Season 2009/2010 Round Up
As winter settles in and the lodge rods are packed away for a few months, it’s a good time to reflect on the remarkable 2009/2010 season.

In terms of bookings, it’s been a great season for us. One could be forgiven for thinking that with the Global Financial Crisis, our business would have suffered. However thankfully I can report that we had our best season ever both in terms of guest numbers and repeat guests
Meanwhile, the fishing was as good as it’s been for quite a few seasons. There were a few reasons the fishing was so memorable, especially in terms of numbers of very large trout caught.

First, we had a mild winter and good rainfall, but without any huge flood events. This helped recruitment of young trout, which we should see the benefits of over coming years. More immediately, it gave the adult fish a relatively easy run through what can be a tough time. Additionally, winter 2009 saw the beginning of a field mouse plague: the fabled ‘mouse year.’
fly fishing on vacation in Murchison New Zealand
Mouse years are not an old wives' tale, but a real event that occurs every five or six years in New Zealand. Once or twice a decade, the three main species of native beech tree all seed at the same time, resulting in an abundance of available food for all forest dwelling creatures, including mice. As mice breed in relation to food supply, there is soon a mouse population explosion.

Lemming-like migrations follow as the crowds of mice move across the countryside looking for food. When the path is blocked by a river, they have no choice but to swim for it or starve. What is a virtual suicide mission for the mice becomes a banquet for the trout.
Fishing for trout New Zealand South Island
I don’t know how many mayflies a fish would have to eat to obtain the calorie equivalent of single mouse, but the benefits of a regular mouse or three in the diet are obvious. Five pounders rapidly become 7 pounders; 7 pounders soon become double-figure trophies.

We’ve undertaken a general update of our web site – including lots of new photos. If you’d like to see shots of some of these plus-size trout, check out 2 new photo pages:


While the mouse plague is over for the next few years, the good news is that many of the trout that have put on weight will carry it over winter into the new 2010/2011 season.
fly fishing on vacation in Murchison New Zealand
Mouse plagues aside, there have been other developments at Owen River Lodge. As winter progresses, there’s the usual maintenance and re-painting that goes on every winter. We’re also replacing the carpet in the main lodge and building a pathway and wooden deck down by the river. I plan to try to catch a big one off the deck when the season opens, without getting my feet wet!

I would like to thank everyone who came and experienced Owen River Lodge this season and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Remember – you’re only a stranger once at Owen River Lodge
Lodge news archive
Articles and reviews of Owen River Lodge
The Fly Fisher Magazine – September 2010
Cathy & Barry Beck review Owen River Lodge
(This review is in PDF format 0.49 Mb)
Fish & Fly Magazine 2008
Owen River Lodge featured in the USA Fish & Fly magazine's annual travel special edition
(This review is in PDF format 1.73 Mb – right mouse click and 'Save Target As' to your local hard disk)
The Flyfisher magazine
The Flyfisher's review of the Lodge- July 2007
(This review is in PDF format 894 kb – right mouse click and 'Save Target As' to your local hard disk)
Club Marine Australia
Club Marine's article about the Lodge and the fishing- 2007
(This review is in PDF format 2 Mb – right mouse click and 'Save Target As' to your local hard disk)
The Flyfisher magazine
The Flyfisher's review of the lodge and the early season fishery – July 2007
(This review is in PDF format 2.5 Mb – right mouse click and 'Save Target As' to your local hard disk)
Freshwater Fishing Australia
Bill Classon reviews his trip to Owen River Lodge in 2005 for Freshwater Fishing Australia
(This review is in PDF format 758 kb – right mouse click and 'Save Target As' to your local hard disk)
Millbrook Lakes Lodge
Dash Laver – Head guide from Millbrook Lakes Lodge reports on his recent visit to the Lodge – October 2004
FlyLife Magazine
Fly Life's review of the Lodge and the "Top of the South" region of New Zealand – July 2004
Luxury Travel Magazine
Luxury Travel Magazine names Owen River Lodge in their "2005 A–List of Travel: The World's Best New Hotels"
Luxury Travel magazine (Australian 2006 Spring edition) named Owen River Lodge in their "Top 20" luxury fishing resorts of the world
Guest reviews
Owen River Lodge has a 5 star quality rating from New Zealand tourism quality agency Qualmark
Owen River Lodge
New Zealand’s finest 5 star rated fly fishing lodge
Owen Valley East Road, Murchison
Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
Tel: +64 3 523 9075