The Esk River is small
and flows through hilly country over a shingle and stone bed.
In the upper reaches it generally remains clear but environmental
mismanagement by farmers in the area have caused it to deteriorate
over the past two decades. Consequently it will colour up
very quickly after rain and this has had a very detrimental
effect on the fishing over the years as not only does it cause
the fishing water to detriorate but it also causes a major
decline in food for the fish.
When the river is clear however, both rainbow
and brown trout can be spotted in the water and these respond
well to both dry flies and nymphs. The best sections to fish
are the middle and upper reaches.
Fish numbers and size
Low numbers with fish averaging arond 1kg
The lower reaches can be accessed from SH
5 with the middle reaches of being accessed from the Ellis Wallace
Road which turns off SH5 at Eskdale. The upper reaches can be
accessed from Berry Road (which is of Ohurakura Rd). Permission
to cross farmers land must be sought however before fishing
This small river is best fished by dry fly
on nymph (with the exception of the lower tidal reaches which
are best fished with a spinner or large wet fly).
An 8 1/2 to 9 foot rod and weight four to
five line. Floating lines in neatral colours are best.