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Pomahaka River Trout and Salmon Fishing

The Pomohaka is a major tributary of the Clutha River and a famous fishery in its own right. It is a long river, which starts out as a classic high country stream holding some large brown trout and sea salmon.

View Pomohaka River photo

View Pomahaka River access map

View Pomahaka River topo map

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Fish type, number and size

The Pomahaka holds brown trout and sea salmon (plus perch).

In the headwaters, the trout are large (2-3 kg) but few. In the middle and lower reaches, there are smaller fish (0.5-1.5 kg) but more of them.

Returning sea salmon average 2-6 kg. However, an 11kg salmon was landed by a Tapanui man, Jason Stuart, in February 2008. The fish didn't fit in the boot of his car so had to be transported home on the back seat. Jason reported two or three other salmon of a similar size in the hole where he was fishing.

Situation The Pomahaka River rises south of Roxburgh in the Umbrella Mountains, and winds through 125 km through West Otago farmland before entering the Clutha River below Clydedale.
Maps

Access map

Topographic map

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

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast for Queenstown.
F&G pamphlet Lower Clutha Catchment pamphlet
Conservation order

A conservation order, designed to provide for the unimpeded migration of fish, prohibits damming of the Pomohaka River except for stockwater supply purposes. For more details refer to the Otago Regional Council website and the Regional Water Plan.

Upper reaches In the headwaters, the Pomahaka is a classic high-country stream with steep gorges, deep pools and clear, slightly tea-stained water.

 

Middle reaches In the middle reaches, (fromLeithen picnic area to Conical Hill) the river flows mainly through flat pasturelands with a gravel bed.
Lower reaches In the lower reaches, there is a series of gorges and flats, and the water is darker in colour making it harder to spot the fish.

 

Recommended lures

Variants of the mayfly at different stages of its lifecycle should be tried on all parts of the river.

Nymphs: Large weighted nymphs in the headwaters, including Hare’s Ear and Pheasant Tail. In the middle and lower reaches in summer, Willow Grub is a must.

Dry flies: Terrestrial type dry flies in the headwaters such as Coch-y Bondhu and Grasshopper

Wet flies:

Spinners: Veltic, Toby, or articulated trout

Tributaries Waipahi River
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Pomahaka River except areas below
Region Otago regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 6
Size limit (cm) None
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Pomahaka River downstream of Swans Bridge (Clydevale Road)
Region Otago regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 6
Size limit (cm) None
Regulations (3)
Applicable to Pomahaka River upstream from Park Hill Bridge (Switzers Road)
Region Otago regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 3
Size limit (cm) None

 

 

Michael Vetters

Michael Vetters, Fly Fish the South

 

Wentworth Heights

Wentworth Heights /

Fly Fish Mataura

Awatere Cottage

Awatere Cottage

Aspiring fishing guides

Aspiring Flyfishing guide

 

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