Waioeka River

Waioeka River

New Zealand beauty, variety and accessibility are features of this classic North Island River. Being a gateway to the East Cape and with absolute access directly from the highway to the main river, an angler can lose days angling before even getting close to the fantastic backwaters.

Local Knowledge

The fishery contains both Brown and Rainbow trout with the latter dominating. The best features is the complex diversity of accessible water options and low angling pressure.  While most of the fish are hard fighting 2-4lb rainbow trout that will test all your skills, there are some larger fish throughout the system and the odd trophy fish gets encountered every year.  Do not expect any cell phone reception once you enter deep into Waioeka system.  Do your planning beforehand and take personal safety precautions.   Find river flow info HERE

The river system above the Tauranga bridge is open 1st October-30th June while below the Tauranga bridge is open all year.

Note: Early 2017 the area was devastated by major flooding, please remember this is a wild fishery and to practice catch and release to prioritise the sustainability of the fishery.

Fishing tips by Miles Rushmer

Winter / July

  • When driving through the Waioeka Gorge, utilise the great food and coffee at 'Living Water Bush Cafe'.

  • With very little angler pressure and prime condition fish in the system -the Waioeka River fishes excellent deep into late season.

  • Egg patterns or Glow bugs are very effective late season and even into the off season in the open lower reaches below Tauranga Bridge

  • For best results, the egg patterns MUST be fished on the bottom with plenty of weight.

  • If needed, use lead split shot to get a single fly down deep and keep it deep, without the risk of an extra hook (heavy nymph) snagging the bottom.

  • If you've ever wanted to target a trophy Brown and Trophy rainbow in the same day then check out this link... https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1485581008132614&id=140991379258257

  • If looking to hire a guide for a day, it pays to invest in quality and experience.  Follow recommendations from other successful anglers and don't forget that you'll learn more in one day with a quality professional guide on the water than you will in endless days on your own... Ask your potential guide this simple question during enquiry..."Are you a full-time professional?

Pro Guides

Rushmer Guiding

Miles Rushmer

Eastern Region Eastern Region
Rushmer Guiding specialises in fresh water and salt water fly fishing in the sunny Bay of Plenty. Miles Rushmer is the top provider of double figure trophy brown trout in New Zealand. Master guide Miles, offers a variety of services from highly visual clearwater sight-fishing for trophy trout in spring creeks (the ultimate fly fishing experience), lake or stream mouth fishing to saltwater fly fishing at the world famous Bay of Plenty reefs.

Cory Scott Fly Fishing

Cory Scott

Eastern Region Eastern Region
Cory grew up fly fishing under the tutelage of his grandfather on the streams of Southland and can recall catching his first trout aged 3, since those early beginnings he has immersed himself in the art of fooling trout on a fly developing into a backcountry addict leaving no stone unturned or no question on what lays beyond the next bend. Cory has been guiding for 18 years which he alternates between his job as a photographer with the two professions developing a symbiotic relationship. Cory has guided everyone from the complete novice to sporting professionals to rock stars and everyone in between, with his professional yet super friendly humorous approach being popular. When it comes to the East Cape/Te Urewera region there is no one that knows this region as intimately as Cory and on any given day he can be found either fishing by the road side or multi days hike back in the mountains that surround his region.


Tackle Shops

Hunting and Fishing Whakatane

Andy Tannock opened the first Hunting & Fishing New Zealand store in Palmerston North in 1986. He was quick to join forces with other leading outdoor specialist retailers, starting the growth which now sees 37 great stores throughout New Zealand under the Hunting & Fishing New Zealand banner.
Whakatane 125 Commerce Street, Whakatane New Zealand 3120



Opotiki Helicopters

Opotiki Helicopters is a locally based helicopter company providing a safe, professional and sustainable service with long standing local pilot Steven Woods as chief pilot. Aircraft – We have three helicopters available for servicing anglers. Pilot – With over 10 years of incident free service to the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Steven possesses a vast knowledge of the East Coast rivers, Waioeka, Waiotahi, Raukumara Ranges and Te Urewera National Park areas.
301 Otara Road RD 1 Opotiki 3197


Motu River Jet

The scenic quality of the Motu River has been described as “unsurpassed”, it travels through the last significant area of untracked native bush in the North Island. The Motu’s banks are covered with unique & rare flora in a setting of awesome splendour. Ancient Maori history abounds and the river was the first in New Zealand to be totally protected by a conservation order.
Motu River Bridge, Highway 35, Opotiki, Bay of Plenty


Hukutaia Domain

The Hukutaia Domain ranks as one of Opotiki's main attractions. It is a 5 hectare remnant of extensive native forest that was set aside as a reserve by one of the original owners Mr E.M Hutchinson in the early 1900's. Of particular interest is the 2000/5000 year old giant Puriri tree. Being hollow the tree was used as a resting place for the bones of Distinguished Dead of the Upokorehe. There is no charge to visit the Domain.
Woodlands road, Opotiki.


Living Water Bush Cafe

Delicious coffee, hot drinks and yummy food. An excellent place to stop and refresh when passing through the Waioeka gorge a or before and after fishing. Henare and Brenda offer top service in a very unique setting. Well worth the stop.
Waioeka Road.


Wairata Station

Your hosts Bob and Mary Redpath will make every endeavour to ensure your time spent on our farm is a memorable and enjoyable experience. The Waioeka River and the Opato Stream either run through the heart of our farm or borders it for at least 14 kilometres. Providing some of the best wilderness fishing in NZ with many rapids and good pocket water in a fast flowing river. Chalets, cabin and family cottage are all available along with meals upon request.


Living Water Bush Cafe & accommodation

Henare and Brenda offer affordable, rustic self contained sleeping quarters in a very unique setting right next to the Opato stream. Feel like you have travelled back to how you remember things. An excellent place to stop and refresh when passing through the Waioeka gorge a or before and after fishing. . Well worth the stop.
6375 Waioeka Rd, Waioeka 3197, New Zealand