and rainbow trout averaging around 2 kg and a small population
of landlocked Quinnat salmon. Late in the season large see run
salmon move into the Lake from the Rakaia river to spawn in
the Mellish stream
||Lake Heron lies in a valley
between the Wild Man's Brother range and Taylor range and is
fed by a number of small streams. At its northern end the lake
spills into the Lake Stream which is one of the tributaries
of the Rakaia river.
map with topography
topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260
is a long Y shaped lake and is the largest of the Ashburton
lakes. There is limited access for the shoreline angler and
fishing from boats is only permitted if the boat is anchored.
Due to the steepness of some of the banks and the vegetation
that often comes right to the water's edge, foot access is
quite restricted in many areas. There can be good fishing
around the eastern bank where the small Swin River enters
the lake (though ensure you get the landowners permission
before crossing their land).
The drop off along the western shoreline
this section is very steep and so is better suited to spin
is an access road along the western shoreline for about 2
km and a track along the southern shoreline that are suitable
for four-wheel-drive vehicles. The Hakatere-Heron Road continues
to the northern end. It veers inland and crosses an old shingle
bed created by the Cameron River, and ends at Lake Stream
which is the outflow into the Rakaia River. Great care should
be taken when travelling this section as sections of the road
can get very boggy after inclement weather. Access to the
eastern shoreline is limited.
Anglers who wish to use a boat will be
able to reach a lot more productive water though care should
be taken as aware that can change very rapidly making boating
See the Ashbuton lakes access
||Lake Heron is open to all methods
of fishing. In some of the deeper sections, spinning is the
preferred and obvious choice. Often the close vegetation precludes
the back casting required for flyfishing and again makes spinning
the better option. Competent anglers who can cast a fly between
the trees should be rewarded however by the number of cruising
trout that move along the shoreline searching for food under
the overhanging vegetation.
||Due to the very changeable nature
of Lake Heron, it is difficult to recommend tackle to suit all
conditions. During the warmer weather when the lake is calm,
very light lines are required. In the more boisterous conditions
however a heavier line (say weight seven or above) is required
to counter the windy conditions. As a consequence, spinning
has become a preferred option for many when fishing this lake
as it is less susceptible to the wind conditions.
flies: During the warmer months, bushy flies such as
or Humpy fished
around the overhanging vegetation during the day and smaller
flies such as a Black
Beauty or Kakahi
Queen in the evening.
Around in flowing streams Mrs
Killer and other bully limitations can be productive.
and spinners that represent small fish. When spin fishing,
ensure that the spinner gets down deep particularly when no
surface activity can be discerned.
||The major tributaries of Lake
Heron are the Mellish stream and the Swin river (both of which
are very remote). Lake Stream at the northern end of the lake
is the outflow for Lake Heron and can provide excellent if rather
South Island regulations
||First Saturday in November
to 30 April
||Artificial fly, spinner, bait
|| Total sports fish: 6
of which no more than 4 trout
|Size limit (cm)
Salmon: Minimum 250mm, maximum 450mm