HomeOtagoOtago: Where to fishLochy River

Lochy River

Long regarded as one of Otago's finest back country streams, the Lochy River offers high quality fishing of mainly rainbow trout. Its picturesque scenery ranges from open tussock country to beech forest and craggy mountains. A back country licence is required to fish the Lochy River.

Fish type Mainly rainbow trout, with a few brown.
Situation The Lochy River rises in the Eyre Mountains and follows a northeasterly course to enter Lake Wakatipu at Halfway Bay. Lochy River is an important spawning river for Lake Wakatipu. Although it holds resident trout, more than half the fish will have returned to the lake by Christmas.
Maps

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description The Lochy River is a superb medium sized mountain river offering more than 10km of sight fishing, mainly for rainbow trout, which average 1.5kg.

The upper reaches of the Lochy River flow for about 16km through an open valley. The flats are wide with beech forest on parts of the flat. Below the flats the river river flows through a gorge emerging 1km above the confluence with the Long Burn. The gorge is forested and rough in places and the river is quite turbulent, but great fishing is available to the keen fisherman who is prepared to rock-scramble. Those proficient in casting from awkward positions will most likely hook several fish in the gorge, but landing them can prove extremely difficult.

The upper reaches once held a good stock of resident rainbow and brown trout, but severe flooding in 1994 reduced the amount, resulting in the river catchment above the confluence with Disputed Creek to be catch and release only.

The lower reaches flow across farmland and become quite braided, but there are plenty of fish, particularly early in the season. From the Long Burn the river flows for about 8km before entering Lake Wakatipu at Halfway Bay midway between Queenstown and Kingston. There is no road access to the lower reaches of Lochy River, but can be accessed by boat.

Whilst recovering from spawning, trout will accept a large variety of flies and nymphs presented without drag. Humpy, Cochybondhu, Green beetle and Royal Wulffs are a great choice of dry flies, while Green stonefly, Perla and Hare and Copper are excellent nymphs.

Access Access to the Lochy River can be quite difficult.

The river can also be accessed by boat to the mouth and walking upstream, or by tramping over mountainous country from Mt Nicholas Road to the headwaters. Using a helicopter is a popular access method.

Methods Fly fishing only. Catch and release only for the river catchment above the confluence with Disputed Creek.
Recommended lures

Nymphs:
Green stonefly, Perla and Hare and Copper

Dry flies:
Humpy, Coch-y-bondhu, Green beetle and Royal Wulff

Tributaries The Lochy River is a tributary of Lake Wakatipu.
Regulations
Applicable to Lochy River. A back country licence is required to fish the Lochy River.
Region Otago regulations
Season 1 November - 31 May.
Methods Fly fishing only. Catch and release only for the river catchment above the confluence with Disputed Creek.
Bag limit Zero fish for the river catchment above the confluence with Disputed Creek.

One fish is permitted from the river downstream from the Disputed Creek confluence.

Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region