The Wairau River is a large braided river that runs over 100km from its origins in the Spenser and Raglan ranges near St Arnaud.

This is the main river of focus for Marlborough fly and spin fishermen as it holds a good population of brown trout. Rainbows have also been reported in the river and a small salmon run also occurs.

The Wairau offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities, right from its two mouths where one can target sea run browns and kahawai up to the rugged back country head waters fishing.

The river is hugely accessible from both banks in the lower and middle sections, all of which are open to fishing year round. The upper section from the 'Wash Bridge' where SH63 crosses the river is closed to fishing from April 30 to October 1.
Access to the head waters requires paying a toll to the leese holders of the private road to Hamner Springs. One can hike in, but you should still seek permission.

For a map of access points for the lower and middle section of the river - Click Here
For a map of access points for the upper secion of the river - Click Here

For a list of useful flies - Click here ​​​​​​​