Access to the Mataura River and its 150kms of top fly fishing waters, is pretty good.
There are a number of roads giving easy river access where they cross the river. These include the Ardlussa, Waipounamu, Pyramid and Otamita bridges, Monaghan’s Beach, and Ardlussa-Cattle Flat road.
The Queen's Chain
Marginal strips’ a chain-wide (20.1 meters) were introduced in NZ in 1892 and today are known as the ‘Queens Chain’. The Queen's Chain allows public access to waterways and applies to many riverbanks in the District.
Unformed legal roads (paper roads) can also provide access to waterways. A problem with these historic surveyed paper roads is that some waterways have moved and changed course over time meaning some historic roads now end in the middle of a paddock no longer the river’s edge.
If you are in Gore and don't want to drive far, the river and some good fishing spots are just a short walk from the CBD. You can get to the river's edge downstream of the traffic bridge via River Street or go upstream via Woolwich Street and River Lane.
Angler access is clearly marked by Fish and Game.
There are many tributaries that feed into the Mataura River including the Waikaia River, the Waikaka Stream, the Otamita Stream, and the Waimea Stream.
The combination of these tributaries and the Mataura River offers many enjoyable and enticing opportunities for anglers to fish. The additional locations these tributaries provide for anglers to fish is a strength local anglers and guides taking people out for the day capitalise on.
Reading the Water
The biggest step an angler can make in the transition from casting proficiently to regularly catching fish is understanding where the trout are likely to be - it's referred to as 'reading' water.
Fish and Game NZ says too many novice anglers fish the 'wrong' places and quickly become disillusioned.
"The prime focus should be locating trout rather than fishing barren water. The greatest success will be achieved in places where there is an abundant food supply, cover or deep water for shelter, and well-oxygenated water."
It has a 'how to' guide available online. Here's the link if you want to learn more.
In general, small flies are recommended for use on the Mataura. These include nymphs such as the Pheasant Tail, Willow Grubs, Mataura Darter and other flies that can imitate the renowned delicacy for trout, the mayfly.
Dry flies should include Blue Dun, Wickham’s Fancy, Caddis and the Dark Red Spinner.
Wet flies should include Gosling, Invicta and Spider Patterns in the early season, while mid-to-late season, it would be better to use Alexandra, Claret and Mallard flies.
Spinners can also be used, including Tobys, Mepps and Rapalas.