Otago Weekly Fishing Report - 2 November 2023

  • Otago
  • 2/11/2023

Otago Weekly Fishing Report - 2 November 2023

Pictured: Angus Borrell does battle with a feisty rainbow trout during opening day on one of Otago’s Designated Waters. Credit: Grant Bessit.

Mixed Forecast for first weekend of High-Country waters

Another variable forecast this weekend may dampen some anglers’ plans as they aim to head out and target Otago high country rivers. Rain is forecast to fall across the region this Saturday, which may cause some of the rivers to rise and colour, however don’t be too disheartened as these rivers are known to drop and clear quickly.

Anglers that managed to get out on opening day (Wednesday November 1) were greeted with excellent river and weather conditions. Fish & Game Rangers conducting compliance checks throughout the region reported almost all the newly opened rivers were flowing clear and at a fishable level. This made for some excellent early season sight fishing, with anglers reporting some excellent catches. Some fish are still in an aggressive spawning mode and were smashing streamers, so if your size 14 nymph is not even getting a look consider changing to a larger option.

There were some areas of congestion on some rivers, with groups of anglers wanting to fish the same beats. Please show respect and consideration towards fellow anglers while sharing the river to ensure positive fishing experience for everyone. 


Nevis Road Open

Thanks to the great work done by the Central Otago District Council Roading Team the Nevis Road is now fully open from Bannockburn through to the Southland District boundary.

This allows anglers access to the entire Nevis River beat system. Please remember to indicate which beat you are fishing, by parking next to the appropriate beat sign and leaving your intentions on your dashboard.

Nevis River and Road, looking upstream towards the end of the gorge beat. Credit: Mason Court.


Soft Hackle Success

Upper Clutha River running clear on Wednesday November 1. Credit: Mason Court.

Connor from Southern Wild Wānaka reports anglers experiencing good catches along the Clutha River.

Connor has been fishing the Dean Bank section and has had success using small mayfly imitations. Evening hatches have also started to occur with trout sighted rising in the late evening. Expect this to become more frequent as we approach summer and the temperature increases.

Connor also reports that anglers with two handed spey rods have had success swinging soft hackled streamers.

Below the Deans Bank section anglers have been having success in the Clutha using traffic light colour Toby’s and black and gold soft baits fished through the riffles.


Manorburn Reservoir

An angler does battle with an acrobatic rainbow trout during opening day up at the Manorburn Reservoir Photo: Ben Sowry

Fantastic conditions greeted a large contingent of anglers who made the trip up to the Manorburn reservoir this high-country opening.

Anglers reported that fishing was slightly down from last opening day, however anglers were still catching plenty of good-sized rainbow trout with the average size being around 3lb’s. Bait fishing with worms was the pick of techniques on the day with the odd fish being picked up on spinner as well. Trolling was not proving too successful when compared to the other methods.


Low Lake Tactics

Reports are coming in that Lake Mahinerangi is still fishing well despite being drained to a low level for maintenance. Anglers are currently unable to launch boats, however Ryan from Hunting & Fishing Dunedin reports that hasn’t stopped shore-based anglers catching good numbers of fish.

Ryan recommends using an ultra-light jig head paired with a dark coloured soft bait when targeting the fish along the lake edges. Bait fishing with worms and a heavy spinner are another option when targeting the deeper water.


Across the Border – High Country Opening

Anglers intending to cross the border into Central South Island or North Canterbury regions, please remember that the High Country opening day is the first Saturday of November (November 4), and the Upper Ahuriri River remains closed until the first Saturday in December.


Lake Wānaka Live Webcam

Want to know conditions at Lake Wanaka? Check this live webcam from the Wānaka water sports facility.


Here’s the weekend outlook:



Showers are forecast to develop Friday evening around Dunedin. Saturday is forecast to have showers through the day with the wind shifting to the southerlies expect the temperature to drop. Sunday is the pick of the weekend days with cloud forecast to clear and light westerlies easing. The Taieri River at Outram was flowing at 12.6 cumecs. Below its median flow offering some excellent river conditions for fishing, expect it to rise slightly post Saturdays rain.

Click here for live weather updates.



Mixed forecast for Wānaka this weekend with most of the weeks fishing plans likely to be affected by the shower and stiff southeasterlies. This weather is forecast to develop Friday evening and carry through the weekend. Sunday afternoon looks the pick with some of the weather forecast to clear. Take care if crossing any backcountry rivers and always double check the forecast before heading out.

Click here for live weather updates.



Rain showers and stiff southerlies are forecast to develop Friday afternoon and carry through to Saturday evening with rain becoming heavy for some periods on Saturday. Sunday like most of the region is the pick of the weekend, with rain clearing however the lingering southerly winds might still affect suitable fishing locations.

Click here for live weather updates.


Clutha Regional Forecast

Westerlies increasing, with occasional rain forecast to develop Friday afternoon. Saturday is forecast to have southwesterlies and showers developing through the morning. Overcast conditions with brisk westerly winds on Sunday might affect sight fishing conditions.

The Pomahaka River flow was 15 cumecs at the time of writing this report expect it to fluctuate slightly with the rain on Friday and Saturday.

The lower Clutha River at Balclutha was 744 cumecs.

Click here for live weather updates.


For more ORC water monitoring and alerts information click here.

Grab your licence online and let the angling adventures begin.


Got any Otago fishing news?

Send your fishing news and photos (with anglers’ names) to otago@fishandgame.org.nz for consideration in the weekly report.


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