New Zealand
On the banks of the Motueka River...

Rivers and Seasons

Stonefly Lodge is centrally located between Kahurangi National Park and Nelson Lakes National Park covering the north-west corner of the South Island of New Zealand. Both parks are world renown for holding large wild brown trout and offering both spectacular scenery and unbelievable fly fishing experiences.

Rivers and fly fishing tailored to you

The wide choice of rivers available from Stonefly Fishing Lodge enables guests to experience relatively gentle flowing easy access rivers to more adventurous back country streams requiring more accurate casting and a suitable level of fitness. The location also allows a wide choice of rivers from different catchment systems enabling the fly fishing guides to pick the most appropriate fly fishing destination according to the anglers experience, current weather patterns, and various river flow rates at a particular time of year.

The lodge sits on the banks of the mighty Motueka river between the confluence of Wangapeka River and the Baton river allowing guests to access spectacular fly fishing close by many other streams.

Nelson Lakes

Nelson Lakes consists of 250,000 acres of wilderness and is mainly a no fly zone so 4WD is the main method of access however some really exciting backcountry rivers are accessible by boat across the lakes.

Kauhurangi National Park

This national park consists of 1 million acres of wild pristine wilderness, literally packed with backcountry rivers and streams only accessible by a three-day hike or helicopter fly in from our helipad at Stonefly Lodge which is the closest helipad to this region.

The list of rivers accessible from Stonefly Lodge seems endless – however,to nam e just a few:

Nelson Tasman region Nelson Lakes region Kahurangi region/ West coast region
Motueka Wairau Crow
Wangapeka Branch Karamea
Baton Goulter Beautiful
Riwaka Sabine Mokihinui
Dove Travers Leslie
Motupiko Gowan Aorere
Rolling Owen Johnson
Spring Creek Leatham Ugly

Calendar of fishing seasons

Fishing season opens the 1st of October and closes the 30th of April. For more information, see the South Island Fishing Regulations.

October
Spring weather throughout New Zealand, but still cool. Opening of fishing season for streams and rivers in most districts. Streams with resident browns becoming very active. Excellent fly fishing with weighted nymphs in most mountain streams. Could still experience some spring rain, however the trout have had all winter without angling pressure so they are not as spooky to angler casts.

November
The start of summer weather, with very long days and plenty of sunshine. Very good dry fly hatches, particularly in the evening. The trout are generally very aggressive to artificials and many guides believe this is the best fishing month of the year for browns. The water levels are dropping and getting clearer. The fish are still not too spooky.

December
One of the least crowded months to fish New Zealand waters up until Christmas Day. Great weather and excellent fishing in all lakes, streams and river with streamers, nymphs and dries. The trout in all streams are active throughout the day and at this time the browns seem least wary. Good clear waters with little angling pressure.

January
The main New Zealand summer holidays and so the country is relatively crowded. This is a good month to try and fish more remote waters - best month for helicopter fly-outs using big dries for big browns. Cicadas start appearing this month so dry fly fishing with big cicada imitations makes for spectacular surface action.

February
The most popular month for North American fly fishermen to visit New Zealand. Generally the weather is hot and settled. Streams are at their lowest, wading is easy and the trout most visible. However these conditions demand careful stalking and a delicate presentation with small nymphs and dries. Some fish are becoming selective. Good evening hatch. Cicadas hatches still ongoing.

March
Weather becoming a little cooler in the south. Mountain streams still fishing well for browns with dries. Trout are in peak condition and so a good month for trophies. The Motueka river (at our doorstep) fishes best in this period.

April
The start of Autumn and the last month of fishing in most districts. Some frosts later in the month. Usually the driest month of the year and so river levels very low. Excellent dry fly fishing for browns on many streams with big attractor patterns during the middle of the day. Site casting easier due to lower water levels. The Motueka river (at our doorstep) fishes best in this period.

April
The Motueka River is one of the few rivers in the top of the South Island that can be fished all year round,  however it is only the lower 25km of river fishable May to September.

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