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Rough River (Otututu River)

The Rough River (also known as Otututu River) is a purists river that provides challenging fishing for very large hard fighting brown trout in a pristine wilderness environment.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation 40Kms from Greymouth though to fish this river also requires some walking.
Setting The Rough or Otututu River is as the name suggests a challenging boisterous rain fed river that flows from the Paparoa Range and flows south west to join the Grey River near the small settlement of Ikamatua. It is a river for the purist angler who is both fit and adventurous - and not a river to learn on!

Access map

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Description The Rough is a powerful river that flows over a rock, gravel and boulder bed. Mostly it flows through native bush and provides an ideal environment for fish to grow to very impressive sizes. This combined with the boisterous water well oxygenated water means that the fish are extremely fit and agile and can be a real challenge to land any that are hooked. With the exception of two gorges which are difficult to negotiate, most of the river is able to be fished by any fit angler. It is however always a challenging river as there are few places where the river is anything but swift flowwing over slippery rocks. While fish can be spotted in the water it is usually fished blind as the turbulent currents make it very difficult to see into the water. The upper reaches are very challenging as it flows through a steep bush covered valley.
Fish numbers and size The Rough holds good numbers of fish many of which reach trophy size.
Ease of fishing A difficult river to fish. Not for the beginner or faint-hearted.
Access The lower reaches of the Rough are accessed via the Atarau Rd which crosses the river about 2kms from its confluence with the Buller. Mirfin road (and a small road that leads of it) provide some access to the middle reaches but mostly the road is too far from the river to be of use. Walking or helicopter fly-in are really the only options.
Recommended lures Nymphs: Larger flies are recommended such as a gold bead Hare and Copper, Stonefly pattern or Pheasants Tail variant (sizes 10 - 14). Use heavier weighted flies in the deeper or faster water. On this river which sweeps the flies past the fish very quickly, getting the correct depth is important.

Dry flies: Any Adams, Greenwell's Glory or Mole Fly can be effective in sizes 14 or smaller. Large bushy flies such as deers hair sedge patterns also work well in the faster water. During the early summer a Green Beetle or a Cicada pattern from late summer work well during the day.

Wet flies: Small wets work very well when fished across and down the current. Patterns such as a March Brown, Dad's Favourite or Greenwell's Glory are all effective.

Spinners: This is not ideal spinning water but if this is what is to be used try small bladed spinners such as a Mepps or Veltic and fish them upstream into the faster water. The best spinning water is in the lower reaches.

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

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