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 » Things to Do » Fishing in Otago » Waters of the Maniototo

Fishing the Waters of the Maniototo

On the Maniototo there are several irrigation dams that have been built to collect water during the winter period for release over the summer. These dams never run dry and have turned into good fisheries. Most of these waters are on private land but permission has been granted by the land owners to fish. Therefore it is up to us, as anglers, to respect the wishes of the landowners as sometimes they have areas closed for lambing, stock or paddock work. Please take your rubbish away with you and on no account dig for worms on their property. Also leave your dog at home or chain it to your vehicle.

  1. West Eweburn Dam: This water is set in the hills behind the Naseby forest and has its own stock of brown trout which don’t grow to a very large size. All methods are used and the season runs from 1 October to 30 April, with a bag limit of six fish. Access: off State Highway 85 on the Wedderburn-Naseby plantation road, then turn left into Reservoir road that takes you to the dam wall.

  2. Coalpit Dam: Built during the mining ear to store water for gold recovery, it is situated in the Naseby forest and has been consistently stocked of Fish and Game over the years. It often gets an influx of trout from draining the water race in April. It is home to both rainbow and brown trout, and do not be surprised to catch a brook char as they are picked up by the Mt Ida race. This water is open all year round with a bag limit of three fish.
    Access: Is from the Ranfurly-Naseby road. It is well signposted. Do not bother fishing the fishing dam as it dries out in the summer. The area has toilets, car parks and picnic areas at the dam.

  3. Hoffman’s Dam: This is a mining dam situated in the Naseby forest. The water is in two parts with a very narrow neck. It is very deep in the first section where you come off the track over the Mt Ida race and sometimes the water is milky coloured. It is stocked with both brown and rainbow trout. The water is open all year round with a bag limit of three fish.
    Access: Is gained off the Ranfurly-Naseby road, but instead of going on to Coalpit Dam, turn right up the hill and you will soon come to the signposted car park. You have to walk up the track from the car park around 100 metres. There is a walking track which continues right around the dam.

  4. Blakely’s Dam: This dam was built by the Blakely family and stands on private property. It has been stocked as a fishery since the seventies. Permission to fish is granted unless there is a sign at the first gate advising that access is closed. It is a ‘put and take’ fishery that has rainbow and brown trout, but on some occasions the odd brook trout has been caught. These fish sometimes come down the irrigation race. The bag limit is three fish per day and the season is 1 October to 30 April.
    Access: From Ranfurly take the Patearoa road and turn right at the Waipiata-Gimmerburn intersection to Gimmerburn. Turn right again and you will pass over Creamery road. The entrance way to the dam is on the second rise on your right, it is signposted with a fish.

  5. Rutherford’s Dam: Another ‘put and take’ fishery on private land where fish grow to a large size as the food supply is excellent. The dam is stocked with both rainbow and brown trout. The edge of the dam is very weedy except for along the dam rock wall and a section on the east side. The season is from 1 October to 30 April, but this water is often close by the owners till Labour Weekend (end October) in some seasons. The sign at the gate will give you this information if closed. There is a bag limit of three fish per day.
    Access: The road to the dam leads off the Waipiata-Naseby road about 1.5km past Barney’s Lane. Turn left in front of the house in the trees and follow the road past the dog kennels then past the woolshed and either park or take the second gate on your left.

  6. Mathias’s Dam: The dam is on the east side of the Maniototo and is part of the east side irrigation system. Because of this it is connected to the Taieri River and it has a permanent influx of small brown trout coming down the race. Fish and Game also stock this water but mainly with rainbow trout. It has a bag limit of three fish and the season runs from 1 October to 30 April.
    Access: Again this water is on private property and access is by the Waipiata-Patearoa road. After you pass the Hamilton’s turn off and the tarseal ends, the gate is on your left beside a large willow. Travel slowly as there sometimes electric fences over the access way. These always have handgrips on them so please put them back as you find them.

  7. Upper Taieri River: Meandering throughout the Maniototo Plains is the Taieri River. From below the gorge at Hore’s bridge to Kokonga the river winds and flows at a very slow pace, making it a nice fishing area for all methods. It possibly suits the spin angler best as it allows you to fish down stream. Fish across to the far bank and retrieve back to the edge that you cast from.
    Access: There are several bridge access points through this section. The river has chainage on its banks throughout its length. The season runs from 1 October to 30 April, with a bag limit of six fish.

  8. Hore’s Control Pond: This water is part of the Maniototo power and irrigation system. It is the dissipation pond that sends the water to both irrigation schemes after coming out of number one power house. Small brown trout come down to live in the pond from the river via the power canal. This pond is often sheltered from the southerly wind and some of the other fickle winds that occur in the Maniototo. It is quite shallow and although all methods are used, it fishes best to the fly anglers as the section on the other side of the canal is very shallow. The season runs from 1 October to 30 April with a bag limit of six fish.
    Access: Is via the Styx-Patearoa road, turning to your right just over the canal where the tarseal ends. Please leave gates as you find them because again you are on private property.

  9. McAtamney’s Head Pond: This head pond is on the Styx-Patearoa road as you go up the hill. The pond is on the McAtamney’s property so leave gates as you find the. The water itself is not very deep. It comes around the race from the Paerau control dam for the Taieri River, bringing with it a good population of small brown trout of which few stay and some move on down through the power scheme to Hore’s Pond below. Fish and Game have stocked the head pond with rainbow to take advantage of the large number of midge insects that are produced by this water. This has been successful and they have grown to a reasonable size. The season runs from 1 October to 30 April with a bag limit of six fish.
    Access: From the Styx-Patearoa road on you right going up the hill. There are two gates where you can enter. The first is just below where you see the pipe which feeds the power station going into the bank and the second is where you come alongside the canal for the fist time. Both these gates are on your left.

The beautiful Waters of the Maniototo
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