Aug 29th, 2018
Owen River Lodge, New Zealand
Located in the greater Nelson Lakes/Murchison region at the north end of the South Island, Owen River Lodge is a stylish and cool, yet understated lodge for discerning fly fishers. From home base on sixteen acres of serene riverfront property on the Owen River, guests can easily access more than thirty rivers in the area, most of which are less than an hour’s drive from the premises. The rivers of the west coast, Murchison, Nelson and Marlborough regions are all within reach. For those willing to chopper out, even more systems await exploration.
In addition to the comforts of the main lodge, guests enjoy private cottages with king beds, reverse cycle air conditioning, fine original artwork, and handsome wood detailing. Meals at the lodge are eclectic and superb, borrowing from Maori, Polynesian, Asian, and European traditions in a unique fusion referred to as “Pacifica Cuisine.”
Adventurers visiting the lodge have ample activities to choose from including mountain biking, hiking, vineyard tours, rafting, caving, horseback riding, golf, and local gallery tours.
Expert Interview with Brian Gies
Where is the lodge?
The lodge sits on 16 acers on the Owen River just outside the small town of Murchison
How do I get there?
Fly to Nelson, NZ and either rent a car or get shuttled approximately two hours to the lodge
Why should I go?
Arguably the biggest reason is the location of the lodge and the fishery that surrounds it. From their location they access over 30 rivers within a 90 minute drive and another dozen or so accessible only by boat/foot or helicopter. The vast majority of the rivers are gin clear and hold wild brown trout that average 4lbs to 5lbs. Beyond the fishing the boutique lodge is known for it’s service and the food. The owner Felix is always on site to make sure every detail of your trip is expertly handled and meals prepared by chef Ryan are simply stunning.
When should I go?
Any time between November and April. My personal favorite is mid-November to mid-December.
What are the guides like:
Owen River Lodge has assembled some of the most experienced, friendly group of
fishing guides in the country. They all grew up fishing in this region, with the vast majority have 15 plus years guiding experience. They are all professional in the approach, highly skilled and love to hunt wild brown trout. Some are best suited to the advanced angler but others are great teachers and perfect for any skill level. Even beginners.
Are there other activities?
Absolutely there are almost endless opportunities for guided and unguided activities including, hiking, mtn biking, horseback riding, white water rafting, golf and wine tasting.
How do they fish?
All the fishing is wading and 90% of the time you will be sight fishing with either a dry fly or a nymph.
What fish will I catch?
Primarily Brown trout but there are also rainbows in a number of rivers.
How many fish will I catch?
New Zealand is a quality over quantity fishery. If you are targeting the trophy browns of this area landing 3 to 6 fish a day is considered a great day.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge is prepared with everything you need. Waders, boots, rods, and reels and guides provide flies.
What is your favorite rod for the trip?
I often travel with 4wt, 5wt, and 6wt rods but the 5 gets the most use.
What are the physical demands?
Guests should be prepared to do all of their fishing while wading. The wading is not difficult but you often cover a number of miles each day so being in good walking condition is a plus.