The Hakataramea River has both brown and rainbow trout and is restricted to fly fishing only. Best access is gained by travelling the true left bank (east side) on McHenry’s Road where the river follows the road for much of the 12km to Wrights Crossing. Above Wrights Crossing road access is available only along the west side of the river to its upper reaches above Cattle Creek. Except for a short section above Cattle Creek there are no marginal strips and land owner permission is required to cross land to reach the river.
The Ahuriri River flows into the Ahuriri Arm of Lake Benmore near Omarama. It is most scenic in the upper reaches where it provides trophy trout to the experienced angler. The Ahuriri River has long been considered a fishery of national importance and enjoys “Water Conservation Order” status. Upstream from Omarama access is from SH8 or from Birchwood Road which branches off SH8, 17km south of Omarama. The pristine upper river waters can be reached directly from the Birchwood Road or alternatively at Irelands Bridge or by walking down the Avon Burn.
Downstream from Omarama the north side of the Ahuriri River may be accessed from Ben Omar Road which turns off just over the SH8 bridge. The Ahuriri delta with Lake Benmore is best reached through Glenburn Station via an anglers access track about 5.5km from Omarama along SH83. A 20 minute walk from the end of the track takes you to the river mouth.
The Tekapo River now harnessed for hydro power generation has a mean residual flow of 12 cumecs. Augmented by Fork Stream, Grays River, and the Mary Burn, the Tekapo River arguably produces more fish than any other river of the region and for this reason is rapidly gaining popularity. From Tekapo township access to the Tekapo River is gained from the Tekapo Canal Road which turns off SH8, 1.5km south of the township. Cross the bridge over the canal and proceed along the east side of the canal passing Pattersons Ponds before turning off the seal along a rough metal road which follows the west side of the Tekapo for some 35kms before reaching the old, now dry, Pukaki riverbed. There are any number of access points along this section.
This river supports the occasional run of salmon but is mainly noted for its brown trout fishing within the lower reaches below Rolleston Road. Ohapi Creek is a springfed stream and enters the Orari about 1km above the mouth. About 5m wide and 0.5m deep, the Ohapi provides good spotting water for the fly angler. The Ohapi is bounded both banks by private land so get the landowner’s permission – they are usually quite receptive to angler requests.
This river supports good populations of both salmon and brown trout. Where previously salmon angling was restricted by regular mouth closure, with the new Opuha Dam operating to guarantee higher summer flows designed to maintain the mouth, it is to be hoped those days are over.
The Opihi and its main branches, the Temuka and the Waihi, are very popular angling rivers. These rivers may be accessed at any number of points; the more popular being for the Opihi, at Milford Huts, Wareing Road and SH1 on the north bank; and Waipopo Huts, Seadown Road, Roaring Camp Road, Saleyards Bridge (Pleasant Point), Hanging Rock Bridge and Raincliff Bridge on the south side. For the Temuka/Waihi system, SH1, SH72 and Coach Road are the favoured access sites.
Best fishing is from the mouth up to SH1 for both species. If brown trout are your preference try the Waihi above Winchester, the Te Ngawai above Pleasant Point, particularly early in the season, and the Opihi around the Hanging Rock Bridge.
The Pareora is mainly noted for its sea run browns early in the season when river flows are elevated following the spring thaw. From December onwards the river suffers from low flows, made more extreme by water abstraction for public water supplies and irrigation. Best access is from the Pareora River Road that follows up the south side.
One of our smaller rivers, this is none the less a little gem for brown trout anglers. Good fishing at the mouth from the ‘ Box’ upstream to Bradshaws Bridge. Upstream the willow lined banks and tranquil deep pools of the lower gorge provide for a nice change from the typical braided river. Unfortunately access is limited to only two points; where Gum Tree Flat Road meets the river, and at McCulloughs Bridge.