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The Branch, the Leatham and Argyle Pond (Lake Argyle) Fishing

The Branch River and the Leatham River are attractive rivers but with low fish numbers where spinning is more productive than fly fishing. Lake Arglye (also known as Argyle Pond), into which the Branch and Leatham rivers flow, holds more but smaller fish.

View photos View maps
Fish type Brown trout
Location 40 minutes from Blenheim
40 minutes from St Arnaud.
Situation The Branch and the Leatham flow into Lake Argyle which holds a number of fish. The Leatham and the Branch are attractive rivers to fish but have an unstable bed that makes for poor trout habitat. Consequently have low fish stock numbers.
Maps

Branch and Leatham River maps:
Access map
Access map with topography

Argyle Pond maps:
Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions

View graphs at the Marlborough District Council website of recent:
- Branch river flow
- Branch rainfall

View MetService weather forecast for Blenheim

F&G pamphlet Wairau River access pamphlet  >>>
Description

Argyle Pond

The lake can be fished from the shore or a boat. The canals that are part of this system around Argyle Pond can be fished with either fly or spinner though, due to the type of water, spinning is more popular and so more productive. The canal near the power station at the Lake Argyll outlet has steep banks making it difficult to fish. Below this, towards the Wairau, there are some open and safe areas.

Fish numbers and size

In Lake Argyle and the canals around the hydro canals, numbers are high with fish mostly in the 1-3lb range. In the river systems that feed into the lake the trout are bigger but fewer.

Access

Turn off State Highway 63, on to roads that run alongside the canals and lake. See the access map.

The Leatham and Branch River

The Leatham and Branch River which fed into the lake also hold fish but the numbers are not high. Spinning is the most popular method though fly fishing is also effective.

Access

Turn off State Highway 63, on to the road that runs alongside the lower Branch and the lower Leatham.

Access to the upper reaches involves some walking and requires permission:

  • for access to the upper Leatham, seek permission from Mr and Mrs Ryan of Leatham Station
  • for access to the upper Branch please make enquiries to the Department of Conservation, Blemheim (03) 572 9100.

See the access map.

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Heavy weighted nymphs such as Gold Bead, Hares Ear or Hare and Copper in sizes around 12 - 14 work best.

Dry flies: The faster water of the canals is best suited to a larger bushy fly such as a Royal Wulff, Humpy or Kakahi Queen.

Wet flies: Larger flies such as Mrs Simpson, Hamill's Killer or Red Setter work well.

Spinners: Bright red and gold Veltics or Mepps can be effective in the lake or associated canals.

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Argyle Pond and lower hydro canals downstream to its confluence with the Wairau River
Region Nelson Marlborough >>>
Season All year
Methods Fly, spinner and bait
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) No size limit
Regulations (2)
Applicable to: Branch River
Region Nelson Marlborough >>>
Season 1 October - 30 April
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2 with only one fish exceeding 500mm in length
Size limit No minimum size
Regulations (3)
Applicable to: Leatham River
Region Nelson Marlborough >>>
Season 1 October - 30 April
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit

2 of which only 1 may exceed 500mm

Size limit No minimum size

 

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