The Waiau River
Fiordland’s mighty Waiau River offers New Zealand trout fishing at its very best.
Fishing in New Zealand doesn’t get more spectacular than the Waiau River. Teeming with brown and rainbow trout, the Waiau flows from lake to lake through stunning natural landscapes of World Heritage status. The unique combination of a pristine backcountry environment, low fishing pressure and extraordinary mayfly hatches makes for a one-of-a-kind trout fishing experience. Fiordland’s dramatic landscapes and rainforest-fed waterways provide a seriously special place for trout fishing.
Access to unique fishing spots
At Distinctive Fishing Experiences we use a jet boat to access unique fishing spots that are impossible to reach on foot. Fish in the Waiau are forgiving – they settle fast once the boat has moved through an area that has trout in it, meaning that anglers can fish undisturbed trout very quickly. Fishing spots don’t come any more secluded and beautiful than the rarely fished, remote locations our expert fishing guides will take you to.
Where is the Waiau River?
Located in the heart of Fiordland, the Waiau River is bordered by the epic grandeur of Fiordland National Park – a diverse wilderness home to dramatic, snow-capped mountains, sub-tropical rainforest and deep fiords. Fiordland is a place of untouched natural beauty, and a bucket list destination for visitors and fishing fanatics visiting New Zealand.
New Zealand brown trout and rainbow trout
Rainbow trout and brown trout were first introduced to New Zealand from Britain and North America in the late nineteenth century. The New Zealand trout species established themselves within our rich ecosystems, and the population numbers boomed. Although not as widespread as the brown trout, the rainbow trout are considered less wary than their brown counterparts and are supposedly easier to catch. However, once hooked, rainbows are feisty and will put up a plucky fight for any angler who takes them on. Described as ‘rod-snappers,’ New Zealand rainbow trout are a thrilling wild fish to catch. With abundant rainfall, for which Fiordland is famous, our rivers are filled with clean, fresh water – the perfect home for strong, hard-fighting brown and rainbow trout!
Guided fishing in New Zealand
New Zealand is full of friendly and passionate local experts who love nothing better than to share their piece of paradise and help visitors get the most out of their time here. Guided fishing trips are commonplace in New Zealand and are the ideal way to experience fishing as a local would. Our kiwi hospitality, knowledge and humour will not disappoint!
Five reasons why you can’t miss fishing the Waiau River:
- The Waiau is home to as many as 300-400 fish per kilometer and, because of low fishing pressure, they’re anything but hook-shy
- Local guides get you into remote fishing spots that are inaccessible on foot, and the captivating Fiordland scenery you’ll see from the jet boat will blow your mind (remember fish here are forgiving; they settle quickly)
- Exceptional evening rises and mayfly hatches (Mark reckons evening rises on the Waiau blow the world-famous Mataura River out of the water)
- The Waiau is a large, mighty river, but our local and highly experienced guides break it down to fish it like a small river – you’ll get a kick out of the unique experience and friendly kiwi hospitality
- Bordered by Fiordland National Park, New Zealand’s largest National Park, this is an authentic, kiwi wilderness fishing adventure
Come and enjoy the ultimate Fiordland fishing experience on the Waiau. We know our backyard pretty well – so can say with confidence that the fishing here is top-notch!
Learn more about visiting this part of the country with our Guide to Fiordland, which can be found on our Fish Jet ‘anyone can have a go’ fishing adventure website. We also own and run the Fiordland Water Taxi, a service that helps visitors to access some of Fiordland’s famous backcountry remote wilderness fishing from Lake Te Anau.