Southland Reel Life May 2017

Winter trout fishing opportunities

A majority of the larger brown trout in Southland’s rivers will certainly be in spawning mode at the moment.

Many of these fish will be in their spawning tributaries that are now closed to fishing.

Above Right: The lower Oreti River is a great winter fishing destination.

However, there are always a few brownies that decide not to spawn or are too young to spawn and these fish are available to the angler.

At the moment, key places to target are the mouths of streams that flow into our lakes.

Both brown and rainbow trout often hang out at stream mouths at this time of year waiting for the right time to move into their chosen spawning tributary. 

Some notable Southland rivers, streams and lakes that are open for trout fishing all year are the:

  • Aparima River from the Thornbury Bridge to the Sea
  • Oreti River from Invercargill Highway to the Sea
  • Mataura River from Gorge Road Bridge to the Sea
  • Waimatuku Stream downstream of the Rance Road Bridge
  • Lakes Te Anau, Monowai, Manapouri, Thomas, Henry and Mavora (North and South).   

Make sure to check your regulation book before any winter fishing trip.

May is a great month for rainbows

Cohen Upuk RM SOU May picture 2 2As rainbows spawn later than browns, May can be a great month to target pre-spawn rainbows.

Left: Southland Fish & Game Field Officer Cohen Stewart with a late season Upukerora River rainbow, caught as the river was receding from a fresh. 

At the moment, rainbows throughout Southland will be franticly trying to gain condition before spawning.

If we get a bit of rainfall during May, and the rivers get a flush, it is worth targeting rainbows (in those rivers that are still open) because receding flows often spur fish movement into our lake tributaries.  

To target pre-spawn rainbows, try a brightly coloured feathered lure, soft bait or spinner. 

Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish & Game Officer.