HomeSouthlandSouthland: Where to fishUpukerora River

Upukerora River


The Upukerora is a small river that flows through an open valley providing around 50 kms of fishable water for a good population of brown and rainbow trout in the 1 - 2 kg range.

Fish type Brown and rainbow trout in good numbers averaging between 1 and 2kgs
Situation The Upukerora river rises in the Livingston Mountains and flows south west to enter Lake Te Anau just north of Te Anau township.

Access map

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Description The Upukerora is a small attractive stream that flows over a gravel and stone bed and is an important spawning river for the Lake Te Anau. In the lower reaches it holds mostly rainbow trout with a lower number of brown trout in the upper reaches.

Despite its proximity to Te Anau town with its easy access, it is a relatively un-fished water that can provide several kilometres of wonderful fly water for those who enjoy the challenge of fishing small streams. The banks are mostly clear allowing good casting and the water generally runs clear allowing fish to be spotted feeding in the well defined lies. It is a mixture of fast water and good pools. There is plenty of good cover for the fish and the river and the bankside vegetation provides an excellent source of food.

Fishing can also be very good in the very lower reaches and at the mouth where the river enters the lake. Towards the end of the season large numbers of rainbow and brown trout congregate around the mouth of the river in preparation to move upstream to spawn.


Two kms north of Te Anau town centre, a bridge crosses the Upukerora on SH 94. A gravel road on the town side of the bridge turns upstream which gives good access to a number of good pools. The best fishing requires some walking.

Methods This is a delightful small stream perfect for dry fly and light nymph fishing.
Recommended tackle Light tackle is best. An 8 foot 6 or 9 foot rod capable of casting a weight 5 floating line should be ideal. In the height of summer when the water is low and clear a long leader is advisable.
Recommended lures

Small lightly weighted or un-weighted nymphs such as a Pheasant Tail and stonefly patterns.

Dry flies:
Small mayfly patterns such as a Blue Dun, Kakahi Queen or Twilight Beauty. In the summer when the Cicadas are chirruping, a large cicada pattern can prove irresistible particularly to the rainbow trout. Also try a blowfly during warm still days or a Daddy-Long-Legs (Crane fly) in the evening.

Wet flies:
Soft hackled flies such as a Gosling worked across the faster water and through the riffles. Emerger patterns are also good on this water either fished as wee-wets or cast just ahead of a trout rising in the evening and left to float downstream rather like a dry-fly.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners such as a veltic or Mepps.

Tributaries While a number of small streams join the Upukerora there are none of significance to the angler.
Applicable to Upukerora River
Region Southland regulations
Season 1 Nov - 31 May
Methods Artificial fly and spinner
Bag limit 1
Size limit (cm) No size limit

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