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Ohau RiverTrout Fishing

The Ohau River is now a small river that has suffered from water extraction for the nearby Hydro Canals. It holds a reasonable stock of resident fish is a series of pools.


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Fish type Brown trout
Situation The Ohau river drains Lake Ohau and enters Lake Ruataniwha just south of Twizel.

Access map
Access map with topography

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


Water extraction from Lake Ohau into the Ohau Canal has severely reduced the Ohau River flow. It is still a reasonably sized river however with a number of good runs and pools, particularly the section of the river from where it leaves Lake Ohau down to the Ohau B Power Station. Due to its glacial origins however, it often contains a degree of glacial silt that discolours the water making spotting of fish difficuly. Consequently, fishing blind with a nymph or spinner are the favoured options when fishing this water.

Access There is good access to the upper section from a road that follows both banks.
Methods This water is best fished with a nymph or spinner. At times the fish do rise to hatches and so the angler should be armed with the approriate flies etc especially during the late spring and summer months.
Recommended tackle Rods of around 6 weight with a floating line for the nymph fishing or a spin rod capable of casting lures between 7 - 12g are recommended.
Recommended lures

Dry fly: Humpys, Blow Fly patterns, Red-tipped Governors and Coch-y-Bondhu or sedge patterns during the evening rise when it occurs.

Nymphs: Weighted nymphs in sizes 12 to 16 such as very roughly tied Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tail and Halfback patterns.

Wetflies: Streamer flies such as a Parson's Glory, Grey Wulff and Jack Spratt

Spinners: Black and gold Toby's, Rapalas and Cobras

Clean, check dry

Because of the presence of the invasive alga didymo in these waters, anglers must clean their fishing gear including waders and boots, especially when moving between rivers. See Didymo Biosecurity Alert for details.

Applicable to

Ohau River

Region Central South Island regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr

Artificial fly, spinner, bait

Bag limit Trout: 2
Salmon: 2
Size limit (cm)

Trout: No limit
Salmon: Minimum 300 mm


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