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Dart River

The Dart is a remote and beautiful river that flows into Lake Wakitipu at its northern tip. Despite its beauty however, it is not a highly regarded river to fish though some of its tributaries such as the Routeburn do hold reasonable stocks of fish.

 

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Fish type Brown trout
Situation The Dart flows from the Forbes and Humbolt mountains in a southerly direction to enter Lake Wakitipu in its northern arm.
Maps

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast for Queenstown.
Description

The Dart is a shingle bed river that is prone to flooding due to the high rainfall in the area. The wide river bed is testimony to the huge flows of water that can move down after heavy rain. This combined with the snow and galcial melt makes it poor habitat for a good population of fish. There is very good fishing around the mouth where it and the nearby Rees River enters Lake Wakatipu and some of the small tributaries can also hold fish.

During the drier summer months some fish move into the river from the lake and some of the tributaries but this water is best appreciated for the scenery in which you will be fishing rather than the the fishing itself.

Methods This water is suited to both spinning and fly fishing.
Recommended tackle Rods capable of casting into a strong wind which can blow down the valley at any time of the year.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Big bushy weighted nymphs are best when there is colour in the river.

Dry flies: Big bushy flies such as a humpy or Coch-y-bondhu or a blowfly pattern during the warmer summer months.

Wet flies: Any large wet fly such as a Red Setter, Mrs Simpson or a Rabbitt pattern.

Spinners: Black Toby, Rapalas and cobras.

Tributaries The main tributary is the Routeburn River
Regulations
Applicable to Dart River
Region Otago regulations
Season 1 Oct - 30 April
Methods Spinner and artificial fly
Bag limit 1
Size limit (cm) None

 

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