Notable Waters: Motueka and Buller Rivers
This region boasts the sunniest climate in New Zealand and also some of the best brown trout fishing rivers in the South Island. It extends down to Inangahua on the Nelson side and to the Conway River in Marlborough. Motueka and Buller Rivers
There is a wonderful diversity of fisheries here within three national parks, one forest park, the Marlborough Sounds, around 20 rivers and 10 lakes. The wily brown trout reigns supreme here. Motueka and Buller Rivers
Marlborough’s Wairau River flows seaward along New Zealand’s great alpine fault providing many open boulder pool stretches where large browns averaging 3 kg. continue to perfect the delicate art of avoiding capture. The skilful presentation of tiny dry flies and nymphs can induce them to rise and take the lure. Motueka and Buller Rivers
The Motueka River in Nelson boasts one of the highest trout populations in the country. The river runs for 120 km, holds trout throughout its length and is visited by up to 20,000 anglers each year. This superb fishery is Nelson’s premier trout water with wild, naturally sustaining browns averaging 1.5 kg. – the doyen of northern anglers just as the Mataura River is the mecca of the south. The perfect picture is the evening rise in the tranquil headwaters. A sensitive hand-cast presents a soft dry fly over a placid pool, which is eagerly taken, and the furious battle begins. Motueka and Buller Rivers
The impressive Buller River is capable of carrying the greatest volume of water of any New Zealand river, sometimes flooding to 30 metres above normal flow levels. It is open to anglers all year round and has splendid fishing for brown trout averaging 2 kg. along its entire length. Its main sources, Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa, provide superb wilderness fishing, both in the lakes and the Travers, Sabine and D’Urville rivers. The Buller is joined by numerous tributaries in the Murchison area, which offer great fishing. The Cobb Reservoir along the Lakes Daniells and Rotoroa, the Pelorus and Rai rivers, are all productive rainbow trout fisheries.
Nelson-Marlborough region has many of the top South Island professional guides who specialise in sighted brown trout fishing. Guided angling safaris on the Buller and Motueka rivers and their tributary streams can be arranged in Nelson, Wakefield, Motueka, Murchison, St Arnaud and Lake Rotoroa. Fly fishing on the Wairau and other Marlborough rivers is available in Blenheim.