Reel Life November 2021

The 2021-22 season begins!

Southland anglers had a great start to the season, with almost all our rivers in good condition for the opening day and weekend.

As we begin to move into late spring and early summer, the fishing will only get better.

Rainbows will drop back into our lakes after spawning; our lower rivers will experience an influx of baitfish, and insect activity will pick up around the region.  

Make sure you get out there and make the most of it this season!  

Above Right: An early season brown trout from the Aparima River  

Are you a beginner angler?

If you are a beginner angler, you might need a few tips and tricks to help get you started this season.

To help you out, we have created a page on our website with a few essential resources to help you catch fish.

On this webpage, we have links to some instructional videos.

These videos outline which lures to use, how to spin fish, the basics of bait fishing, and how to effectively use soft baits to catch trout around Southland.  

Check out these videos here, and please feel free to contact the staff at Southland Fish & Game if you need any advice or ideas. 

Five fantastic access points – Oreti River

With each edition of Reel Life this season, we will share five fantastic fishing access points for Southland’s major rivers, and we are starting with the Oreti.

From the headwaters near Mavaora Lakes down to the estuary at Sandy Point, the Oreti provides various fishing options and is well suited to fly, spin and bait fishing (where permitted).

Working our way upstream, here are five top access points:

1.  West Plains-Taramoa Road

Located just upstream of the West Plains Bridge, this spot is super handy to Invercargill and is the go-to fishing spot for weekday fishing after work.

In the deep areas of the river, sunk worm and mussel baits work great.

Above the Makarewa confluence, try smelt-like soft baits.

2.  Lochiel Bridge

Lochiel trout Oreti

An Oreti River brown trout caught near the Lochiel Bridge

The Lochiel Bridge access point is handy to both Invercargill and Winton.

Access is down the side of the bridge on the true left of the river.

You can’t go wrong with a bladed spinner or soft bait in this stretch of river.

3.  Benmore Road

At the end of Benmore Road, there is the old Benmore Bridge site.

This section of the river is semi-braided and has great willow-lined pools and runs.

It’s worth taking a good pair of boots or waders so you can cross side braids of the river.

4.  Saleyard Road

Saleyard Road (off the Mossburn-Lumsden Highway) is a favourite spot of mine.

There are nice pools and backwaters at this spot.

This spot is suited to the adventurous angler because you will need to push through a small patch of willows to get to the river—it’s worth it though. Take your waders! 

5.  Three Kings – off Oreti Road

Oreti 3 Kings

The Three Kings on the upper Oreti is a very special place.

The Oreti at Three Kings is probably one of the most scenic fishing spots in Southland.

Park next to the beat sign and fish your way upstream.

Don’t expect easy fishing but do expect good-sized trout.

Don’t forget to make sure you have a backcountry endorsement to fish this spot. 

These are just a few of the many great access points on the Oreti.

Check out these links for even more access options:

https://fishandgame.org.nz/southland/freshwater-fishing-in-new-zealand/fishing-locations-and-access/

Click here for downloadable access maps for Invercargill Surrounds and Northern Southland access maps.  

 Tight Lines

Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish & Game Officer.