The Mangatainoka River, it’d delivered the goods for us plenty of times before and this time it didn’t disappoint either. Plenty of fish on the nymph and a bit of late May dry fly action that put me on the end of a couple of bullets.


Mangatainoka 2lb Brown Trout

First brown of the day, 2lb’er


Mangatainoka 2lb Brown TroutThe day started off with a change to the normal spot where we kick the day off. The local council had been in with some heavy machinery and had changed the river around a bit, pushing the main flow all down one chute, destroying a couple of good ‘guaranteed fish’ spots. After chatting with a local later, I discovered the work had been done about 6 weeks ago, with a weir being re-built an gravel extraction. The rocks were looking a bit clean to be fishy looking, but am sure it will fire after a couple of floods and a winter worth of algae and bug build up. I still decided to fish the likely looking lies which turned up a couple of fish for me, a nice 2lb brown, a couple of juveniles and on the last cast another nice 2lb’er – rainbow.



Mangatainoka 2lb Rainbow Trout

Success on the Pheasant Tail nymph


Mangatainoka River, Fish and Game AccessAfter an hour or so I decided to head down river to a piece of water I’d fished a few years back and wanted to push up further into. After working away just downstream of the entry point, where I hooked into and then dropped a very good sized rainbow (it managed to snag me on a rock), I made moves to get up river. Ten minutes walking and I was back in a pool where I’d pulled a few out of last time, so decided to hit it again. Two minutes later I was rigged up, then two minutes after that I was re-rigged up after hearing and then seeing a fish rise (a late May hatch…?). It took a few casts to get the fly in the right spot, but after dropping one, I hooked into a bullet. Straight after the strike it ripped off down stream, I only just got it under control before it screamed back upstream and leaped into the air. Next minute I was running down stream, looking like a complete muppet with my rod in the air trying to bound over rocks in thick waders – it wasn’t pretty. But after easing (read: just manage to keep in touch with) the fish down through a good rapid, I managed to pull it in close enough to get the net under – great battle and stoked it was on the dry.


2.5lb Rainbow Trout

Rainbow that took me down the river, dry still intact…


Mangatainoka River, New Zealand

Where the dry fly action took place


2.5lb Rainbow Jack Trout

Final fish of the day, 2.5lb jack

The next couple of hours were spent nymphing my way through runs and riffles, picking up fish every so often, a few of them were juveniles while the rest gave up solid battles – their was something in the water that day. After deciding it was time to head back down to the car, I was wandering past the ‘dry fly pool’ again and saw another couple of fish rising. So the dry went back on and after about 6 casts another bullet was towing me around the pool, this time I managed to run/wade across the pool to the bank where it was going to be much easier to land the fish. After about 5 mins of getting dragged in and out from the bank the 2.5lb jack came into the net – it was nicely coloured up and had plenty left in him, he bolted straight away after I released him.


The Mangatainoka had turned out another good session must have been about 10 hooked and 7 landed. It will be a few months before I’m back there, but hopefully by then the new structures will have chilled out and there will be some great new water.


Mangatainoka River, New Zealand

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