Northland Reel Life March 2019

  • Northland
  • 29/03/2019

Northland Reel Life March 2019

Northland's backcountry gems

Due to Northland’s topography and climate, suitable trout habitat is in short supply.

But for the more adventurous angler, there are some hidden gems just waiting to be explored.

As the waters cool down after autumn rains and the weed is washed away, it’s worth venturing out to explore the backcountry rivers and streams.

The chances of coming across another angler and waiting for them to move out of a pool in front of you are very rare.

Right: A nice deep pool on the Mangakahia River alongside the Waimatenui Road.

Mangakahia River at the Twin Bridges

The Twin Bridges is around 50km from Whangarei, Dargaville or Kerikeri and is the confluence of the Mangakahia and Awarua rivers.

The Mangakahia River has a stony river bed and usually runs clear (ish).

However even the slightest downpour can turn the rivers murky.

Browns have been liberated in the past and there is a small self-sustaining population.

Access to this part of the river is relatively easy via the Twin Bridges reserve and some access points on Waimatenui Road.

Remember to ask for landowner permission before crossing private farmland.

The river is characterised by long stretches of shallows with deeper pools scattered here and there.

Spin and fly-fishing are both permitted methods and a minimum fish length of 300mm.

As a spin fisherman, my personal favourites are Rapalas and Veltics for the deeper slow moving pools. Trial and error on colourations and size is a must.

N 2

Rapala lure .

Winter licences are available from the beginning of April for those who want to fish over the colder months.

These licences cover the second half of the season, from April 1 to September 30.

They are valid for the whole of the country except Taupo.

For New Zealand resident anglers only, the adult winter licence is $78.

Wilsons Dam off limits

An algal bloom is still present in the reservoir.

The Whangarei District Council is currently aerating the water and it's hoped that with the onset of winter, the bloom will subside.

It is unsafe to take fish or let dogs enter the water. For more information and updates please contact the WDC.


To finish the newsletter, here are a few words about me, Graham Gallaghan, as Northland Fish & Game’s newest recruit.


Graham Gallaghan

I was appointed as Field Officer in February this year, based in Whangarei. My varied background includes work as a police constable and I founded the managed the Kaipara Forest Conservation Trust, a kiwi recovery project (as someone with a degree in natural resource management).

I have also worked for Fish & Game on a part-time basis as a property maintenance worker.

Away from work, my interests include hunting and fishing, boating and conservation work. I look forward to meeting many of you out and about.

Get in touch with me on 021-222 7920 or email:

Fish & Game Field Officer, Graham Gallaghan

Back to Reel Life.

More Posts