Waters: Clutha and Hunter Rivers
This region extends from the Shag River down to The Catlins and
inland to the Mt Aspiring National Park. It offers some of the
best trout and salmon angling experiences to be found in New
The lower reaches of all rivers have good populations of sea run
and resident brown trout. This includes the Taieri and Clutha
rivers, which also have salmon spawning runs from January to
The Central Otago area is an anglers paradise with easy
public access to spectacular alpine streams and glacial lakes
such as Lakes Hawea, Wanaka and Wakatipu. These lakes contain
plentiful stocks of landlocked salmon, rainbow and brown trout,
which provide visitors with a world class angling experience.
Numerous pristine high country rivers flowing into the lakes also
hold brown and rainbow trout in pure, clear waters that make
spotting relatively easy. The notable rivers are the Greenstone,
Dart, Hunter, Matukituki and Makarora.
The Clutha River is an excellent fishery giving unrestricted
access to countless spinning and fly-fishing reaches. Tributaries
like the Pomahaka and Waipahi can give anglers a memorable
backcountry experience. Lake Dunstan on the Clutha is an
outstanding recreational lake offering good results from
trolling, spinning, harling and fly-fishing.
The Hunter River at the head of Lake Hawea can be described as
the pure essence of the Southern Alps with its abundant stocks of
wild brown and rainbow trout and land-locked salmon. Here you can
fish blind in the tumbling rapids in absolute isolation, and
enjoy the surprise and excitement that follows a hook-up - is it
a rainbow, brown or salmon? The experience is quite remarkable
Dunedin city has several water reservoirs that are open all year
round for fly-fishing and spinning. Otago Harbour has become a
popular fishery in recent years as increasing numbers of salmon
run between Christmas and Easter. It is a welcome bonanza for
locals and visitors alike with fish over 8 kg. regularly taken.
Guided heli fly-fishing into unlimited remote high country
fishing waters is available in Queenstown from several guiding
companies and also in Glenorchy, Wanaka, Alexandra, Cromwell and
Makarora. Float fishing in an inflatable boat on the Clutha River
can be arranged in Balclutha.