Backcountry rivers for the best fishing spots!

Otago's backcountry rivers opened for fishing season in November, offering a unique range of angling opportunities and experiences.

Otago is fortunate to have some of the most outstanding backcountry rivers in the country, and while they are commonly visited by overseas anglers, there is always plenty of room for the locals.

The resource that tourists pay thousands of dollars to see and experience is in our backyard - most of us probably take it for granted, yet it is freely available for everyone to enjoy. Kiwi kids love the outdoors - it's in their DNA and they will truly appreciate the chance to fish somewhere new and exciting.

The 4WD trip or tramp in, staying over at a hut with people met along the way and, of course, great fishing are all wonderful experiences that will be fondly remembered.

Fish and Game is working enthusiastically to ensure backcountry angling experiences are maintained through fishing regulations which requires an additional licence for designated backcountry fisheries.

Three additional Otago rivers - The Hunter, Young and Wilkin - now require a backcountry licence. Anglers will need to upgrade their whole-season or family fishing licence to a backcountry licence (BC licence) to legally fish in those waters along with the five rivers already classified (Nevis, Greenstone, Caples and Upper Lochy rivers and the Dingle Burn).

The BC licence is a simple endorsement on a whole-season licence (at no extra cost) in the form of a coded number, which is available on the Fish and Game website: All BC licence registrations are entered on a database and at the end of the season an online survey will be conducted monitoring satisfaction and use.

It is not legal to use designated backcountry fisheries with a 24-hour licence and anyone doing so commits an offence.

Familiarise yourself with local fishing regulations and spend some time this summer in Otago's outstanding backcountry.

Travel prepared, as weather conditions can change quickly, and if the fish aren't biting the incredible scenery alone will make the trip worthwhile.