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Pelorus River Trout Fishing

The Pelorus is a serene and beautiful river holding large number of both rainbow and brown trout. It offers different types of water for all angling skill levels and many open stretches with good access. View Pelorus River photos

Lower Pelorus access map

Lower Pelorus topographic map

View photos View maps
Fish type Rainbow and brown trout
Situation 35 km/ 0.5 hr from Blenheim
80 km/ 1 hr from Nelson
Maps

Upper Pelorus access map
Upper Pelorus access map with topography

Lower Pelorus access map
Lower Pelorus access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions

View graphs at the Marlborough District Council website of recent:
- Pelorus river flow
- Rainfall at the Rai Falls (near the Pelorus)

View MetService weather forecast for Blenheim

F&G pamphlet Pelorus River access pamphlet  >>>
Upper reaches

Description

The upper reaches of the Pelorus above the Tinline stream offers true wilderness fishing. Some areas are closed in by vegetation.

Fish numbers and size

Larger mostly brown trout are caught in the upper reaches and the Wakamarina tributary.

Access

The upper reaches above the Pelorus Bridge require some effort to get to as here the river flows through a native bush lined valley. There is excellent access to the headwaters by taking a well-marked walking track from above the Tinline Stream. Some DOC huts provide overnight accommodation.

See the Upper Pelorus map and access details.

The Tinline The Tinline is a small stream that enters the upper reaches of the Pelorus and holds some fish. It is best fished early in the season before the warmer drier weather reduces its flow.
Middle reaches

Description

The middle section of the Pelorus has a number of glides and rapids flowing over a stone and gravel base. The middle section is easy to fish as it flows over open farmland allowing good unrestricted casting.

The section around Pelorus Bridge can get a number of swimmers making fishing frustrating during the summer months.

The middle reaches below Pelorus Bridge are easy fishing as the river flows through open land over a rock and gravel bed

Fish numbers and size

Numbers are very high especially in the middle and lower reaches where fish average around 0.5 to 1.2 kg.

Access

Above the Pelorus Bridge the Maungatapu road follows the river for several kilometers with a few access points signposted.

See the Upper Pelorus map and access details.

Downstream from the Pelorus Bridge the main Blenheim / Nelson Highway follows the river for many kilometres and has several well signposted access points for anglers. 

See the Lower Pelorus map and access details.

Otherwise it is necessary to seek permission from landowners to cross their properties as the river can be some distance from the road.

Lower reaches

Description

The very lower reaches are wider and more difficult in that the river is generally wide and deep. In this section there can be some good catches of sea-run fish however.

Fish numbers and size

The lower reaches are deep and hold good fish stocks but are best suited to spinning. Fish average around 0.5 to 1.2 kg.

Access

See the Lower Pelorus map and access details.

Tributaries The Rai, the Wakamarina are major tribuatries of the Pelorus.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tails and caddis imitations (all work well in sizes 14 or smaller. Some weight is required to get the flies down to fish in the deeper pools in the lower reaches.

Dry flies: Small flies such as Hardies Favourite, Dad's Favourite and March Brown all work well at all times of the day. Fish bushier flies over the faster water.

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and emerger sedge patterns such as such as Invicta or Caddis Emerger work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are lethal when fishing the evening rise which can be quite spectaular during the last light on a warm summers evening.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished into the faster water or through the deep pools are best for this small river. As there are Rainbow trout in the Pelorus they respond well to flashier colours such as gold and red when spinning.

Regulations (1):
Applicable to: Pelorus River upstream of its confluence with the Rai. Closed to salmon fishing.
Region Nelson/Marlborough Fish & Game region >>>
Season

Oct 1 to April 30

Methods Fly and spinner
Bag limit 2 fish (with only one fish to exceed 500mm in length)
Size limit (cm) No minimum size
Regulations (2):
Applicable to: Pelorus River downsteam of its confluence with the Rai
Region Nelson/Marlborough Fish & Game region >>>
Season

All year

Methods All legal methods: artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 2 fish
Size limit (cm) No minimum size

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