2019/20 Season Wrap & Covid-19: Booking Flexibility

March 31, 2020

By Felix Borenstein



Well, here we all are, facing a situation that’s unprecedented in our lifetimes. A situation that’s impacting everyone, everywhere.

Thanks to Covid-19, people are anxious about losing their jobs, their financial security and their health.

And in the face of that, I want to talk about fly-fishing at Owen River Lodge.

You might wonder why. You might think that’s a bit tone-deaf in the face of the wider problems humanity is facing right now. But I promise you, it’s not.

Fly-fishing is a passion that binds us all together. It brings us joy. It gives us some of our most cherished memories. It makes us feel good. And in these extraordinary times, feeling good is important. It’s one of the best things we can do for our immune systems and our mental health.

Those who know me will know that I don’t sugar-coat things. I’m not immune to the anxiety gripping the world and I won’t pretend I’m not concerned for my business and for the amazing team of guides, chefs and house-keepers who rely on Owen River Lodge for their livelihood. Thankfully, we have the financial resources to tough this out.

We human beings are wired for hope. Even this current situation with all its strangeness and uncertainty won’t last for ever. I believe we’re going to come through this together, and I hope that the knowledge there’s a peaceful, beautiful place teeming with enormous, wild brown trout just waiting for you when you’re ready to come back, fills you with happy memories and brings a smile to your face.

You might not be able to come here at the moment but I can certainly do my best to bring Owen River Lodge to you. So let’s cheer ourselves up with a look at the season that was … and the promise of the amazing season to come.

2019/20 season wrap

Well, it was extraordinary.

It wasn’t an easy one. The tough weather conditions made sure of that—we had too much rain and some significant flooding initially, followed by a super-dry summer.

Fortunately, the “mouse year” I predicted last April happened in spades! Lodge records were broken and then broken again this season:
• Three guests landed three, double-digit browns in the same day
• One of our regular guests, Peter, smashed the lodge record, landing a 14.5lb wild brown
• In total (with a short season) our sensational guides guided our guests to ¬32 double-digit wild browns—an achievement I doubt will ever be broken.

Then along came that damn virus and New Zealand went into total lockdown on 26 March 2020. While I believe that was the right call to make, it unfortunately meant our season’s incredible run came to an end over a month early.

The upside is that there’s a good chance many of the rodent-eating monsters referred to above will still be double-digit, river dwelling monsters next season—especially now that they’re going to get a six-month holiday from anglers!

Looking ahead to next season

If you’re in the USA, you’ll be pleased to know the Kiwi dollar has massively deprecated against the USD, meaning your next season trip to New Zealand has suddenly become a whole lot more affordable!

Take advantage of this and book ahead now.!

Covid 19 Booking Flexibility

Remember, if you need to cancel you can do so with a full refund up until 90 days out—so there’s nothing to lose.

If you’re unable to make a trip due to official government travel restrictions implemented because of the Covid-19 coronavirus, all payments will be credited to a future stay at Owen River Lodge. This credit will be valid for 24 months.

Until next time…..
Make sure you stay fit and healthy. Maybe do some weights so you’re in peak condition to land a freakishly huge brown next season. Because those bad boys aren’t going to catch themselves.

Our warmest wishes to you and your families
Felix, Kylie and the team at Owen River Lodge

P.S. If you need a fish porn fix, don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages. I’m regularly posting images of some of the season’s triumphs. Enjoy.

Back to list

Mar 16 2020

The very best ! We just concluded our sixth visit to Owen River Lodge over the course of the last few years. On our last two trips to New Zealand we have stayed at ORL on two separate… Read more

Jim & Nancy Chicago USA : TripAdvisor

Feb 17 2019

Exceptional Time We had a tremendous experience at Owen’s River Lodge due to Felix Borenstein’s ability to truly develop a 5 star fishing lodge in a pristine area on the South… Read more

Jeff & Christy: Seattle 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