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Poerua River Trout and Salmon Fishing

The Poerua River in South Westland offers the chance to catch a good sea-run trout or salmon when fishing the lower reaches.


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Fish type Brown trout and some salmon.
Situation 65kms from Hokitika
Setting This river rises in the Southern Alps and flows west to join the Tasman Sea just south of the remote and windswept Wanganui Bluff.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Hokitika.
F&G pamphlet West Coast Sports Fisheries access pamphlet  >>>
Description While the upper reaches do hold fish, the best fishing on this river is to be found downstream from the State Highway 6 bridge. Due to the high rainfall in the area the river is prone to flooding and the consequent unstable shingle bed does not provide good trout habitat in the middle reaches. The lower reaches have some rapids between some deep pools. Fish are hard to spot in the coloured water however and this means it is best fished blind with a spinner or large fly.
Fish numbers and size There can be good runs of sea-run fish and some slamon in the lower reaches. Otherwise not a heavily stocked river.
Ease of fishing Moderate in the lower reaches.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Pheasant Tail variants or Hare and Coppers with some weight work well when fished blind through the faster water.

Dry flies: Small flies such as Royal Wulff, Hardies Favourite, Dad's Favourite and March Brown all work well at all times of the day. Fish bushier flies such as Coch-y-Bondhu and Humpy over the faster water.

Wet flies: Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and emerger Sedge patterns work well when fished sub-surface. Large flies such as  a Parson's Glory or Grey Ghost are excellent when the trout are chasing the whitebait in the lower reaches and estuary. Use large dark patterns such as a Hairy Dog or Scotch Poacher during the night.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic) fished upstream into the faster water or through the deep pools. Spinners such as a dark Toby also work well in the lower reaches when the whitebait are running.

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Poerua River (South Westland) upstream of State Highway 6
Region West Coast >>>
Season 1 Oct-30 Apr
Methods Artifical fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sports fish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Poerua River (South Westland) downstream of State Highway 6
Region West Coast >>>

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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