HomeOtagoOtago: Where to fishTaieri River

Taieri River


The Taieri is a large river that holds a good stock of brown trout throughout its length. It offers a wide diversity of terrain and waters that make it suitable for all angling methods and skill levels.

Fish type Brown trout, sea trout, perch.
Situation The Taieri rises in the Lammerlaw Ranges and drains a large area of swampy tussock land of the in central Otago region before travelling south east through wide open land and rocky gorges to enter the sea 30km south
of Dunedin.

Upper Taieri access map

Lower Taieri access map

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The Taieri is a large river that rises in the central Otago region and then flows over a variety of terrain from easy open sections through to steep inaccessible gorges. Fish are plentiful throughout its length some some sections are much more popular due to ease of access and the fishing conditions the river offers.

The waters are usually peat stained from the swamps they drain in the headwaters making sight fishing more difficult. Those fishing blind into likely lies will often be successful. While fly is the most popular method, spinning is also popular and in some sections due to the difficult terrain, the only practical method.

Upper reaches

From the headwaters to Waipata


From the headwaters to the gorge at Hore’s Bridge is deep, slow moving and similar to the section of the river on the other side of the gorge. Gravel shoulders and short runs flow into large, deep holes.

Wet or dry fly or nymph fishing is successful. Caste accurately as the river is narrow here. Fish often settle in the edges in the long grass and water weed. Spin anglers tend to fish upstream and use the current.

From Hore’s Bridge to Waipata, the most successful method is fly fishing.

The peat-stained water can make it difficult to spot fish, but they are in plentiful supply and often quite large.


Many roads give good access to the upper reaches, from SH87 and various side roads around Paerau, Maniototo and Patearoa. The swampy areas of the river make access on
foot difficult at times.

See the upper Taieri access map

Recommended lures

Corixa imitations and unweighted nymphs.

Dry flies:
Coch-y-Bondhu, Dark Red Spinner, Greenwell’s Glory, Pale Water Dun and Hoppers.

Hexagon wobbler and Toby.

Middle reaches

From Waipata
to Outram


Between Waipata and Kokonga there is good accessible water for fly fishing. From Kokonga to Hyde the river enters a gorge, which can be accessed in boots. Hyde to Sutton is a willow-lined shingle bed with pools and runs.

The gorge is only advisable for fit anglers. Spin fishing is the most popular method here. Use the same lures as described for the lower reaches. Fly fishing is unproductive
as the black rock makes it difficult to spot fish.


Access is available from SH87 and from various side roads.

From Waipata to Kokonga, access is mostly on foot across farmland. (Don’t forget to seek permission to cross private land.) From Hyde to Sutton you can access both sides of the river from SH87.

A small road just south of Sutton off SH87 takes you to the confluence of Sutton Stream and the Taieri. The road to Hindon (near the Outram bridge) is often used by anglers and sightseers and there is access for 1km upstream.

See the Upper Taieri access map.

Recommended lures

Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, green free-swimming Caddis.
Yellow Willow Grub is successful along the edges of the willows in February and March.

Dry and wet flies:
Twilight Beauty, Dad’s Favourite, Greenwell’s Light,  Blue Upright, Blue Dun (especially in the evening).

Spinners: Popular lures are gold Veltics, gold Tobys with red spots and a fin, black Tobys when there is some colour in the water, Glimmy and Z-Spinners.

Lower reaches

From Outram to Taieri Mouth.


This section of the river provides successful worm and spin fishing of the resident brown trout, with sea trout also present at different times of the season.

From Outram to Henley is perhaps the most fished waterway in the Otago district. Spinners, weighted nymphs and dry flies are successful here.

From Henley to the Mouth, the river is deep and slow moving. Fishing without a boat here is difficult as the steep sides make access hard. Live bait is the most successful in this area, as well as spin fishing along the edges. Use plain silver lures from August on, black or green by November, and gold in December. Good fishing is possible in the evenings round November when the grass grub beetles are flying.

Sea trout can be caught at the mouth from September to November using imitation flies. Fish across the current using spinners on a floating line.


Access is readily available between Outram and Henley, from roads and picnic areas accessible from SH1 and SH87.

From Henley to the mouth, there is a road down the south side of the river, off SH1.

See the Lower Taieri access map.

Recommended lures

Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, Midge, Black Snail.

Dry flies:
Coch-y-Bondhu, Dark Red Spinner, Black Gnat, Dad’s Favourite, Twilight Beauty, Greenwell’s Glory.

Spinners: Use mainly small lures in gold, green and black colours, e.g. Tobys.

Methods All methods.
Tributaries Tributaries of the Taieri River
- Silverstream
- Deep Stream
- Lee Stream
- Nenthorn Stream
- Sutton Stream
- Kye Burn
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Taieri River except the areas below
Region Otago regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 4 trout; 2 salmon
Size limit (cm) None
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Taieri River downstream of Silverstream confluence
Region Otago regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 4 trout; 2 salmon
Size limit (cm) None
Regulations (3)
Applicable to Taieri River downstream from State Highway 1 bridge at Otokia
Region Otago regulations
Methods Trolling from a boat which is being mechanically propelled is permitted, provided that the boat stays at least 100m from any angler fishing from the shore.
Regulations (4)
Applicable to Taieri River from Outram to the sea
Region Otago regulations
Methods Fishing for trout from a boat, canoe, pontoon or flotation device is permitted.

Other fishing waters of the region


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