HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishStyx River

Styx River

The Styx River is a fabulous scenic backcountry stream that offers top quality fishing for wild trout in a pristine environment for the purist angler.

Fish type Brown and rainbow trout
Situation 21 kms from Hokitika
Setting The Styx is a beautiful river that is very scenic in its upper reaches. It is remote in the upper reaches and this is where the better fishing will be found for the more experienced angler.

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Description Mostly it flows through a bush lined valley but generally has good open banks allowing good casting space. The river flows over a stone and gravel bottom and fish are easily spotted in the clear water. The river is a mixture of long glides, rapids and some deep pools where trout may be found in the hotter weather. The river is wadeable though be careful on the slippery stones
Fish numbers and size Moderate numbers of both brown and rainbow trout and although they can reach good sizes they are mostly in the 2-4lb range.
Ease of fishing There are several kilometres of easily accessible and open water but this is really a water for the skilled angler as trout are very wary and challenging to catch.
Access Access to the lower 5kms of the Styx is via the Upper Kokatahi Road. From there it is walking along a well defined track that follows the river for around 14kms upstream.
Recommended lures Nymphs: Small unweighted nymphs such as Pheasant Tail variants and Hares Ear, Hare and Copper fished on very long leaders.

Dry flies: Cicada patterns are very effective from late summer and beetle patterns work well in early summer. Otherwise use small flies of the Greenwell's Glory, Royal Wulff or March Brown type flies. In the faster water use large visible palmered flies, especially in the hotter months when the river is low and very clear.

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and emerger Sedge patterns work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are lethal when fishing the evening rise.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished into the faster water or through the deep pools or into the faster rapids are best for this river. As there are Rainbow trout in the Styx, try flashier colours such as red and gold patterns when spinning.

Applicable to Styx 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

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