Popular Lake Fisheries
From Ashburton (Tinwald) take Grahams Road 9km to the lake. The lake is popular with water-skiers and picnickers in summer but for much of the season this artificial lake offers a quiet spot to fish. The shallow weedy lake holds brown trout and perch and is intermittently stocked with brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon that are salvaged from local irrigation schemes.
Formed by the damming of the Opuha River during the late 1990’s this irrigation and hydroelectric dam has now established as an attractive lake fishery. The Lake is located 17km from the township of Fairlie. The lake has a good population of brown trout and the occasional rainbow trout which have since established a self-sustaining population due to stocking efforts. Chinook salmon stocking efforts proved unsuccessful however as the fish only reached small sizes. All methods of fishing are popular and there are multiple options for launching boats. On a bright sunny day sight fishing for cruising browns is possible but water clarity in the lake is generally not high.
This large picturesque lake offers shoreline and boat fishing for brown and rainbow trout. In recent times a “put n take” salmon fishery has been established through annual releases of thousands of salmon smolt gifted by salmon farms.
The ever-popular tourist township of Tekapo is nestled at the bottom end of the lake and offers shoreline access and a boat launching ramp. The Western shores of the Lake can be access from Godley Peaks Road, near Lake McGregor, while the Eastern shore can be accessed from Lilybank Road.
Two kilometres south of Tekapo Township, an AA signposted Godley Peaks Road will take you to Lake Alexandrina. Much smaller than Lake Tekapo, Alexandrina has long been considered the most productive lake in the area with brown trout of 8-9 pound caught annually and the occasional brown or rainbow attaining 10 pounds plus. To reach the southern end, a side road leaves Godley Peaks Road at approximately 3.5km from the SH8 turn off. To reach the middle of the lake continue a further 5km and turn left past Lake McGregor to the outlet and fishing huts.
To reach the northern end of the lake return to Godley Peaks Road and drive to Glenmore Station, 5km from Lake McGregor. A farm track leads past the station homestead, sheds and through deer paddocks then leads to the huts near the lake shore. Anglers are able to walk and fish from well-worn tracks amongst the dense vegetation around the lake edge using either spinning or fly fishing techniques. Rowboats are permitted but no motors are allowed being part of a wildlife refuge. Lake McGregor adjoins ‘Lake Alex’ and offer great fishing too, the main difference for anglers is that boats must be moored whilst fishing on Lake McGregor.
Lake Ohau, accessible from the townships of Twizel and Omarama is a large lake characterised by its glacial blue waters. Brown and rainbow trout can be caught with all the popular techniques here. Shoreline fishing is best around inflowing streams and shallow areas. Boat fishing is popular especially around the Hopkins River delta area where muddy shallows offer sight fishing on a calm sunny day. This lake is exposed to the Nor wester wind and can be affected by discolouration from the Hopkins River. Access is available up the western shore from Glen Lyon Road at the head of the Ohau A Canal, and up the Eastern shore from Lake Ohau Road.
Waitaki Hydro Lakes
Well known to South Island anglers Lakes Waitaki, Aviemore, and Benmore cater for thousands of anglers every year, In fact Lake Benmore is New Zealand second most popular fishing lake only second to Lake Taupo. All are easily accessible by good roads, have boat launching ramps, facilities for camping, and are serviced by Kurow, Otematata, Omarama and Twizel townships.
SH83 from Kurow to Omarama provides angler access to the south side of lakes Waitaki, Aviemore, and the Ahuriri Arm of Lake Benmore. For Lake Aviemore almost the entire lake edge can be accessed albeit for the thick vegetation as the north side of the lake has road access between the Benmore and Aviemore Dams.
For Lake Benmore, there is no road access on the northern side of the Ahuriri Arm. The Haldon Arm of Lake Benmore can be reached by boat from the Ahuriri Arm, if driving however it will mean a drive to Twizel turning off at the Ruataniwha spillway and driving alongside the hydro canal to Ohau C power station. The Haldon Arm can also be accessed via the Haldon Road which branches off SH8, 2km south of Burkes Pass.