Otago Weekly Fishing Report - 9 February 2023

  • Otago
  • 9/02/2023

 Otago Weekly Fishing Report - 9 February 2023

Prospects up, temperatures down

With a heatwave thankfully behind us, rain and cooler air temperatures have lifted the fishing prospects this weekend.

Pictured: Andrew Day with a 45cm rainbow caught spin fishing in Lake Wakatipu this week.


Flushed for success

Heavy downpours in the headwaters of Wanaka tributaries this week should do wonders for the fishery, Nick at Southern Wild in Wanaka says.

Rivers such as the Wilkin and Matukituki were momentarily “unfishable” due to high levels but are likely to be much improved for fishing once they recede.

The whole system has been flushed out and fish should be looking up for the weekend, he says.

The cool-down will also hopefully bring salmon up higher in the water column in lakes.


Spinning is winning

Spin fishing with hard-bodied and soft-bait lures have been effective around the edges of Lake Wakatipu this week.

Productive spots include around Kingston wharf, the mouth of Staircase Creek, and the Kawarau arm. Black-and-gold paddle tails and motor-oil grubs have been working well for soft-bait anglers.

Wakatipu tributaries seem to have missed out on much of the rain that fell in the headwaters further north, and are still low, Dylan at Queenstown Hunting & Fishing NZ says.

Andrew Day, from Queenstown, says he’s has been catching decent-size rainbows ─ “a fair few 50-60cm fatties” ─ while spin fishing in Lake Wakatipu in the last week on a variety of lures.

“They are fighting very aggressively and eating anything with a rattle, spin or flash at around 1m below surface. Soft sits not getting much action at all,” he says.

“Salmon are mostly up around Glenorchy it seems while the browns are very sluggish and feeding on naturals along the lake bed.”

Angus Ives (15), of Wanaka, searches the edge of Poolburn Dam for signs of trout on Waitangi long weekend. Photo by: Bruce Quirey.

Trolling the depths

Fish & Game rangers checked 33 anglers on Poolburn Dam on Saturday and the only ones catching fish were trolling. The surface water temperature on Saturday was up to 22degC, dangerously warm for trout.

We also met father and son Dave and Angus Ives, of Wanaka, fishing the dam edge on Monday.
"No luck unfortunately,” Dave says, “but a great place to spend the day anyway. Angus and my dad Murray all had a good day, and we will be back later in the season.”

The dam is low with a broad margin between the grass or tussocks and the water’s edge, which reduces the chance of cicadas or hoppers on the water.

Dave Ives tries a black and gold Toby lure in the hope of luring fish from deeper water at Poolburn. Photo by: Bruce Quirey.

Previous reports have mentioned the dangers of submerged rocks in Poolburn Dam, but this photo illustrates how easy a serious boating mishap on the water could occur. Slow down and watch out! Photo by: Steve Dixon.


Hit and miss

Fishing around Central Otago should start to improve this week, Tim at Central Otago Hunting & Fishing NZ says.

Lake Dunstan has been “hit and miss” this week for anglers but the top of the lake has been producing, including on cicadas.

Fly anglers have been successful catching browns and rainbows on pheasant tail nymphs this week in the Hunter Rivers and nearby tributaries, Tim says.


Cool evening action

Rain and cooler weather should make a positive difference for fishing around Dunedin this weekend.

Ryan at Dunedin Hunting & Fishing NZ suggests searching out deeper holes such as the Taieri River around Outram in the evenings.

Fly anglers at Southern Reservoir have been catching rainbows on cochy-bondhu and blowfly dry patterns on the change of light in the evenings.

Logan Burn Dam – or Great Moss Swamp, to use the old name ─ continued to turn on the cicadas in the past week, Ryan at Dunedin Hunting & Fishing NZ says. But a drop in air temperature this week is likely to slow down the cicada action.

Other anglers searching their proven spots in Deep Stream and Lee Stream struggled to spot any fish.

Small trout were holding in the riffles of the Manuherekia River in the gorge at Fiddlers Flat last weekend. Photo by: Bruce Quirey.


Clyde Dam live webcam

Want to know conditions at Clyde Dam? The lower end of Lake Dunstan is a great spot for spinning and trolling in deeper water. Check out this live webcam sponsored by Contact Energy updated every 15 minutes.

Here's the outlook for the weekend:


The weekend looks promising as showers and cooler air temperatures have taken the sting out of the recent heat. What does this mean for our overheated rivers? The Taieri River at Outram water temperature had eased to 18degC at the time of writing but was at 2.284 cumecs ─ below minimum flow.

Click here for live weather updates.



Rainfall – about 13mm at Wanaka over the past week ─ and a heavy flush in the headwaters is just what the fish doctor ordered to cool things down. Fishing looks promising with light winds and medium summer temperatures. Check the latest forecasts before heading out on the water.

Click here for live weather updates.



Fine, mostly calm conditions await anglers in Central. Keep going deep to find the fish zones. Central did not enjoy as much moisture that fell in other parts of the region this week, and temperatures in shallow water will be still high.

Click here for live weather updates.


Clutha Regional Forecast

Expect fine and cloudy conditions in the Clutha area.

The Pomahaka River flow has been dropping all week, suggesting little rain in the headwaters. At Burkes Ford the flow, about 4 cumecs, triggered an ORC low level alert.

The lower Clutha River flow rate at Balclutha has been on a roller coaster up and down, last at almost 600 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.


Tight lines, 

Otago Fish & Game

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