The Mighty Waipa
The Waipa is an extensive river system with superb fishing not only in the mainstem but also in the many streams that contribute to its flow. Both rainbow and brown trout are present in approximately equal numbers. The rainbows are resident fish that spend their entire lives in a short stretch of river. In contrast the brown trout are migratory spending the winter months in the Waikato River and then moving up into the Waipa headwaters during early December. This seasonal migration allows the brown trout to feed on the abundance of small fish that are present in the Waikato River and consequently the brown trout found in the Waipa headwaters over the summer months are often huge.
There is surprisingly little public water available in the Waipa fishery as most trout streams flow across private land. Nevertheless anglers have traditionally had a very good relationship with Waipa landowners and a polite request to cross private land will rarely be refused.
Some Waipa streams are slow to clear after heavy rain, but the Mangatutu Stream and the streams that flow from Mt Pirongia will clear quickly. In recent years, several large landslides have affected water quality in the mainstem of the Waipa but the river appears to be recovering quickly.
A copy of the current angling regulations is provided free when you purchase a fishing licence.
There are many small streams throughout the Waipa that hold good trout populations and offer excellent small stream fishing. Popular small streams include the Oamaru and Ngutunui (Moakurarua tributaries), Mangauika and Mangawawa (Mt Pirongia Streams), Owairaka (Puniu tributary), and the Waimahora (Waipa tributary). Trout fishing water can also be found in the headwaters of the Mangapiko, Mangaohoi, Mangarapa, Waitomo, and Mangarongo Streams.