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
The Haast is in a beautiful
setting as it flows down from the Southern Alps on the boundary
of the Mount Aspiring National Park.
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 to the lower reaches
is from State Highway 6. See the Haast River access
Larger dark patterns in the style of Hare
and Copper, Pheasants
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
Fish bushier flies over the faster water as these can somtimes
induce a fish to rise though this is not a river suited to
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.
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