The Nelson Lakes region, and Kahurangi National Park are world renowned fly fishing regions. Stalking and site casting to big wild brown trout in crystal clear water is a fly fisherman’s dream come true. Your trophy trout could only be a cast away!
This region repeatedly records the most sunshine hours of all of New Zealand, combined with the crystal clear waters and dozens of rivers and streams to choose from, the guided fly fishing experience offered from Falcon Brae Villa can be most memorable. Average catch size of brown trout in this region is approx. 4lb-5lb, with catches of 8lb plus quite common and the chance of a trophy 10lb brown trout may only be a cast away.
The wide choice of rivers available from Falcon Brae Villa 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 various flow rates at a particular time of year.
Access to Dozens of Streams
Falcon Brae Villa is ideally situated on the banks of the Motueka River between the confluence of the Wangapeka River and the confluence of the Baton River allowing our guests immediate access to some of the best fly fishing waters in New Zealand.
Further afield, within an hours drive, guests can access dozens of quality fly fishing streams and rivers within the Nelson Lakes and northern Murchison region. With the aid of a helicopter dozens more fly fishing locations become available to guests at Falcon Brae Villa targeting the ever assertive wild brown trout.
Falcon Brae Villa 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.
The fly fishing waters around Falcon Brae Villa area are quite accessible and some provide quite easy wading and casting conditions, however we do recommend using a local fly fishing guide on most occasions to improve your chances of catching the sometimes elusive and cunning brown trout.
Stalking and spotting the trout, selecting the correct fly, and then making that perfect cast are all aided by the presence of a fly fishing guide. On each day your local fly fishing guide will choose a particular river or stream to fish on the basis of his knowledge of the current weather forecast, various river levels, potential hatch conditions and clients ability in both casting and fitness level.
All our guides are local to the region
Our fly fishing guides have years of experience fly fishing the same waters, and they have been selected for both their fly fishing expertise and just as importantly their ability to make your fly fishing in New Zealand experience an enjoyable and memorable occasion.
Our fly fishing guides will be selected to suit each angler’s needs, whether it be a novice wanting to learn the basics of the sport and have casting lessons, or an experienced fly fisherman wanting to head high up into the back country for the catch of a lifetime.
All of our fly fishing guides are members of the New Zealand Professional Guides Association (NZPGA).
Whilst the Lodge can provide all fly fishing gear, if you prefer to bring your own we recommend the following:
Rod: 5 -6 weight, 8ft 6′ to 9ft.
Reels: Reels should hold 100 metres plus of backing and have a good drag system.
Fly Line: Floating line to suit the rod weight, with double taper or weight forward most suitable. We recommend the use of dull natural colours such as olive, green or grey.
Leaders: Should be 9ft to 14ft tapered down to 10lb (3X), tippets would vary from 6lb to 2lb (5X) depending on the water being fished.
Waders: Good quality breathable waders..
Wading Boots: Studded rubber soles rather than felt soles are now required on New Zealand waters.
Vest: We recommend vests with natural or camouflage colours as with any other type of clothing.
Flies: Your fly fishing guide will provide advice on which fly to use on each occasion, and flies will be available from the Villa. Please contact us for our extensive fact sheet on flies, (sizes and colours) for this region.
Misc: Polaroid glasses, insect repellent, wide brim hat, raincoat, sunblock cream, and a camera to capture the unforgettable moments.
The Villa stocks a wide variety of top quality SIMMS waders and boots, and SAGE fly rod and reels, which are available to guests complimentary.
Enjoy one of New Zealand’s ultimate guided fly fishing experiences in the beautiful top of the south.
The Villa 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 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 back-country 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 back-country rivers and streams only accessible by a three-day hike or helicopter fly in from our helipad at Falcon Brae Villa which is the closest helipad to this region.
The list of rivers accessible from Falcon Brae Villa seems endless – however, to name just a few:
Nelson Tasman region: Motueka, Wangapeka, Baton, Riwaka, Dove, Motupiko, Rolling, Spring Creek
Nelson Lakes region: Wairau, Branch, Goulter, Sabine, Travers, Gowan, Owen, Leatham
Kahurangi / West Coast region: Crow, Karamea, Beautiful, Mokihinui, Leslie, Aorere, Johnson, Ugly
Calendar of fishing seasons
Fishing season opens the 1st of October and closes the 30th of April each year. For more information, see here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May to September
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.