The Waitahanui is the closest river to Taupo, and is a very famous fishing venue, having helped make the reputation of the Taupo fishery in the very early days of the fishery. It is a beautiful spring creek, and home to the famous Waitahanui 'picket fence'. It is a small spring fed river, with a riverbed of gravel, sand and small rocks all the way upriver to the winter fishing limit. Its bank are covered with regenerating native bush, and the bush as well as the blackberry attracts good numbers of birds to the river, which add to the atmosphere.
One of the main attractions of the Waitahanui is that as it is spring fed it is often fishable after heavy rain, when other streams may be too discoloured to fish. Its small size and discreet pools make it a pleasure to fish, with gentle wading and no need for lengthy casts. Accuracy is more of a premium here. It fishes well for spawning rainbows, but is also famous for the very big brown trout which venture into the river every autumn.
Public access is available from a limited range of places. The mouth and lower river are readily accessible from State Highway One in Waitahanui. The mid sections can be accessed by walking upstream from State Highway One, or from the carparpark at the end of Blake Road. From here a track leads anglers up or downriver river on the southern bank of the river, and offers excellent access to the pools along the way.
Being a small river the Hinemaiaia can be fished with lighter tackle, but keeping large fish out of snags often necessitates using heavier tackle. An 8 weight is appropriate for this reason. Nymphing is the most popular technique used on the river, although it can also fish very well on the dry fly in summer. Despite its small size, wet flyfishing can be deadly on this river in the hands of a skillful fisherman, as it allows anglers to place flies in places other techniques struggle to reach. as a result a small but successful group of anglers regularly use this technique here.