Advance time step stream flow forecasting is of paramount importance in controlling flood damage. During the past few decades, artificial neural network (ANN) techniques have been used extensively in stream flow forecasting and have proven to be a better technique than other forecasting methods such as multiple regression and general transfer function models. This study uses discrete wavelet transformation functions to preprocess the time series of the flow data into wavelet coefficients of different frequency bands. Effective wavelet coefficients are selected from the correlation analysis of the decomposed wavelet coefficients of all frequency bands with the observed flow data. Neural network models are proposed for 1-, 2- and 3-day flow forecasting at a site of Brahmani River, India. The effective wavelet coefficients are used as input to the neural network models. Both the wavelet and ANN techniques are employed to form a loose type of wavelet ANN hybrid model (NW). The hybrid models are trained using Levenberg–Marquart (LM) algorithm and the results are compared with simple ANN models. The results revealed that the predictabilities of NW models are significantly superior to conventional ANN models. The peak flow conditions are predicted with better accuracy using NW models than compared to ANN models.