DANNY : DE HEKNotable Waters: Waingongoro and Manganuioteao Rivers

Taranaki offers a wide diversity of fishing experiences on pleasant streams and lakes that have virtually no angling pressure. Drive around the two ring roads that encircle Mt Taranaki (also known as Mt Egmont) and you are free to choose between forty small streams tumbling down the slopes and across the fertile plains. These ring plain clear water streams are great for sighting large brown trout in the upper reaches.

The Stony River is the pride and joy of local anglers, holding both brown and rainbow trout that often weigh 2 kg. or more. The Stony holds around 2-3 fish per pool in the meandering sections, but outsmarting these wily denizens is quite a challenge. The Waingongoro is also high in the popularity stakes, boasting up to 20 takeable trout per kilometre in the upper reaches. Below Eltham the river is stained with tannin, but it still supports the most productive rainbow trout fishery on the ring plain.

Wanganui fisheries include picturesque Virginia Lake, which is reserved for young people learning the sport of angling, and three lakes south of the city, which contain trout and perch. These are Lakes Wiritoa and Kohata with a good stock of perch, and Lake Namunamu, which holds good conditioned rainbows up to 2 kg.

The real angling gems of Taranaki region are wilderness rivers rising in Tongariro National Park. The Whanganui River offers wonderful trout fishing in its upper reaches, along with large sea-run trout and the occasional salmon near the mouth. The Manganuioteao supports an important national fishery for brown and rainbow trout, which average 1.5 kg. and the Mangawhero and Retaruke rivers are also significant waterways. These two are best fished in summer when the flow rates are lower and the water is clear. Both rainbows and browns averaging 1-2 kg. are present with larger fish often taken.

Taranaki region has a trout hatchery in Hawera producing rainbow fingerlings from ova received from the hatchery at Ngongotaha near Rotorua. The fish are released into the Waingongoro River and also lakes that don’t have self-sustaining populations.

Guided trout fishing tours can be arranged in New Plymouth and Wanganui.