HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishClarke River

Clarke River


The Clarke River is a tributary of the Grey and is a valuable wilderness fishery holding a good head of large fish.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation Approx 18kms from Ikamatua and about 45kms south of Reefton
Setting A small very remote river that flows through a valley to join the headwaters of the Grey River.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description The Clarke offers excellent fly fishing for large brown trout in clear water.
Fish numbers and size Fish numbers are good and the fish are above average in size with fish up to 5lb common with some going much larger.
Ease of fishing The Clarke requires some effort to fish as only the lower reaches where it enters the Grey have vehicle access. the rest requires some walking though anglers will be able to fish all the way upstream as they walk.
Access Access to the lower reaches is of the Waipuna Road that joins State Highway 7 just south of the small settlement of Ikamatua. The middle and upper reaches require the angler to walk. See the Clarke River access map.
Recommended lures

Any lightly weighted or unweighted Caddis nymph, Pheasants Tail or Hare and Copper are favoured though they should be in small sizes (16 or even 18 is best).

Dry flies:
Fish respond to dry flies such as Adams, Greenwell's Glory, Dad's Favourite or Twilight Beauty throughout the day and into the evening when there can be an excellent rise. Keep sizes in the 16 to 18 range.

Wet flies:
Small wets fished subsurface can be effective

Spinners: Very small bladed spinners such as Veltic or Mepps

Applicable to Clarke River
Region West Coast
Season Trout: 1 Oct-30 Apr
Salmon: 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sports fish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit

Other fishing waters of the region


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