Great local fishing spots

Fishing in the Taieri River. Source
Fishing in the Taieri River. Source
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 kids.

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 stalking opportunities.

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 website: