New Zealand's North and South islands are well known for their fly-fishing. Crystal clear waters are home to both lunker brown trout and rainbow trout, descendants of trout introduced in the late 19th century.
Murchison is one of the best areas, surrounded by literally hundreds of rivers, streams and lakes in a region easily accessible by road, boat or helicopter.
The location is spectacular, with magnificent mountain backdrops, forests and a mild climate to boast about. Nearby rivers include the Gowan, Matiri, Matakitaki, Maruia and the Buller, all world-renowned for fly-fishing. The term ‘gin clear’ was first coined for these pristine rivers.
Expect to cast into transparent waters, and forget blind casting if you want to catch anything – these fish are cautious. Here, you need to spot your quarry before you even think of unfurling a cast in its direction. The area is renowned as a brown trout fishery, with the average trout size ranging from three to six pounds and the chance of landing a 10 pounder.
Cost – Rates include lodging, meals and guide and vary from AUD500 per day per person.
Where to stay – A wide range of luxury lodges and home stays are available, in spectacular settings. Popular fishing lodges include the Owen River Lodge and the Maruia River Lodge.
Nearby activities – Being close to both the Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes national parks, there are many activities available, including horseback riding, white water rafting, sea and river kakaying, hiking, mountain biking, skydiving, gliding, jet boating and caving. You can also try a spot of wine tasting, golf, tennis and squash.
Location – Near Murchison in the Nelson Lakes Region of the South Island, New Zealand.
The mid season, from December to February, is probably the best time for classic dry fly-fishing the weather is warmer and stable, insect life has increased and the rivers have dropped a little.
In New Zealand, the river fly-fishing season starts in spring on the first day of October, runs through summer and ends in autumn on last day of April. The variation in seasons and weather provides three distinct seasons within the fishing year.
Latest update: Fly Fishing in Murchison: 5 April, 2019
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