or Mepps in sizes 3 or larger or a Black Toby 12 gram or similar patterns fished through the deep pools or though the faster water. Use darker colours such as green and black when spinning. Spinners are best in the lower reaches and particularly in the tidal section as these can attract sea run trout or other fish such as Kahawai.

Biosecurity requirements
Biosecurity Because of the presence of the invasive alga didymo in these waters, anglers must clean their fishing gear including waders and boots, especially when moving between rivers. See Didymo Biosecurity Alert for details.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Haast River upstream of Pleasant Flat Bridge
Region West Coast >>>
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artifical fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sportsfish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Haast River downstream of Pleasant Flat Bridge
Region West Coast >>>

Trout: All year

Salmon: 1 Oct-30 Apr

Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sportsfish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit





Aspiring Fly Fishing

Aspiring Fly Fishing


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