The Poutu Stream is a hidden gem that doesn’t see much angling pressure and is mostly driven past by anglers on their way to other more well known water in the area. The small stream drains from Lake Rotoaira and joins the Tongariro about a kilometre downstream from the SH1 bridge.
There are a number of waterfalls on the stream making upward fish migration limited. There is however still fish between these falls, presumably resident fish that have come down or been forced down from Lake Rotoaira during flooding. Most of the trout population is between the mouth and the first waterfall a few kilometres up from the SH1 bridge.
The stream holds good numbers of both brown and rainbow trout and can make for some exciting dry fly fishing during the summer months.
Public Access Points
The Poutu Stream is in many parts surrounded by private access forestry land so access is limited.
Anglers can either walk up from where the stream meets the Tongariro River and fish up or access where the SH1 bridge crosses the stream.
Heavy vegetation lines the banks of the stream and all wading has to be done up the stream bed. As it is a small stream this is possible though caution is advised.
The map below shows where the SH1 cross the Poutu Stream.
Fly Fishing Methods
As the Poutu Stream is very small, nymphing and dry fly fishing is the best way to approach this water. It is recommended to use light gear (3-5 weight fly rods) and small tippet as the water is very clear and the fish can spook easily.
The Poutu Stream is well suited to dry fly and dry/dropper methods. Early summer lends itself to smaller dry flies. As the season progresses and cicadas begin to hatch, larger terrestrials also do very well.
Popular daytime dry flies include Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Blue Humpy and Cicadas.
Most nights in the summer months usually come with an evening rise, caddis flies are a great start at this time of night.
Nymphing the Poutu Stream can produce all year round. Being a small clear water it is best to go without the indicator. You can fish your nymph without one, watching the tip of your line for strikes or put a nymph below a dry fly.
Flies worth trying are Hare n Coppers, Pheasant Tails and Caddis Nymphs. Glo bugs and other egg patterns are worth trying in winter.