Lake Hawea is aproximately 57km long and 7km at its widest point... it is a big lake. Way back in 1958 the lake level was raised by some 20m for hydro electricity generation. Rain water from spring together with snow melt, is held in Lake Hawea to be released over the winter through an outlet gate at the southern end of the lake close to the township. The water released from the lake flows down the Hawea river then into the mighty Clutha river just below the main road bridge in Albertown. There are both brown and rainbow trout in the lake along with a good population of land-locked Quinnat Salmon (which by the way are excellent eating and are caught in good numbers around Xmas time). There is reasonable road access to parts of Lake Hawea for fly anglers along state highway 6 however, most access to the lake along here is quite steep and covered in dense vegetation in places .
Some of the finest backcountry fly fishing in the Southern Lakes region can be had in the Hunter River at the northern end of Lake Hawea, also the Dingle Burn and Timaru creek which both flow into Lake Hawea on it's he eastern side are both excellent fisheries with the latter fishing best up until Xmas time after which most fish will have dropped back down into the lake. These are wilderness rivers that are difficult to access by 4wd vehicle and permission must be obtained from the owners of the both Hunter Valley Station and Dingleburn station if you wish to fish them (Timaru creek does not need permission to fish and is easily accessed). The mouths, or deltas, of both the Hunter and Dingle Burn, along with Timaru Creek can provide some fantastic fishing both early and late season. April-May sees good numbers of pre-spawning browns begin to congregate at the above mentioned stream mouths with fish getting ready to migrate upstream to spawn , then mid winter July-August see's the rainbow trout begin to do the same in preparation for their spawning runs. Over the past couple of seasons I have experienced some fantastic fishing on the river mouths with some quality fish making it to the net.
The in-flowing tributary rivers and streams of Lake Hawea open on the 1st of November and close on the 31st of May the lake itself is open all year round. So there are always oppurtunities for those keen enough to brave the winter months !