Manganui O Te Ao River
The Manganuioteao River boasts high water quality (from snow melt and glacial runoff), plentiful insect life, good cover from large boulders overhanging bush, deep pools and papa ledges. The sequence of pools, runs and rapids gives anglers a diversity of fishable water to choose from.
Pools are productive early in the season, while the rapids and runs fish best later on.
Because the number of anglers here is low by national standards, good fishing areas are always available in very scenic surroundings.
Which then continues flows South from middle of the North island of New Zealand through rugged country and steep limestone cuts. The river is lined with dense native bush and a very healthy bug life; feeding the river with life.
A good friend and I made it a point to pack up our vehicles and spend a week simply fishing. Once we set up base camp, we had full access to the river with premium fishing waters. We fortunately didn't have search very long to find a 4 km sections of perfect mix of moderately moving fly fishing water.
We set off early the first day to jump straight into it. Walking roughly 1.5 km downstream with the intention to slowly work our way, fishing back up stream to camp.
The water and weather was unbelievable, having some merino wool covering our bodies fully from the relentless New Zealand solar radiation was critical. It didn't take long for Gibson to break the tension and land the first rainbow trout. After that, it seemed like we were nearly shooting fish in a barrel. One after the other, throwing casts, section by section, hooking trout like we knew what we were doing... The hooking rate was high, but unable to bring every fish to the net didn't seem as detrimental as fishing is usually. Due to the amount of action we were getting kept the spirits high. It didn't seem to bother either one of us. Just kept on yelling back and forth our catch size or how the bugger got off the hook. We each must have hooked a fish every 25 min.
We like to pride our-selfs on fishing purely for sport by releasing each fish back to the river with as much pride as I was catching it. But we only had so much meat that could last in my chilly bin..
Each night we relaxed by the fire, enjoying a few Speights (NZ Brewed Ale) by the open fire as our bodies sank into our camping chairs giving our legs to rest after walking slowing up stream for 8 hours a day. Each evening watching the sun set over the mountains after spending a day solely doing what your passionate about is a special feeling. We didn't have any worries or thoughts filling our mind. It was a very peaceful time. Having time to step away from our phones and escaping social media felt enriching.
Day by day we were graced with beautiful weather and unlimited runs to fish.
Gibson and I both had the opportunity to taste some Manuka smoked rainbow trout we personally caught the day before departure and looking forward to do a return trip back later this year for the winter fishery.
Only a few fish were harmed in the making of this blog.