The Aparima River originates on the eastern side of the Takitimu Mountains and then makes its way south to enter the sea at Jacobs River Estuary near Riverton. Giving it a total length of ~105km. It is the smallest of our main stem rivers and offers good fishing throughout its length.

The upper reaches offer a backcountry fishing experience, with mountainous landscapes, native bush and clear water for sight fishing. 

While the middle reaches meander across the Southland plains. Here the river has gentler gradient and is bordered by farmland.  The pools and willow lined banks hold most of the fish, however it is still common to see a trout holding in shallow water above the gravel bed.

Please got to the bottom of the page to view a video with some footage from one of our drift counts on this section of the river, it also offers from tips on fish location and lure choice.

The lower section is well suited to a wide variety of methods – bait fishing, bouncing soft-baits, swinging lures or streamers, or fly fishing with either dry flies or nymphs.

The tidal zone offers very productive trout fishing when they are zoned in on smaller bait fish.

There is exceptionally good angler access along its entire length. All accesses can be found here

Notable tributaries of the Aparima River include:

Hamilton Burn
Otautau Stream

Aparima drift dive

Southland Fish & Game staff have recently drift dived the Aparima River and give an update here on the numbers of trout seen and the condition of the river.