The Waimarino River is a Lake Taupo tributary. The river mouth is a popular fishing location and fishes well all year round and produces particularly well in the winter months with top condition rainbow and sometimes brown trout caught.
The Waimarino River flows northwest from its origins in the Kaimanawa Forest Park to reach the southern shore of Lake Taupo 5 kilometres (3 mi) northeast of Turangi.
The river mouth produces good numbers of rainbow trout often averaging between 3-5lb with many larger fish regularly being caught. Brown trout can also be targeted at this mouth especially in the summer months as many brown trout cruise and feed near the lake’s tributaries seeking colder more oxygenated water as the lake heats up.
The river also fishes well and does not see great amounts of angling pressure as access to this river compared to other rivers in the region is relatively difficult.
Public Access Points
The Waimarino River mouth and lower reaches can be accessed via a vehicle track on the true left downstream of the SH1 bridge. A 4WD with good clearance is recommended if driving this track to the mouth as it is rather swampy in parts. This track as well as a track on the true right down stream of the mouth can provide access to the lower reaches.
The middle to upper reaches can be accessed from a track that runs on the true left upstream side of the SH1. This is best fished after a good rainfall as fish will run through and hold in the pools in this section, however they won’t hang around this section for long and will move onto the upper sections above Korohe Pa
The upper section of the river can be accessed near Korohe Pa. To get here go head down Korohe Road south of the bridge. Be prepared to walk some distance while often wading and making river crossings to access these pools and runs.
The map below shows the True Left downstream track from SH1
Fly Fishing Methods
The Waimarino is best fished upstream with a nymph, wet fly or dry fly (in summer months). A higher weighted fly rod (between 6 and 8 weight) and higher breaking strain tippet is often best due to the snaggy nature of the river. A single fly is often best as a trailing fly can cause problems when playing fish in these snag ridden waters.
Here’s another tip, a friend with a net could prove valuable at landing your fish.
The Waimarino 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 day time dry flies include Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Blue Humpy and Cicadas.
Nymphing the Waimarino River can be productive especially in the winter months. Indicator nymphing with a very small indicator is beneficial in order to avoid spooking trout. You can fish your nymph without one, watching the tip of your line for strikes or put a nymph below a dry fly. If you do choose to use an indicator make sure it is as small as possible in a less intrusive colour such as white.
Euro nymphing can also produce in this water though only certain runs and pools are well suited to this method.
Flies worth trying are Hare n Coppers, Pheasant Tails and Caddis Nymphs. Glo bugs and other egg patterns are worth trying in winter.
A wet fly fished down stream can often draw a strike and tempt fish out from the overhanging vegetation. Consider any coloured Wooly Bugger or a Wee Wet fly such as a march brown