Fishing in the Taieri River. Source www.maniototo.co.nz
While many anglers are prepared to drive long distances
to fish the higher-profile backcountry waters to the west of
the region, opportunities right under our noses are being
overlooked and even ignored.
Within an hour's drive of Dunedin there are a number of
waters worthy of a bit more attention.
To the south of Dunedin are the lower Taieri and its
tributaries Lee and Deep streams, the Tokomairiro River and
the lower Clutha. To the north, the Waikouaiti and Shag
rivers are within 40 minutes of the city centre and closer
still are Sullivans Dam and the Southern Reservoir, which are
regularly stocked with rainbow trout and great places to take
The lower Taieri and Tokomairiro rivers are ideal for spin
and bait anglers, as they contain large pools of tea-coloured
water, which provides cover for trout and anglers alike. When
fishing these waters, lures with a lot of action, such as
Veltic spinners and Rapalas, are particularly effective.
Trout will change their colour preferences at different times
of year, but as a general rule gold is good, with green tones
being effective before Christmas and red tones after. Bait
anglers using worms and porina grubs can be well rewarded.
For the fly angler the evening rise on the lower Taieri
between Outram and Allanton can be something special and when
the river is low and clear, fish can be spotted in the
numerous pools and near bank overhangs, providing some ideal
To the north of Dunedin lie the Shag and Waikouaiti rivers.
These are both small and generally very clear, being far
better suited to fly angling than spin or bait. However, the
crafty spin angler who is prepared to use very light gear and
small Rapala-type lures or a sneaky angler with wellpresented
floating baits can have a lot of success.
Brochures covering access and angling methods for waters
close to Dunedin are available at the regional Fish and Game
Office in Dunedin or can be downloaded from the