Southland boasts unsurpassed trout fishing rivers. Lumsden is a quiet township located in the centre of excellent fishing country. Discover the Oreti River, west of Mossburn travelling along Highway 94 towards Te Anau. The river’s upper reaches, 23kms from Lumsden, are well stocked with brown trout, while exceptional fishing can be encountered along a 30km stretch of the Aparima River, near Wrey’s Bush (south of Mossburn).
The Mataura River, renowned as Southland’s ‘best river’ is home to numerous trout (many say its waters inhabit the finest brown trout in the country) and can be reached by numerous routes. The Lumsden-Queenstown road (Highway 6) provides access to its upper reaches, however beware of Five Rivers, as fish are scarce. If visiting Parawa, turn right on Nokomai Gorge Road for river access on foot, or from Athol (the neighbouring village), follow a small road on the right. There is access from the main road north of Athol and from the Black Bridge. The Matarua River can also be accessed from Garston, Fairlight Siding and the larger township of Gore. Numerous rivers encompass Gore and regional fishing information can be sought from sports shops.
The lower reaches of the Matarua River can be accessed from Wyndham, 32kms from Gore, as can two smaller rivers Wyndham and Mimihau. Fish are extremely large in the upper reaches of the Pomahaka River, located northeast of Gore, and its middle reaches (near Tapanui) provide plentiful supplies of sea-run brown trout. Clinton is home to two successful rivers, Waipahi and Waiwera.
Otago’s Taieri River boasts 41kms of favoured fishing water, however you may encounter some wind. Salmon fishing off the Otago Harbour is extremely popular, as are boat charters. The salmon run every year between Christmas and Easter.
Seasons for the countries southern-most rivers commence on the 1st of October and finish on the 30th of April. Bag limits range from four to twenty per day, inquires at the Otago Fish and Game Council.