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Orari River Trout and Salmon Fishing

The Orari river is an easy access river which holds a reasonable population of brown and rainbow trout and quinnat salmon late in the season.

 

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Fish type Holds rainbow and brown trout in reasonable numbers mostly in the 0.75 to 1 kg range and salmon late in the season when rain has increased the water flow.
Situation

The Orari rises in the Ben McLeod ranges and flows eastwards to enter the sea north of the township of Temuka.

Maps

Access map
Access map with topography

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

River flow and water clarity

View graphs at the Environment Canterbury website of:
- the current Orari river flow recorded at the Orari Gorge
- recent rainfall at the nearby Rangitata Gorge

Description

The Orari River flows over a shingle bed between banks that are frequently willow lined. Unlike the larger rivers such as the nearby Rangitata river, the Orari is rain fed and so is often fishable when the others are discoloured with snow melt.

During the summer months however the rivers flow can reduce quite dramatically making fishing very difficult. The river fishes best either early in the season or later in the season when there has been some rain to increase the river flow.

Salmon fishing

When to fish

Salmon enter the Orari river late in the season (from January onwards) after there has been sufficient rain to increase the volume of water. When the river is low during the height of summer, salmon will generally not enter the river. The best time to fish is after heavy rain and the water is starting to drop and clear.

Fish numbers and size

Spawning runs of salmon on the Orari River are irregular but when the conditions are right reasonable numbers of well conditioned fish will move into the river.

Recommended tackle

Spinning with a 7 to 8 foot rod capable of casting a heavily weighted (18 to 30 g) spinner is the most popular method.

Trout fishing

When to fish

The best time for trout fishing on the Orari River is either early or late in the season. During the summer months when the water flow is low, the angler may have success either early in the morning or at dusk when the trout will sometimes feed quite voraciously.

Fish numbers and size

There is a reasonable number of fish throughout the river they mostly they are around two pounds or just under 1 kg in size.

Recommended tackle

This is ideal water to fish with a nymph or dry fly. It is important to use late tackle however particularly when the water is very clear. Rods capable of casting a four to six weight are ideal. During the summer months, long leaders are required.

Access See the access map.
Regulations (1):
Applicable to Orari River and tributaries upstream of Slip Panel Stream
Region Central South Island regulations >>>
Season Trout: 1 Oct-30 Apr
Salmon: 1 Oct-31 Mar
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Trout: 2
Salmon: 2
Size limit (cm) Trout: No limit
Salmon: 300 mm minimum
Regulations (2):
Applicable to Orari River and tributaries downstream of Slip Panel Stream
Region Central South Island regulations >>>
Season Trout: 1 Oct-30 Apr
Salmon: 1 Oct-30 March
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Trout: 4
Salmon: 2
Size limit (cm) Trout: No limit
Salmon: 300 mm minimum

NZ Flyfishing Escapes

NZ Fly Fising Escapes

 

 

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