Ruapehu and the surrounding areas boast world class wilderness fishing. The Commonwealth Fly Fishing Competition was held on these rivers with trophy fish caught.
Whakapapa river is the largest tributary of the Whanganui River and one of “New Zealand’s finest trout fisheries” the crystal-clear water flows through native forest alternating between turbulent rapids, deep pools and boulder runs. There are few places to cross and caution is required.
The middle reaches around Owhango fish well but permission is required to cross private land in some places.
The fishing in the lower reaches around Kakahi is good with fish averaging 1.5 kg.
Otamangakau Lake offers challenging wilderness fishing with large trout in small streams, to targeting the evening rise on large boulder strewn rivers.
Other wilderness rivers include Manganui-o-te-Ao, Whanganui, Ongarue and Retaruke.
Licences can be obtained online or purchased from most sport shops.