HomeOtagoOtago: Where to fishRutherfords Dam

Rutherfords Dam


Rutherford's Dam is situated near Ranfurly in the Maniototo and was built to store irrigation water throughout the winter to be used during the summer months. The dam is artificially stocked on a regular basis with brown and rainbow trout. As there is an abundance of food supply, trout can grow to a good size.

Fish type Rainbow and brown trout
Situation Fish grow to a large size in Rutherford's Dam as the food supply is excellent. Otago Fish and Game stock the dam on a regular basis so if you're looking for a 'trophy fish', then Rutherford's Dam is a great place to try.

Access map coming soon

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast

The edges of the dam are very weedy except for along a rock wall along the east bank. Fish are hard to spot unless rising and usually feed below the surface on damsels, corixa and midges. They will however rise in midsummer, especially to something worthwhile such as a cicada imitation.

Worm fishing is popular early in the season with the bait being close to the edges of the dam. More recently a popular method of fishing has been suspending the worm about
60cm below a bubble or float as it keeps the bait out of the weed and in full view of the trout.

As the weather warms up, fly fishing becomes the popular method for catching trout. Damsel flies, small corixa or midge patterns fished under the surface should bring you luck. Dry flies should be tied sparsely with very little hackle so that they sit in the film within the water's surface.

Access To access Rutherford's Dam, follow the Naseby/Waipiata road about 1.5km past Barney's Lane. As the dam is on private land, permission must be sought at Blakely's house, which is on the right.
Methods All methods
Recommended lures

Midge, Black and Peacock nymphs.

Dry flies:
Mole, Palmer, Coch-y-Bondhu, Damsel fly

Spinners: Small spinners such as Veltic or Toby

Applicable to Rutherford's Dam
Region Otago regulations
Season 1 October - 15 April
Methods All methods
Bag limit 1
Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region


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