Rakaia River

The Rakaia River is a large snow feed river originating high in the Southern Alps south of Arthur's Pass and flows into the sea north of Ashburton. The Rakaia River and particularly it's tributaries provides good fishing for Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout whilst Salmon are the big attraction lower down. The main river floods often, and often carries glacial silt, and is the domain of the salmon angler. The mouth also provides excellent fishing for searun browns. There are trout throughout it's length generally in small numbers, look for the more stable sections or where inflows enter the river. For fly fishing it's the smaller tributaries in the upper reaches which are of most interest. Beware the Nor-Wester, a strong wind that blows down river and can make fishing impossible at times so you need to pick the right day to fish here


Fish and Game Access Pamphlet

Tributaries from the top down;

  1. Lake Stream: Fed from Lake Heron, contains Browns and a few Rainbows.
  2. Glenarife Stream: Spring Creek offering mostly Browns
  3. Wilberforce: Braided River, offering Brown and Rainbows
  4. Harper River: Braided River, Rainbow Fishery
  5. Ryton River (Small River entering the northeast side of L Coleridge)


Scenes from the Upper Rakaia River
Upper Rakaia