Ruakituri River fly fishing for trout with River Fishing NZ

About trout fly fishing the Ruakituri River

Tony General

For overnight or multi-night guided trout fly fishing trips we highly recommend visiting the famous Ruakituri River in northern Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Angling on the river is restricted to fly fishing only, with the use of spinners prohibited.

The Ruakituri River is known by anglers far and wide as the home of some of the strongest, wildest trout in New Zealand. Let this be your trout fishing trip of a lifetime.

Ruakituri River Map on River Fishing NZ
Location of the Ruakituri River, New Zealand

The Ruakituri River traverses through vastly different landscapes over its length. The isolated river rises in the remote Urewera National Park north of Lake Waikaremoana, draining the Huiarau Range and flowing for many kilometres through rugged and remote bush-clad backcountry.

The headwaters of the river are a rugged wilderness area with steep gorges and recommended for active anglers only, who are proficient in bushcraft and prepared to tramp. Helicopter landings are not permitted.

More accessible stretches of the upper, middle and lower reaches of the river are predominately surrounded by native bush and farmland areas, providing superb fly fishing for over 30km.

Enjoy real backcountry wilderness fishing and the chance to catch a magnificent trophy brown or rainbow trout, staying in comfortable ‘shearers quarters’ farm accommodation, on a remote sheep and cattle station on the upper reaches above the Erepeti Gorge.

The unique Ruakituri River is a must-fish spot in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Stay in farm accommodation above the Erepeti Gorge.

Most trout are caught in the Ruakituri on well-weighted caddis & mayfly nymphs. On summer evenings there is often an active splashy caddis rise on some of the more quietly flowing pools.

Fishing season: 1 Oct-30 June. Fly fishing only

About the Ruakituri River reaches

Upper reaches: Te Urewera National – Waitangi Falls

The headwaters of the Ruakituri are isolated, with the river flowing for many kilometres through thick bush and, rugged and remote backcountry. This part of the river is difficult to access and requires considerable walking. The waters in this section can be crystal clear. Only rainbow trout are present in this section of river. The upper river and headwaters are classed as a ‘wilderness fishing’ area, known for its impressive scenery and trout size. On average trout caught in this area weigh between 2- 3 kg, however many weighing 5 kg plus are caught each year.

Middle reaches: Waitangi Falls – Ruakituri Bridge

This section of river is characterised by bush and farmland, is as known as open and easy to fish. The water is a series of pools, rapids and long flat areas. The area is generally very accessible, making it the most popular section for angling on the river. There are high numbers of both brown and rainbow trout present in the middle reaches, which average around 2 kg in size.

Lower reaches: Ruakituri Bridge – Erepeti road junction

This section of river is wide and slow. The surrounding landscape is mostly farmland. Both brown and rainbow trout present in this section of river, which on average are between 1 – 2 kg in size.


Let us guide you on a trout fishing day trip or multi-day fly fishing backcountry adventure designed to suit your style, ability & time. Book or enquire about fly fishing for trout in Hawkes Bay with Tony Hildesheim today.