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West Coast: Where to fish

The Westcoast

The Westcoast is a very diverse fishing region. Being long and narrow it ranges from the mild northern section to the wet and wild region in the very south. As a region it has the highest rainfall in the country. From pristine spring creeks to large snow fed rivers and deep forest fringed lakes, the diversity of fishing opportunities is immense.

Trout fishing

The Buller River together with its tributaries forms one of the countries finest brown trout fisheries offering a diverse range of fishing for a large population of trout that often grow to trophy sizes.
The larger tributaries of the Buller are:

the Owen,
the Mangles,
the Gowan,
the Maruia,
the Howard,
the Matiri
and the Matakitaki.

Highest catch rates

With its numerous medium-sized brown trout, the lower Grey River has a catch rate amongst the highest in the region, and there are larger trout in its tributaries including the Arnold River which is easily accessed and popular for fly fishing, the Rough (Otututu) River. the Little Grey (Mawheraiti) River and the Ahaura River.

Good populations of trout

Lake Moeraki holds a large number of brown trout, possibly the best stocked on the West Coast.

The Inanganhua River also contains a very good population of medium to small trout.

Scenic settings

The Waitahu River offers spotting and stalking of trout in a particularly scenic setting.

La Fontaine is a delightful spring-fed tributary of the Wanaganui River with an abundance of brown trout.

Lake Moeraki is a scenic gem best suited to fishing from a boat.

Lake fishing

Lake Brunner is popular for shore and boat fishing. A boat is recommended for Lake Poerua, Lake Haupiri and Lake Moeraki. Lake Mapourika and Lake Paringa contain good stocks of brown trout as well as both resident and sea run salmon.

Wilderness fishing

The Ohikanui River provides a remote wilderness fishing experience with opportunities to stalk and spot the trout. The upper reaches of the Karamea, the Little Wanganui and the Mokihinui rivers are also truly wild and scenic.

Salmon fishing

The salmon run in the Grey River between Omoto and Ahaura varies in size each year. Some salmon are present in the Wanganui River and in some years in the Poerua River.

Lake Mapourika is a productive trout and quinnat salmon fishery containing both resident and sea run salmon. Lake Paringa has fewer resident salmon but sea-run salmon appear from December.