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 7lb or 8lb wild 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 very best equipment available and our tariff includes the use of all the fishing gear you may need:

We have loan gear available for the world’s leading suppliers: Simms G3 Gore-Tex waders (ladies’ and men’s sizes available), Simms Gore-Tex wading jackets, Simms Guide and G3 wading boots. We stock from Ladies size 5 up to a mind numbing Men’s size 16 in wading boots and from Small Ladies waders to Men’s XXL.

Additionally, we have a huge range of current model Sage rods (X, One, Igniter, Pulse & Foundation) and Sage Spectrum LT wide arbor reels. And you don’t need to worry if we will have enough loan gear; with over 54 pair of Simms G3 waders and over 70 pair of Simms G3 wading boots, we have more than enough to outfit all of our guests

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.

If you’d like more information about fly fishing in New Zealand, please read our blog entry All the questions you have about fly fishing in New Zealand, but were afraid to ask !”

Contact us

Nov 11 2019

Most amazing place! We were staying at Owen River Lodge in the early spring season, October, and we loved the place! Friendly and inviting staff. Great wines served each evening… Read more

Shelley & Mike Alaska USA : TripAdvisor

Mar 23 2019

A truly fabulous place that exceeded our high expectations. My wife and I recently spent 3 nights at Owen River Lodge. From the moment we arrived to the reluctant moment… Read more

Paul J UK : 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