Lake Onslow Fishing
Lake Onslow is one of Otago’s best lake
fisheries for brown trout offering excellent fishing for all skill
levels and all methods.
lake covers 830ha. Set in wide, open Otago tussock 700m above
sea level it offers exciting high country fishing for a good
stock of wild brown trout. Due to its altitude and the open
countryside it can be very exposed and bleak in adverse weather.
Lake Onslow is located east of Roxburgh,
off SH8 south of Alexandra.
map with topography
topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260
||View the MetService
weather forecast for Queenstown.
|| Lake Onslow access pamphlet
is a wild fishery with five major tributaries that each offer
excellent spawning grounds for the large population of stocky
fish. It was formed by the damming of the Teviot River. It
is very open and exposed which can make it rather unpleasant
to fish when the weather turns bad. In the warm weather with
a light wind it offers top quality fishing and is suitable
for all methods. Fish rise freely during these warmer months
providing excellent dry fly fishing. Many fish can be spotted
cruising the shoreline so long casting either with a spinner
or fly is unnecessary. Trolling is also very popular.
Bait fishing works well throughout the
year but as the lake water is weedy and shallow, suspend baits
from a float about 1m below the surface rather than usin a
sinker. Worms and grubs work well.
During the warmer months trout rise freely
to take terrestrial insects that have landed on the lake.There
can be excellent sedge and midge hatches and small midge and
emerger sedge patterns fished just sub-surface work well.
During the summer there can be very good fishing using cicada
patterns. Fishing from the shore is best when there is a slight
breeze rippling the water’s surface.
Trolling is the most popular method. As
the lake is very shallow there is not much need to use weighted
lead-core lines (and if using these ise no more than 1 or
2 colours). Most anglers just use a good length of ordinary
Spining is also very popular and to avoid
catching the weeds that grow su-surface, don't let the lure
sink too deep before retrieving..
|Fish numbers and size
is self-sustaining wild trout due to excellent spawning habitat
in the lake’s tributaries. Fish average 1-1.5kg, but
can reach 3kg or more. They are feisty fighters.
The two most popular access routes are
from Miller’s Flat and Roxburgh East, both off SH8.
Both are good gravel roads but recommended for 4-wheel drive
Although most of the access roads are
private, they are usually available for public use by the
owners if approached.
There is a boat ramp on the west side
of the lake by a cluster of privately owned fishing huts.
See the access
Hare's Ear, and
In spring and early summer use Royal
brown or green beetle
imitations. In January and February, use cicada
patterns. Later in the season use Black
Gnat and Peveril
of the Peak. At dawn and dusk thoughout the season, use
Wet flies /Streamers:
Spinners: Black and gold Toby,
green and gold Veltic,
Mepps, silver and
green Hexagon wobbler, and Jensen Insect.
Tributaries to Lake Onslow
- Fortification Creek
- Boggy Creek
- Teviot River (North Branch)
- Teviot River (South Branch)
- Boundary Creek
||Artificial fly, spinner, bait
|Size limit (cm)
||Fishing from boats is permitted.
If fishing from a mechanically propelled boat, the boat must
stay at least 100m from any angler fishing from the shore.
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