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Travers River Trout Fishing

The Travers is a beautiful wilderness river providing wonderful fishing for large trout in a beautiful mountain environment.

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Fish type Brown trout
Situation 6 hours walk or 30 minutes boat ride from the small town of St Arnaud.
Setting The Travers is a beautiful river that winds across wide tussock country between bush covered slopes. It has pristine cool snow fed water and is a delight to fish. It is located at the head of Lake Rotoiti (southern end) and is the main feeder into this lake. It is also an important spawning river for the lake.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Nelson Lakes National Park.
Description The river has a mostly shingle bed and very clear water in which the large trout can be easily spotted. The wide grassy flats make for easy casting and the water is easily waded but be warned, like most wilderness waters the fish are easily spooked by any poor cast or hurried approach.
Fish numbers and size Fish numbers are good with the avearge fish being in the 2-4lb range.
Ease of fishing Once there, the Travers is an easy river to fish with wide grassy banks and a good walking track allowing easy access to most of its fishable length.

Access is via walking (about 5-6 hours from St Arnaud or a boat ride.

See the access map.

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small unweighted nymphs such as Pheasant Tail variants and Hares Ear, Hare and Copper.

Dry flies: Cicada patterns are very effective from late summer and beetle patterns work well in early summer. Otherwise use small flies such as Greenwell's Glory, Coch-y-Bondhu, Humpy, Royal Wulff or March Brown. In the faster rapidsr use large visible palmered flies, especially in the hotter months when the river is low and very clear and fish move into this water.

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and emerger sedge patterns such as Invicta work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are lethal when fishing the evening rise which can provide spectacular fishing as the trout tend to feed frenetically at this time.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished into the faster water or through the deep pools or into the faster rapids are best for this river.

Applicable to Travers 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 (cm) No minimum size




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