Sea-run brown trout dominate the swift rivers and small lakes pertaining to the rugged West Coast. The extensive Grey River flows through Greymouth, offering unsurpassed fishing waters. Lake Brunner, 40kms southeast, is the largest lake on the coast, boasting adjacent accommodation facilities.
The Hokitika river system attracts a run of sea-run brown trout and salmon during February and March. Perch can also be encountered, while the upper reaches supply rainbow trout.
Harihari, located 79kms south of Hokitika, is a great fishing spot, however as rivers are glacier-fed look for clear waters streams rather than milky rivers. Whataroa is a nearby fishing centre boasting large catches, while brown trout and an increasing number of salmon can be encountered at Lake Mapourika, located ten kilometres south.
Two sea-side lakes near the Haast provide magnificent snow capped mountain views as well as a good supply of sea-run brown trout (averaging 2.25kgs), and recently established salmon.
Supplies of whitebait abound, due to sea access.
Lake Moeraki, 32kms north of Haast, is home to a fishing lodge which rents boats, rods and whitebait nets, while Lake Paringa, 45kms north of Haast, has a combined lakeside motel and fishing lodge, providing similar services.
Most lakes and rivers on the West Coast are open to fisherman year round, however Lakes Moeraki and Paringa have a closed season for salmon. You are allowed to capture six fish per day, either salmon or trout, however Lake Brunner restricts catches of rainbow trout to one per day.