HomeSouthlandSouthland: Where to fishEglinton River

Eglinton River

The Eglinton River is magnificent trout fishing destination. Restricted to fly fishing, its crystal clear waters and good trout population make this a challenging fishery.

Fish type Rainbow trout, brown trout
Situation The Eglinton flows from Lake Gunn and varies in character as it meanders towards Lake Te Anau. Its riverbed is generally shingle with well-defined pools and bouldery runs created by gorges and ancient tributaries.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast

A premier fly fishing river offering over 30kms of fishable water within the beautiful Fiordland National Park. The river flows mostly over open land with a stable shingle and stone bed between tussock covered banks. It offers generally easy fishing conditions though there are a few areas of beech bushland.

While generally very clear it can carry some colour from glacial melt giving the water a turquoise tinge. It can also flood very quickly and may take up to 4 days to clear after heavy rain. The lower and middle reaches around Walker Creek tend to hold most stock but you can catch trout as far up as Cascade Creek though the section above there is virtually inaccessible.

The east branch is unstable and only worth fishing near the confluence. There are a few trout in the lower reaches of Smithy Creek, flowing through the tussock just beyond Knobs Flat.

The best months are November to January and April-May.

Fish size and numbers Fish numbers are excellent and average around 2kg. The river has strict conservation measures in place, which alter from time to time. Check with the Te Anau sports shop.

A 4km gravel road takes you to the mouth from Te Anau Downs, then SH94 follows the river’s true left (east side of the river) upstream for its entire length. In places you’ll need to walk through tussock flats and beech bush to reach the river. See the access map.

Methods Fly fishing only.
Recommended lures

Pheasant Tails, Halfbacks, Hares Ear, in sizes 12 - 14.

Dry flies: 
In summer try Blowfly, Blue Dun, Royal Wullf and Kakahi Queen

Wet flies:
Small flies such as Greenwells Glory, March Brown and Palmer patterns

Spinners: No spinning allowed

Tributaries Tributaries to Eglinton River include:
- Lake Fergus
- Lake Gunn
- East Branch Eglinton
Applicable to Eglinton River and tributaries
Region Southland regulations
Season Trout: 1 Nov-31 May
Salmon: 1 Nov-31 Mar
Methods Artificial fly only
Fishing from any boat or flotation device is not permitted in the Eglinton River.
Bag limit Total: 1
Size limit (cm) No limit

Other fishing waters of the region is the complete guide to New Zealand trout and salmon fishing.

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