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Taramakau River Trout Fishing

The Taramakau River is a large river that holds a reasonable number of brown trout, some rainbow and a few salmon between Jan to April.


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Fish type The Taramakau holds brown trout with some rainbows in the upper reaches. A small run of salmon is also possible in mid to late summer.
Situation The lower reaches of the Taramakau lie approximately 12kms south of Greymouth and 18kms north of Hokitika.
Setting The Taramakau is a large river that rises in the Dampier and Crawford Ranges and flows west to join the Tasman near the small settlement of Kumara Junction. In the headwaters it is a small river flowing quickly over a boulder and stone bed. Downstream from the junction with the Otira River it widens and becomes a braided river for a while and flows over a shingle bed. The last section of the river is wide and less appealing to the angler though this section does have some salmon runs between Jan and April and can also have large sea-run trout at times.

Upper Taramakau River maps

Access map
Access map with topography

Lower Taramakau River  maps

Access map
Access map with topography

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

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View MetService weather forecast for Hokitika or Greymouth.

F&G pamphlet West Coast Sports Fisheries access pamphlet  >>>
Description The Taramakau is a river of contrasts. The lower reaches below Kumara are of limited interest to the angler. The middle reaches have a range of long glides, rapids and deep pools flowing over a wide bed through reasonably open land that hold a good number of fish (mostly brown trout). The upper reaches has the most interesting fishing water however with good fish numbers and can provide the occassional large rainbow trout in a lovely backcountry setting. All levels of skill and all methods are catered for on this river somewhere.
Fish numbers and size There are reasonable numbers of fish in the Taramakau with the upper reaches providing the best fishing with a greater number of medium sized fish with some larger rainbow trout also present. Sea-run fish can be caught in the lower reaches in spring and early summer.
Ease of fishing The river is easy to fish in the lower and middle reaches with the more remote upper reaches providing more challenging fishing for the competent angler.
Access The lower reaches are reached via State Highway 6 though the better fishing in the middle reaches is accessed via highway 73 that turns inland at Kumara Junction.The upper reaches and headwaters need to be walked into.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tail and Caddis imitations all work well in sizes 14 or smaller. Use smaller flies in the headwater region. Some weight will be required in the larger pools and faster water in the middle reaches.

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

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and sedge emerger patterns work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are particularly effective when fishing the evening rise. Large flies such as a Parson's Glory or Grey Ghost are excellent when the trout are chasing the whitebait in the lower reaches and estuary. Use large dark patterns such as a Hairy Dog or Scotch Poacher during the night.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished upstream into the faster water or through the deep pools. Bright spinners such as a Silver Toby or Cobra work well in the lower reaches when the whitebait are running.

Tributaries The main tributary is the Otira which joins near Aickens. The Otira provides reasonable fishing especially early and late in the season.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Taramakau River upstream of Bridge at Jacksons
Region West Coast >>>
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artifical fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sports fish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Taramakau River downstream of Bridge at Jacksons
Region West Coast >>>

Trout: All year

Salmon: 1 Oct-30 Apr

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




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