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Arnold River Trout Fishing

The Arnold is a medium-sized holding a large population of medium sized brown trout and some rainbows with a number of access points. An alternative to shore fishing is to drift downstream in a boat. It is also open all year.


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Fish type A high concentration of brown trout mostly in the 2 -4lb range and some rainbow trout.
Situation Approximately 15 minutes drive from Greymouth (15kms)
Setting The Arnold drains from Lake Brunner and flows northwards to join the Grey river 15kms upstream from Greymouth. Approximately 13kms from Lake Brumner is a small hydro electric power station. Above this dam there are very high numbers of fish though fish numbers are high throughout its length. A popular fishery.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Greymouth.
F&G pamphlet West Coast Sports Fisheries access pamphlet  >>>

The Arnold has a tea-stained water and runs strongly over a gravel and stone bed. For most of its 25km length the banks have a covering of native bush or willows though there are also good open stretches. The river is a mixture of deep and powerful glides, deep pools and enticing riffles.

A lot of fishing on the Arnold needs to be done from the bank because of the depth of water, its power and the very slippery stones over which it runs. There are many areas where anglers can wade however though the dense bankside vegetation can be restrictive in places when moving form one spot to the next. The river is usually fishable and seldom colours up. Its population of trout make it a good river for all skill levels. It is also both a very good spin and fly water.

Access Access is via Arnold Valley Rd which folllws the river for most of its course. See the Arnold River access map.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tails and Caddis imitations all work well in sizes 12 - 14 work well. As the water tends to be coloured, use darker coloured flies and use enough weight to get them down near the bottom of the river.

Dry flies: Small flies such as Hardies Favourite, Dad's Favourite, Royal Wulff and March Brown all work well at all times of the day. Fish bushier flies over the faster water as these can often induce a fish to rise.

Wet flies: Small wets such as Greenwell's Glory, Twilight Beauty and March Brown work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are lethal when fishing the evening rise and seem particularly attractive to the rainbow population.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) or Toby or similar patterns fished through the deep pools and drawn as close to the bankside vegetation works well in this river. Use darker colours such as green and black (though as there are Rainbow trout present they will at times be tempted by a flashier colour during the day).

Applicable to Arnold River
Region West Coast >>>
Season Trout: All year
Salmon: 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sports fish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit




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