Fly fishing for trout in idyllic Hawkes Bay

Fly fishing for trout in idyllic Hawkes Bay

Grumpy McMurdo General

Hawkes Bay, located on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is a paradise for fly fishing enthusiasts. Renowned for its picturesque landscapes, temperate climate, and crystal-clear rivers and streams, this region offers a unique and unforgettable fly fishing experience.

The pristine waters of Hawkes Bay are teeming with brown and rainbow trout, making it an ideal destination for anglers of all levels. In this article, we will explore the best fly fishing spots, techniques, and tips for a successful trout fishing adventure in this stunning region.

Top Fly Fishing Spots in Hawkes Bay

The Tukituki River, situated near the charming town of Havelock North, is one of the most popular fly fishing destinations in Hawkes Bay. This river boasts healthy populations of both brown and rainbow trout. The upper reaches of the river, which can be accessed via the popular Red Bridge, offer anglers the opportunity to catch trophy-sized trout in a serene and scenic environment.

The Mohaka River, located in the Kaweka Forest Park, is a fly fishing paradise that offers breathtaking views and an abundance of trout. The upper Mohaka is known for its challenging waters and impressive brown trout population, while the lower reaches provide excellent opportunities for catching rainbow trout. The river’s remote location makes it perfect for those seeking a true wilderness fishing experience.

The Ngaruroro River is an excellent option for anglers looking for a diverse fly fishing experience. The river’s upper sections are home to a healthy population of brown trout, while its lower stretches are known for their prolific rainbow trout. Access to the upper Ngaruroro River can be gained via the remote Kuripapango campsite, offering anglers a unique backcountry fly fishing adventure.

Fly Fishing Techniques and Tips

Matching the Hatch: One of the keys to successful fly fishing in Hawkes Bay is matching the hatch. This means using flies that mimic the insects the trout are feeding on at any given time. For example, during the mayfly or caddis hatch, using dry flies that resemble these insects will significantly increase your chances of hooking a trout.

Nymphing: A popular technique for targeting trout in Hawkes Bay’s rivers and streams, nymphing involves using flies that imitate the aquatic nymph stage of insects. These flies are typically fished just below the water’s surface, and a strike indicator is often used to detect subtle takes by trout.

Streamer fishing: This is an effective technique for targeting aggressive, predatory trout in Hawkes Bay. This method involves using larger flies that imitate baitfish, such as smelt or small trout and can be particularly effective during the early and late season when trout are more likely to chase prey.

Local Knowledge

Local knowledge is invaluable when fly fishing in Hawkes Bay. Consider hiring local guide and Hawkes Bay fly fishing expert, Tony Hildesheim, who can share his expertise, recommend the best fly patterns, and help you find the most productive fishing spots. The Hunting & Fishing shop in Napier is also an excellent resource for up-to-date information on river conditions, hatches, and effective flies.


Fly fishing for trout in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, offers a thrilling and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. With its stunning scenery, diverse fly fishing opportunities, and healthy trout populations, Hawkes Bay is a must-visit destination for any serious fly fishing enthusiast. By utilising the right techniques and gaining local knowledge, you can maximize your chances of success on the water and create unforgettable memories in this beautiful corner of the world.

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.

Disclaimer: This article was created with assistance from GPT-4