Southland

Mataura River

40km east of Invercargill, the Mataura is one of New Zealand’s most famous trout fishing rivers. The most renowned feature of the Mataura is its hatches of mayfly which drive the resident brown trout into a feeding frenzy. While famous as a fly fishing river, the Mataura also offers exciting opportunities for spin fishing. The lower river provides a chance to target ‘sea-run’ trout as they move between the lower Mataura, the Fortrose estuary and the sea. Lures that simulate smelt are most productive and these tend to be long and slender, such as the various Toby patterns, or Rapalas.  From Seaward Downs inland, patterns such as the Mepps blade spinners are very good, fished in the smaller sizes upstream into the riffles. Rapalas are also effective. Natural bait is popular early in the season and when the river is discoloured. Simply access the river via any bridge, or look to use the many marked Fish & Game access points along the length of the river.



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Aparima River

To the West of Invercargill, the Aparima River flows from the Takitimu mountains to the sea through the town of Riverton. A small-sized, easy flowing river, it caters for all types of fishing and contains good numbers of fat brown trout. The Aparima clears quickly after rain. When low and clear a careful approach with light gear is necessary.



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Oreti River

The Oreti enters the sea on Invercargill’s doorstep and provides some great trout fishing close to town. The most popular area is above Westplains’ bridge, where the river meanders lazily, and trout can be found slashing at smelt and whitebait in the riffles during our long summer evenings. Throughout the lower river natural bait is popular, particularly smelt, although feathered lures or spin fishing smelt-type imitations are also successful.



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Further Information

To find out more about top trout fishing locations and access in the region, brochures can be downloaded by clicking here

Local Guides

Alan Wilson
Jason Goomes 

Local Contact

Southland Fish & Game Council
Tel: 03 215 9117