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Maerewhenua River Trout Fishing

The Maerewhenua River is a small clear water trout stream holding moderate numbers of brown and rainbow trout in the middle and upper reaches. It is best fished early in the season.

 

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Fish type Brown and rainbow trout
Situation

The Maerewhenua River is the second largest tributary of the Waitaki River. It rises in Danseys Pass in the Kakanui  Mountains and flows northward to join the Waitaki at Duntroon. In the upper reaches the river divides into two branches, the North and the South Branch.

Maps

Access map
Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

River flow

During the height of summer, this small river often suffers from low flow and some trout descend to the Waitaki River instead, making fishing unproductive during this period.

View a graph of the current Maerewhenua river flow at the Environment Canterbury website.

Weather forecast

For an up-to-date weather forecast:

Description

The best fishing is early in the season in the upper reaches where the water is more stable and you can walk to some deep pools in tussocky gorges.  The upper reaches divide into the North and South branches.

North Branch: Trout are more numerous in the larger North Branch.

South Branch: Access is more difficult but if a good flow is evident, you may come across the occasional large adult trout that has remained there after spawning.

Fish numbers and size

There are moderate numbers of brown and rainbow trout in the middle and upper reaches. The Marewhenua holds some large trout with an occasional catch of 2.5 kg.

The lower reaches are shingly and there are limited stocks of trout.

Methods Fish can be spotted. A careful approach is needed in bright summer conditions. Nymphing is generally succssful during the day. But when mayfly hatches occur, they are all the trout will feed on.
Access

The road from Duntroon to Livingston and Danseys Pass follows the river. You need to walk to reach the deep pools in the upper reaches.

See the access map and list of access points.

Recommended tackle

Generally, fine tippets on a light floating line are best.

Larger pools may require a deep sunken nymph, using a sinking line or a sink tip.

Recommended lures

Nymphs and dry flies in smaller sizes are recommended.

Dry flies: Royal Wulff, Adams Irresistible, Red-tipped Governor, Coch-y-Bondu, March Brown, Blue Dun and Humpy. Emerger patterns such as the Caddis Emerger are often good when a hatch is on.

Nymphs: Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tail, Hare's Ear.  Also Gold or copper beadhead patterns such as the Hare and Copper Gold Bead. Early in the season, the larger Stonefly and Creepers nymphs such as Dobson Fly Creeper will entice post-spawing trout.

Regulations (1):
Applicable to Maerewhenua River upstream of SH83
Region Central South Island regulations >>>
Season 1 November to 30 April
Methods Fly fishing only
Bag limit Trout: 2
Salmon: 2
Size limit (cm) Trout: No limit
Salmon: 300 mm minimum
Regulations (2):
Applicable to Maerewhenua River downstream of SH83
Region Central South Island regulations >>>
Season

1 November to 30 April

Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit Trout: 2
Salmon: 2
Size limit (cm)

Trout: No limit
Salmon: 300 mm minimum

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