Continue heading south-east from Cass along the shingle Graigieburn Road. The track to Lake Hawdon is approximately 10 km past Lake Sarah. You must cross over the railway line several times before reaching it on the right hand side of the road. It used to be possible to drive down this track all the way to the water’s edge but nowadays anglers must park up and walk the last kilometre or so to the edge of the lake. Sadly this is something that has now become all too common.
Just a kilometre from nearby Lake Marymere, Lake Hawdon is very shallow, but the water clarity for the most part is excellent. This is not a lake for beginners as the trout are usually quite a challenge to catch. A good fishing method is for you and your mate to work as a team; with one doing the casting; while the other spots fish and directs the cast ahead of cruising rainbows. The trout may be difficult to catch but the effort is worthwhile as there are some excellent trophy fish in Lake Hawdon.
Spin anglers are advised to fish smaller sized lures as the rainbows and browns will have no trouble spotting your lure in the clear water. They will often follow for a time without striking. Try a small Black and Gold Toby, Zed Spinner, or Glimmy. Spin anglers should fish 6 lb, or lighter, monofilament.
Regulation Change In September 2011 North Canterbury Fish & Game announced that the use of non mechanically propelled vessels is now permitted at Lake Hawdon. It means you can now fish in Lake Hawdon from a float tube, dinghy or kayak provided you use paddles only. Motors are not permitted.
The fishing season for Lake Hawdon is from the first Saturday in November to 30 April. There is no winter fishing extension. The bag limit is 2 trout per day. Both fly and spin fishing are permitted. There is also a walking track about 1 km in length at the southern end of Lake Hawdon linking with the northern end of Lake Marymere .
Lake Hawdon is 1.3 km long by about 600m at its widest point. It contains both rainbows and browns some of which are big trophy fish. This lake has a good reputation for producing hard fighting fish but it will take some perseverance and skill on the part of the angler to catch them!
Continue along the road for another 2 km past the Lake Hawdon track until you reach the Lake Marymere track on the right. There you must park and walk down the track for approximately 15 minutes to reach the lake. There is also a walking track joining the southern end of Lake Hawdon and with the eastery end of Lake Marymere .
The fishing season for Lake Marymere is from the first Saturday in November to 30 April. There is no winter fishing extension. Fishing from boats and kayaks is not permitted on Lake Marymere . At one time Lake Marymere was a “catch and release only” water but this is no longer the case.
The permitted bag limit for Lake Marymere is 2 trout per day. Lake Marymere is a fly fishing only water. The lake does not hold large numbers of trout however it does hold some quite large fish. Like most Canterbury high country lakes fishing in a howling nor’ west wind is quiet typical especially during the summer months. Casting in this wind can be a trial. Recommended dry flies include; Cock-y-Bondhu, Twilight Beauty, beetles, and cicadas. Anglers have also been successful fishing Lake Marymere with killer style lures such as Mrs Simpson and Hamill’s Killer fished close to the surface on a slow sinking fly line. Nymphs fished on a similar outfit are also worth a try.