and brown trout
||A beautiful scenic small river
that rises near the Kenepuru Sound and travels first inland
to join the Pelorus just below the Pelorus Bridge reserve. In
its headwaters the Rai has three major branches all of which
provide excellent sport for those that like to fish small waters
by stalking large sighted fish.
River access map
River access map with topography
topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260
at the Marlborough District Council website of recent:
weather forecast for Blenheim
|| Pelorus River access pamphlet
The Rai is a series of delightful
riffles, long glides, deep pools and rapids running over mostly
open land. The vegetation that grows along the banks seldom
inhibits anglers and does provide excellent cover for the
very high fish population. Many describe the Rai as a purist
fishery as it is an excellent dry fly river with fish rising
readily to well presented small flies throughout the day and
evening. It is also a fishery that responds well to other
methods such as nymphing and spin fishing. It can have a spectacular
evening rise, particularly during the warmer months.
The river runs mostly over open farmland, though some stretches
have overgrown banks with willow and other trees. An easily
waded river with few sections out of reach for anglers.
|Fish numbers and size
||Number are very high, especially
above the falls.
Average size is around 2-3lb. In the headwaters and the smaller
tributaires mentioned above, numbers are lower but the average
size is around 3-4lb.
with a road (State Highway 6) along most of its length. Many
access points are well signposted allowing access to the river.
The smaller tributaries, each of which runs alongside a small
secondary road, mostly flow across open farmland so permission
(which is usually readily given) should be sought from the
landowner. See the Lower
Pelorus and Rai River map access map and access
Small nymphs such as Hare
and Copper, Pheasant
Tails and Caddis
imitations in sizes 14 or smaller.
Small flies such as Black
Gnat , Adams,
Favourite and March
Brown . Fish bushier flies such as Coch-y-Bondhu
and over the faster water.
Wet flies: Small
wets like Greenwell's
Brown and emerger
sedge patterns such as Invicta.
bladed spinners (Mepps
As there are rainbow trout in the Rai they respond well to
flashier colours when spinning.
A few kilometers
above Rai Valley township the Rai divides into three smaller
Each is an excellent small fishery in its
own right. These rivers can become very small during the dry
weather but still hold resident fish in the faster water and
the deep pools, particularly where there is good vegetation
cover along the banks.
||Rai River. Closed to salmon
||Oct 1 to April 30th
||Artificial fly or spinner only
||2 (with only one fish exceeding
500mm in length)
|Size limit (cm)
||No minimum size