Southland is an angler’s dream, with easy public access and plenty of fish in the rivers and lakes. Fishermen (and women) travel far and wide to fish the beautiful Southland rivers for world-class trout. The environment here allows you to put your skills to the test as you enjoy magnificent mountain vistas, picturesque river valleys, lush rural areas and majestic rivers.
Few anglers can resist the lure – clear, clean rivers and streams teeming with trout ribbon the Southland region. Southland is a fishing paradise which attracts anglers from across the globe to its clear running, trout-laden rivers.
Southland and Fiordland: Fiordland is one of the grandest, most rugged spots in New Zealand. The trout waters (Eglinton, Cleddau and Hollyford Rivers) are bountiful and the fish are comparably untroubled by anglers. A good opportunity to try drift and spin fishing and harling, as well as fly.
Southland’s deep, glacial lakes, Wanaka, Wakatipu, Te Anau, and Manapouri, offer challenging salmon and trout fishing. It also has smaller, less accessible lakes like Mavora. Mataura River and its tributaries offer over 150km of easily accessed waters with brown trout and the occasional salmon. It’s a top dry fly river system.
The freshwater fishing season in most areas runs from October to May and each region has its own set of regulations which should be researched. It also pays to be aware of the changes in conditions and fish behaviour as the year progresses.
Check out the maps below from NZ Fishing and Fish & Game for more location information.
Everyone, of any age, must carry a valid New Zealand Sports Fishing Licence with them (or be named on a family licence with the primary licence holder present) when fishing for sports fish in New Zealand.
To fish a designated back country fishery, a Backcountry Licence Endorsement is required on your licence. First you must get one of these qualifying Whole Season Sports Fishing Licences:
If you are a visitor from overseas you must buy a Non-Resident Licence.