Otago Reel Life October 2017

Backcountry rivers in great condition

Rivers have been in good condition leading up to Otago’s backcountry river opening on November 1.

The west of the region received little rain during October which has set the scene for some wonderful fishing opportunities.

Above right: Anglers enjoying the serenity of the Hunter Valley.

Rivers will receive early angling pressure but this should settle down as the season progresses.

We would welcome any feedback on your fishing experiences so please feel free to contact Fish and Game Officer - Paul van Klink at p.vanklink@fish-game.org.nz 


BackcountryOtago has 8 designated Backcountry (BC) fisheries which all require a BC licence endorsement in addition to a full seasons licence. Licencing information is available here

Anglers who apply for the Backcountry Endorsement will be issued with an updated copy of their licence showing the backcountry endorsement stamp.

Anglers must carry this copy of their licence with them when fishing Backcountry Rivers. Holders of a backcountry licence endorsement are required to cooperate with Fish and Game requests for angling information which typically takes the form of online surveys.                                                                                                               

Note that a one day licence does not qualify for the backcountry endorsements that are required to fish designated backcountry fisheries.

If you are not a NZ citizen or holder of a permanent resident visa you must purchase a non resident licence and additionally apply for a BC licence endorsement.

The non-resident licence category is now in its 4th year after it was first introduced in the 2014/15 season. 

Coastal Waters 

Anglers have regained some confidence in coastal waters since the floods in late July. Whitebait are still entering river systems and there is no shortage of trout chasing their tails.

Soft baits fished in a cleaver manner will bring success.

Entries are now closed for the 134 Waipahi Gold medal competition on November 4 run by the Otago Anglers Association - so good luck to all those competitors.

The Lower Clutha River below Clydevale continues to fish well for all methods, particularly spin anglers who tend to cover more water.

Larger Lakes

The large glacial lakes and Lake Dunstan are fishing well.

Water temperatures are still on the cooler side of the scale but November should bring warmer days and improved fishing conditions. 

Shoreline fishing at Lake Hawea for landlocked salmon will improve as the month progresses.

Popular spots include the camp shoreline opposite the Hawea Dam, Dinner Creek and at the Neck.

Upcoming Events

Hawea Hotel fishing competition                                        November 10 and 11

Lake Dunstan Rotary Fishing Competition                         November 19

Upper Clutha Anglers TAKF                                                November 19

Lakes & Coastal Fishing Club Inc. Lake Tewa TAKF          November 26

For complaints about pollution or damage to rivers contact the Otago Regional Council (ORC) 24 hour pollution hotline on 0800 800 033

Up to date river flow information can be found on the ORC site here

Cliff Halford, Otago Fish & Game Officer.

Back to Reel Life