Trout fishing in New Zealand

Zane Grey, famous American author and angler, described New Zealand as an “angler’s Eldorado”. He was right on the mark, especially when you look at the trout fishery.

Over the years, New Zealand has developed a reputation for having the best sighted river fishing for trout in the world. And Owen River Lodge, with its easy access to the Nelson, Marlborough, North Canterbury and West Coast fisheries at the top of the South Island, is perfectly positioned to put you at the centre of all the action.

Fly fishing – top of the South Island

Here you can enjoy fly fishing on numerous blue-ribbon streams and rivers, with over 30 waters accessible by road (most within one hour’s drive) and countless others by helicopter. The region offers huge variety, ranging from small, intimate rivers like the Owen River, to iconic freestone rivers such as the Wairau.

The average trout size ranges from 3lb to 6lb (there’s nothing average about that!) but each season our fishery grants many an angler’s dream of landing a 10 pounder.

A sighted brown trout fishery

You may have heard New Zealand’s rivers referred to as being “gin clear”. Well, it’s true!
Imagine stalking a 10lb brown trout in water so clear that it looks 12 inches deep when in fact it’s up to your waist.

The fishing in our region involves walking and wading up stream and fishing for sighted brown trout. This means that for the majority of the rivers, you must see the fish before the fish sees you.

You should use a dull-coloured fly line, long leaders and 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.

Fishing gear at Owen River Lodge

Naturally, we have the world’s best equipment available and our tariff includes the use of all the fishing gear you may need:

Simms G3 Gore-Tex waders (ladies’ and men’s sizes available),Simms Gore-Tex wading jackets, Simms Guide and G3 wading boots - size 5 up to size 14, and a large range of current model Sage rods (One, Method, Accel & VXP) and reels.

Owen River Lodge is one of only two fishing lodges in the world selected by Sage to be a fully-authorised dealer. We offer a friendly, professional service for both experienced and novice fly fishers.

Contact us

Feb 23 2013

Our decision to go fly-fishing in New Zealand was the easy part. Deciding on where to stay was a lot harder. After a few months of research, we narrowed our selection down to three… Read more

John Dimitriou Melbourne, Australia: TripAdvisor

Jul 25 2014

Having been at a wide variety of lodges on the south and north island there isn’t a lodge that compares…if…and I do mean if you are looking to tackle big bruiser browns.… Read more

Robert D, Bountiful, Uta, USA - TripAdvisor

Awards & acknowledgements

Owen River Lodge NZ: “Fly fishing at its very best”

Ph: +64 3 523 9075 Address: Owen Valley East Road, Murchison, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Email: stay@owenriverlodge.co.nz