Fly Fishing in New Zealand

New Zealand offers the greatest trout fishing in the world!

The famous American author/angler Zane Grey described New Zealand as an "Angler's Eldorado" and he was right on the mark – especially when you look at the trout fishery. New Zealand has developed an enviable reputation as one of the greatest trout fisheries on earth.

Top of the South Island

The Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast regions of the “Top of the South island” have developed the reputation as the best sighted trout fishery in the world and Owen River Lodge is located right in the middle of the region.

The fly fishing in this region is truly amazing. You may have heard New Zealand's rivers described as being "Gin Clear" - well it's true! Imagine stalking a 10lb brown trout in water, so clear, that water which looks 12 inches deep is actually up to your waist!

The fishing is this region is done by walking and wading up stream and fishing for sighted brown trout. The fishery is world renowned as a "sighted" brown trout fishery, with the average trout size ranging from 3lb to 6lb (there's nothing average about that!).

This means that for the majority of the rivers, the angler must see the fish, before the fish sees you.

Hunting or stalking our brown trout requires the angler to use a dull coloured fly line, long leaders & fine tippet. Unlike lake fishing, the majority of the casting you will do will be medium to short distances – accuracy being much more important than the ability to cast the complete fly line. Generally anglers use a 5 or 6 weight rod, 9 to 10 feet in length.

The region has a huge variety of streams and rivers to choose from – small intimate rivers like the Owen River to iconic freestone rivers such as the Wairau. Each season, our fishery has granted many an angler's dream of landing a 10 pounder.

Take a guide with you

The secret to maximising your fishing experience is to use an experienced fishing guide. Owen River Lodge is very fortunate to work with some of New Zealand's most experienced fly fishing guides. Due to, in part, the clarity of the water, the fly fishing in this region can be quite technical and therefore enormously rewarding.

We recommend you use a guide whilst staying at the lodge - however the choice is yours; use a guide for all, some or none of your time at the lodge.

All the fishing guides we work with are members of the NZPFGA - New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association. So, if you want to catch a brown trout of your life time – the Nelson/West Coast region is where you need to be!

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