The Hinemaiaia River is a popular Lake Taupo tributary. At 22km long, the river flows northwest from Kaimanawa Forest Park, flowing into the eastern shore of Lake Taupo at Hatepe, halfway between Taupo and Turangi. The ‘Hine’ as it is affectionately referred to by many, holds large numbers of good sized rainbow trout all year round.
The river sees a lot of angling pressure in winter however despite this still produces good fish numbers. With this in mind, an early start is often required to find a spot on the river in winter!
It is important to note the upper reaches are closed during winter, this closed water is sign posted and outlined on the DOC website.
Public Access Points
The Hinemaiaia River has good access all the way up to the lower dam. Lower river access can be found either by walking up from the mouth or down from the lower bridge car park on SH1.
Mid to upper river can be accessed by a vehicle track that runs adjacent to the car park with a number of car parks branching off. This track continues all the way to the lower Hinemaiaia Dam. The map below shows where to turn off at the SH1 bridge. Take caution at this busy intersection!
Fly Fishing Methods
The Hinemaiaia is a river that can be fished in a number of ways making it a great place to practice some new methods. In recent years, the Hinemaiaia River has been extremely popular for Euro Nymphing. It also lends itself well to indicator nymphing, swinging wet flies (streamers) and even dry flies in the warmer months.
Euro Nymphing has become increasingly popular in NZ and the ‘Hine’ is a great river for this method. This river is known for its snags and losing gear so consider a single fly setup with a well weighted nymph. Egg patterns such as Glo Bugs fish great in the winter while your more traditional patterns such as Hare n Coppers, Pheasant Tails and Caddis Nymphs should perform well throughout the year.
Indicator nymphing is also a very successful method on the ‘Hine’. As with euro nymphing, one well weighted fly is often a good way to reduce the amount of lost gear. As with the euro method, egg patterns are very productive in winter with the naturals producing all year round.
Swinging streamer wet flies can also be effective in the right water on the Hinemaiaia, being a smaller river a single hand set up is all that is needed to do so. Swinging wee-wets with a weighted nymph can also be very effective.
While no particularly known for its dry fly fishing it can produce a hatch in the warmer months to bring the fish to the surface. Small dry flies in the form of a Parachute Adams or Royal Wulff will often do the job. Though don’t be afraid to give a larger terrestrial a go. (With a nymph below if you like)
On The Fly NZ encourages usually encourages catch and release however the Taupo Fishery is very well populated so anglers can take their limit (six trout) without damaging the fishery. This rivers regulations can be found here from DOC.