Early Season Fishing at Owen River Lodge

The river fishing season for the top of the South Island of New Zealand opens on the 1st of October and ends on the 30th of April, which means that the session starts in spring, moves to summer and ends in autumn/fall.

The changing of the seasons brings changes to the rivers, the weather and trout behaviour which means that there are 3 distinct “seasons” within the fishing year:

  • Early Season – Spring (October & November)
  • High Season – Summer (December, January, February & March)
  • Late Season – Autumn/Fall (April)

One of the most underrated times to fly fish in New Zealand is the early season. The early season fly fishing in New Zealand has some advantages and disadvantages.

On the very positive side, the fish haven’t seen an angler for 5 months, there are very few foreign anglers about and the browns start feeding more aggressively as the water temperatures warm up after winter.

These 3 factors can lead to some very successful early season fishing !! It’s early in the season that the brown trout in this region seem to love big nymphs – the stone fly is a classic early season fly.

Typically 75% of your catch will be using a nymph under an indicator. The fishing is still very much casting to sighted fish and most of our rivers have mayfly hatches on a sunny afternoon, so there is always a chance for some classic dry fly fishing action.

The majority of the rivers in this region don’t usually suffer from a lot of snow melt; however they can be running high due to recent rain. However, with over 27 rivers to choose from (within a 90 minute drive) we can normally find a wonderful stream to spend the day on fooling an early season fish or two!

On the down side, the weather this time of the year can be changeable, so it’s always an idea to pack your dull-coloured rain coat. But, you have to remember, fish live in water and a little rain can actually help the fishing by dislodging food from under rocks.

To celebrate the start of the new season, we are offering a very special package deal for the month of October 2012.

Special Deal – Stay for 5 Nights and Pay for only 4!
This special package is available for accommodation & fishing at Owen River Lodge during October 2012. You get 5 nights of 5 star luxury accommodation, all your meals, use of all our fabulous facilities, use of fly fishing gear – waders, boots, rods/reels & 3 days guided fishing for only NZ $3,400 per person, twin share

Early season is a wonderful time to fish at Owen River Lodge, we look forward to show you some of the best fly fishing in the world.

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Feb 25 2017

From the moment you arrive you know you are in a very special place. Having fished quite a bit in the US and staying at what I thought were nice places, this lodge is a whole new… Read more

Marshall and Cathy Texas USA TripAdvisor

Dec 6 2016

I just returned from a 3-day stay at the Owen River Lodge. It was spectacular, and even a short stay easily qualifies as a trip of a lifetime. The accommodations are impeccable—comfortable,… Read more

John 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