Experience Everything

Fly Fishing Athol

The Mataura River is the trout fishing purists dream. Regarded by many as New Zealand's top dry fly water, the Mataura is a premier fishery offering over 150kms of fishable water. It is considered by some as the ultimate in dry fly angling for brown trout, with nearly 150km of easily accessed waters. All this on the doorstep of Mataura Lodge.

The Mataura generally runs clean and clear and mostly flows over open land and through stands of willows that line the banks. This river presents a number of very different faces to the angler and is hard to describe as a single fishery. What is true however is that it is one of the best dry fly waters along almost its entire length. The prolific hatches of mayfly distinguish this river as trout will rise freely at all times of the day for this delicacy. It also has some great evening rises during the evenings in the warmer months.

 

Mataura River Upper Reaches: Between Fairlight & Athol
Although not as heavily fished as the lower reaches, the conditions here are excellent providing anglers with small stream fishing for a high population of freely rising fish. The river in this section usually runs clear between open grassy banks and stands of willows. Consequently, there is good shelter for the fish which will come out to feed during the day knowing that they are a short dash to the safety of cover if disturbed.

The river flows over a shingle and sand bed and is a series of gentle rapids punctuated by pools and long gliding runs. Often there is a deep section along one bank that will invariably hold fish when they are not out in the runs feeding. Each section must be approached very carefully as the fish will lie and feed in some very shallow water and will dart for cover if disturbed.

You can easily cross the river at the tail of most pools, although watch for slippery stones. While fishing during the day will challenge the best of anglers, there is often an excellent rise in the evenings where the pools become alive with feeding fish. During these evening rises the fish can be less spooky but will often still feed selectively.

Access to The Mataura River

This section between Parawa and above Garston meanders across farmland close to SH 6. Above Garston from SH6, you can gain across private farmland. Between Garston and Athol access to the willow-lined river is easy to access across farmland. See the Upper Mataura Map on NZ Fishing for more details.

More information about the best locations for fishing in the Northern Southland region along with advice on Regulations & Licences visit Fish & Game New Zealand.

 

Fly Fishing & Mataura Lodge Athol

After a day on the river, sit back and relax in your private retreat, Mataura Lodge offers you’re a private oasis to relax and unwind in your time off the river, well-appointed for comfort and function. Catering is taken care of too with a full kitchen at your disposal, or should you prefer, hang out with the locals at one of the nearby restaurants, cafés and pubs. We are also happy to arrange private catering for you should you like to stay in. Morning information about local and regional dining options can be found here.

 

To make the most of your time

We’ve luck enough to have some of New Zealand’s best Fly Fishing guides in our region, we’ve included below a short list of guides who can help you make the most of your experience here on The Mataura.

Fly Fishing with Chris Dore www.chrisdore.com

New Zealand Fly Fishing School www.stusflyshop.com

Stu’s Superior Flies New Zealand www.stusflyshop.com

Kiwi Fly Fishing New Zealand www.kiwiflyfishing.co.nz

Fly Fishing Expeditions www.flyfishinhexpeditions.co.nz

The Mataura River is the trout fishing purists dream. Regarded by many as New Zealand's top dry fly water, the Mataura is a premier fishery offering over 150kms of fishable water. It is considered by some as the ultimate in dry fly angling for brown trout, with nearly 150km of easily accessed waters. All this on the doorstep of Mataura Lodge.

The Mataura generally runs clean and clear and mostly flows over open land and through stands of willows that line the banks. This river presents a number of very different faces to the angler and is hard to describe as a single fishery. What is true however is that it is one of the best dry fly waters along almost its entire length. The prolific hatches of mayfly distinguish this river as trout will rise freely at all times of the day for this delicacy. It also has some great evening rises during the evenings in the warmer months.

 

Mataura River Upper Reaches: Between Fairlight & Athol
Although not as heavily fished as the lower reaches, the conditions here are excellent providing anglers with small stream fishing for a high population of freely rising fish. The river in this section usually runs clear between open grassy banks and stands of willows. Consequently, there is good shelter for the fish which will come out to feed during the day knowing that they are a short dash to the safety of cover if disturbed.

The river flows over a shingle and sand bed and is a series of gentle rapids punctuated by pools and long gliding runs. Often there is a deep section along one bank that will invariably hold fish when they are not out in the runs feeding. Each section must be approached very carefully as the fish will lie and feed in some very shallow water and will dart for cover if disturbed.

You can easily cross the river at the tail of most pools, although watch for slippery stones. While fishing during the day will challenge the best of anglers, there is often an excellent rise in the evenings where the pools become alive with feeding fish. During these evening rises the fish can be less spooky but will often still feed selectively.

Access to The Mataura River

This section between Parawa and above Garston meanders across farmland close to SH 6. Above Garston from SH6, you can gain across private farmland. Between Garston and Athol access to the willow-lined river is easy to access across farmland. See the Upper Mataura Map on NZ Fishing for more details.

More information about the best locations for fishing in the Northern Southland region along with advice on Regulations & Licences visit Fish & Game New Zealand.

 

Fly Fishing & Mataura Lodge Athol

After a day on the river, sit back and relax in your private retreat, Mataura Lodge offers you’re a private oasis to relax and unwind in your time off the river, well-appointed for comfort and function. Catering is taken care of too with a full kitchen at your disposal, or should you prefer, hang out with the locals at one of the nearby restaurants, cafés and pubs. We are also happy to arrange private catering for you should you like to stay in. Morning information about local and regional dining options can be found here.

 

To make the most of your time

We’ve luck enough to have some of New Zealand’s best Fly Fishing guides in our region, we’ve included below a short list of guides who can help you make the most of your experience here on The Mataura.

Fly Fishing with Chris Dore www.chrisdore.com

New Zealand Fly Fishing School www.stusflyshop.com

Stu’s Superior Flies New Zealand www.stusflyshop.com

Kiwi Fly Fishing New Zealand www.kiwiflyfishing.co.nz

Fly Fishing Expeditions www.flyfishinhexpeditions.co.nz