Otago Weekly Fishing Report - 4 April 2024

  • Otago
  • 4/04/2024

Otago Weekly Fishing Report - 4 April 2024

Taieri turning it on

Anglers have been enjoying exceptional fishing along the Taieri River during the Easter period. Recent rainfall and cool temperatures have contributed to favourable water conditions, resulting in hungry and energetic fish.

Fly anglers have found success using small mayfly patterns paired with size 14 pheasant tails. Meanwhile, spin anglers have been achieving good results by slowly retrieving natural-coloured soft baits.

Notably, angler Rylan Melrose had an impressive day, catching and releasing over 10 brown trout. All of Rylan's catches were made using a Berkley PowerBait T-Tail soft bait in the olive-pearl colour.

It's important to note that the upper Taieri River, above the Outram/State Highway 87 bridge, will close for fishing from April 30 until October 1 for brown trout spawning.

Anglers interested in targeting these excellent brown trout should plan their trips accordingly to avoid missing out. For more access points along the Taieri River click here. 

Above: Dunedin Hunting and Fishing staff member Hadlee with a well-conditioned brown trout caught on a soft bait in the upper Taieri River.  Photo: Hadlee Edmunds 


Winter licence

One of 15 brown trout that Rylan Melrose caught on an olive pearl-coloured soft bait during a session on the Taieri River. Photo: Rylan Melrose.

People wanting to rug up warm and give trout fishing a go over the colder months can now buy their Winter Fishing licence.

The adult winter licence saves 40% off the price of a whole season licence and is valid from April 1 to September 30.

Licences are available from all the usual licence agents, or from our website: https://fishandgame.eslltd.co.nz/shop



Sea-run trout

April presents a prime opportunity for targeting sea-run brown trout as they migrate into the lower rivers or estuaries before their upstream spawning journey. The incoming tide, especially, tends to attract these fish as they follow the baitfish.

For spin anglers, using a silver Toby or small silver soft bait can yield success during sunny days. Opting for darker lures during evenings and nights, as they cast larger shadows, can help.

Fly anglers could try streamers or small crab patterns when fishing in estuaries, as crabs are a significant part of the sea-run trout's diet. Bait fishing with prawns, sprats, and worms (where permitted) can also be effective.

It's worth noting that sea-run trout are sometimes mistaken for salmon due to their orange flesh and silver hues. Like salmon, sea-run trout also offer excellent table fare, making them a rewarding catch for anglers.

Popular locations include Catlins Lake, Kaikorai Estuary, Toko Mouth and the lower sections  and river mouths of the Waikouaiti, Clutha, and Taieri rivers.


Closing the distance

Above: George Richie with a Lake Wānaka brown trout caught on a Black Gnat. Photo: Lesley Burdon.

As we approach winter and the air temperature decreases, fish in southern lakes are transitioning from deeper sections to shallower areas in search of food or to begin their spawning runs.

This movement brings them closer to shore, offering shore anglers a prime opportunity to catch them. Additionally, boat anglers can sight fish, casting towards the shore.

Spotting these cruising fish can be challenging, but using topography to gain height can greatly aid in observation. Try to avoid casting shadows on the water, which can startle the fish.


Clyde Dam live webcam

A screengrab of the Clyde Dam webcam taken at the time of writing.

Want to know conditions at Clyde Dam? Check this live webcam sponsored by Contact Energy updated every 15 minutes.


Lake Wānaka live webcam

A screengrab of the Clyde Dam webcam taken at the time of writing.

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


Here’s the weekend outlook:


For Dunedin this Friday, cloud is forecast to clear mid-afternoon with south-westerlies winds easing. Saturday and Sunday are both forecast to be favourable for fishing with clear skies and light winds. Cloud cover is forecast to build on Sunday evening.

The Taieri River at Outram was flowing at 3.74 cumecs. The water temperature was 11 degrees C.

Click here for live weather updates.



Stunning weather is forecast for Wānaka this weekend, with clear skies and light winds perfect for fishing. Take advantage of ideal conditions and head out on the lake or some backcountry river.

Click here for live weather updates.



Alexandra is forecast to be absolutely stunning with clear skies, light winds, and mild temperatures. Perfect for heading up to the large reservoirs for a weekend adventure.

Click here for live weather updates.


Clutha Regional Forecast

Isolated showers and westerlies are forecast for Saturday before clearing in the evening. On Sunday the forecast is clear before cloud cover builds along with easterlies.

The Pomahaka River was flowing at 11.6 cumecs at the time of writing and still dropping from the recent rains.

The lower Clutha River at Balclutha is flowing at 360 cumecs.

Click here for live weather updates.


Getting started

Need a fishing licence? Go online here, 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. If photographing a fish to be released, hold the fish over water and make it quick – the fish should not be out of the water for more than five seconds.

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