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Southland, New Zealand

Trout Fishing, Holiday Trout

Maurice Rodway

Column for Dec 31 2004

There are still a few days left of holidays for most of us and there are plenty of trout fishing opportunities out there.

The eastern part of Southland is one where trout fishing is good but is not so often fished as in the West and North.

In the Southeast the Waikawa and Catlins Rivers provide small stream fishing that is not very well known. While this is mainly because these streams are not as good at producing trout as the larger rivers are, there are still trout there and even one can make a day's fishing memorable.

The Waipahi is popular with both Otago and Southland anglers and its winding tussocky course carries a lot of trout. Recently Otago Fish and Game staff tagged a large number of trout there but found that hardly any of these were caught again in the annual trout fishing competition held in October. This suggests that either there are an awful lot of trout there  - or that the trout were not willing to get caught again. Probably  a bit of both applies.

The eastern tributaries of the Mataura, the Waikaka, Mimihau and Mokoreta all provide excellent fishing. The Waikaka is the least well known. It is best fished with a fly and there are plenty of trout from its confluence with the Mataura at Gore to its headwaters, which are just over the hill from the Waikaia. The Mimihau wanders through a deeply incised course from its headwaters deep in the Catlins Bush. You can really get lost in parts of this stream. Its like being in Fiordland only 30 minutes from home. There are not a lot of trout there but those that are as pretty as any you will find.

The Mokoreta or Wyndham has dark coloured water but is has a good population of trout too. Most of its course flows through farmland so it has easy access in many places check with the nearby farmhouse. Its slippery rocky bed is a challenge but a sunny day will bring the trout to the surface where they can be caught on small dark flies that have a little bit of red on them. On warmer days beetle imitations will work too. Natural bait and spinners are also successful methods on this river especially in the lower reaches. 

Maurice Rodway
Southland, New Zealand                           E-mail:

Article © 2004 Maurice Rodway, All Rights Reserved.


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