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Matukituki River

Matukituki River is a large and temperamental river that flows down a wide glacial valley. After the east and west branches meet, the river flows southeast and enters Lake Wanaka from the northwest.

 

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Fish type Rainbow trout
Situation

Matukituki River is a large and temperamental river that flows down a wide glacial valley. The river drains Mt Aspiring and the snowfields of the surrounding mountains and often carries glacial flour making it unstable in the lower reaches. Nor'westerly winds also blow down the valley raising clouds of silt dust.

After the east and west branches meet, the river flows southeast and enters Lake Wanaka from the northwest. At the mouth there is reasonable smelt fly fishing and for 4-5km downstream from the branch confluence there are more permanent pools holding good rainbow trout.

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Description

In the upper reaches both branches hold a decent stock of fish early in the season, but after Christmas many will have dropped back downstream to Lake Wanaka. Sight fishing is often possible in the east branch, while the west branch tends to hold a small stock of resident fish.

The lower reaches are large, braided and often cloudy with glacial flour. Fishing can be poor in this part as the bottom is mostly made up of shifting gravel. However, when the weather is fine and calm and the river is low and clear, the river is well worth fishing.

The fish rise to the dry fly and take nymphs without much hesitation. They also snap at wobblers and other spinning bait. Spinning is worth trying when the water is cloudy and a feathered lure will often take fish.

Access

To access the lower reaches, take the road to Cattle Flat Station and turn right to Paddock Bay, which is just past Hells Gate. You can walk downstream from the bridge to the mouth.

To access the middle and upper reaches, take the road to Cattle Flat Station. There is an emergency 4WD track up the west branch to the Aspiring Hut. For the east branch wade the west branch and walk across the grassy flats.

Methods Artificial fly and spinner only. Fishing for trout from a non-mechanically-propelled boat, a canoe, pontoon or flotation device is permitted in Matukituki River from Glenfinnan Stream confluence to Lake Wanaka.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Hare and Copper, Woolly Caddis, Hare's Ear

Dry flies: Cochybondhu, Royal Wulff, Black Gnat, Twlight Beauty, Red tipped governor

Spinners: Veltic, Z Spinner, Glimmys

Tributaries Matukituki River is a tributary of Lake Wanaka.
Regulations
Applicable to Matukituki River
Region Otago regulations
Season

Matukituki River upstream from Mototapu confluence is open from 1 November - 31 May.

Matukituki River downstream from Mototapu confluence is open all year.

Methods Artificial fly and spinner only
Bag limit 1
Size limit (cm) None

 

 

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