HomeNelson – MarlboroughNelson Marlborough: Where to fishAwatere River

Awatere River


The Awatere is not a highly regarded river but does contain fish and can provide good sport in the upper reaches.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation 20 minutes from Blenheim
Setting The Awatere flows through a mountain valley to enter the sea near Blenheim. Because of the fluctuating flows and the poor water clarity, it is not highly regarded as a trout river. The upper reaches, which are relatively easily accessed, although not holding a huge number of fish, do provide a worthwhile angling experience.

Upper Awatere access map
Lower Awatere access map

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Description The river flows over a relatively unstable bed of rock and gravel making for poor trout habitat through much of its length. The upper reaches tend to remain clear but the lower reaches easily silt up. Wind along the valley (with the accompanying stinging dust it carries) can make for difficult and trying fishing conditions. When the wind is not blowing, the fishing is easy as the river mostly flows over open land.
Fish numbers Fish numbers are low and fish average between 2-3lb.

Access to the fishable upper and middle reaches is via the Awatere Valley Rd which joins State Highway 1 (SH1) just south of Blenheim.

Recommended lures

This river responds best to lightly weighted nymphs such as size 14 Hare and Coppers, Pheasant Tails,or any Green Stonefly patterns. More weight may be required to get to the larger fish spotted in the deeper pools and runs.

Dry flies:
Coch-y-Bondhu, Molefly, Royal Wulff and Humpy patterns can work well when fished over riffles.

Wet flies:
Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and emerger sedge patterns in size 14 work well when fished sub-surface especially during the evening or early morning.

Spinners: Small-bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished into the faster water or through the deep pools are best.

Applicable to Awatere River
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) None

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