The Southern Lakes District boasts abundant salmon, rainbow and brown trout and landlocked quinnat salmon. The northern end of Lake Wakatipu, near the mouths of the Rees and Dart Rivers, offers the best fishing (by boat) for trout. Car or boat access allows visitation to eight serene lakes and ten rivers from the township of Queenstown. Consult any sports shop for information on the best spots. The Queenstown Airport can arrange guided fishing expeditions, flying to remote destinations by helicopter.
Travel northeast to a popular fishing destination, Lake Wanaka or picturesque Glendhu Bay located on the south shore. Those fishing off the bank of Glendhu Bay will require waders.
The Upper Clutha River provides great fishing from its lake exit, north of Wanaka as far as Luggate. A very informative guide to the river can be obtained from the Department of Conservation in Wanaka. Although much quieter than Queenstown, Wanaka caters to fisherman, boat hire and experienced fishing guides abound.
Lake Hawea is extremely deep and must be fished by boat. Rainbow and brown trout inhabit its waters.
Fiordland National Park, located to the west, is home to two large lakes, Te Anau and Manapouri. Fishing is very good in Lake Manapouri and extremely good in the rivers north and south of Lake Te Anau.
The northern Eglinton River can be accessed from the Te Anau-Milford Sound road (Highway 94) and boasts magnificent fishing at Knobs Flat, located 62kms from Te Anau. The southern Waiau River links Lake Te Anau to Lake Manapouri. Four vehicle tracks lead to the river from the Te Anau-Manapouri road and the area is well signposted. The Milford Track allows access to other attractive rivers. Both rivers are open for fishing from the 1st of November until the 31st of May.
The Southern Lakes fishing season commences on the1st of October and finishes on the 31st of May. The limit is six fish per day, however only four salmon may be captured.