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Situated on 150 acres of private forest just 50 minutes from Nelson, Stonefly Lodge offers the complete package for visitors from around the world
Situated on 150 acres of private forest just 50 minutes from Nelson, Stonefly Lodge offers the complete package for visitors from around the world looking to experience fly fishing in New Zealand. With beautiful views, 5 star luxury accommodation situated on the banks of the Motueka River, Stonefly Lodge offers the world-class stay that you deserve when fly fishing and exploring Abel Tasman and the surrounding landscape of the region. An intimate and unforgettable stay, Stonefly is a luxury lodge in New Zealand’s most idyllic region. Our four guest rooms come with everything from private ensuites to a spectacular view – there’s nothing like immersing yourself in the wilderness of the Abel Tasman and Nelson Lakes at Stonefly Lodge. Your hosts, John and Kate Kerr, have over 50 years combined tourism and hospitality experience and enjoy sharing their dream lodge with visitors wanting professional, personalised service and the ability to explore and experience a very special part of New Zealand.
The Location Species
Brown Trout, It’s hard to imagine a more fly-rod-perfect species than Brown Trout. Targeting wild fish is something that people from around the world are travelling to New Zealand to have a fly cast at. No matter what your experience a week targeting brown trout at Stonefly Lodge within experience guide is going to be a life-changing event. Those like me grew up in the tropical waters of northern Australia have been blessed and are indeed spoilt by the numbers and ferocity of the sports fish that we target. I can remember my first fish on fly close to the mouth on the Daintree River. The first time I caught a wild brown trout in New Zealand I shed a tear. The rivers and streams of the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island are some of the best trout fishing streams on this earth.
Rainbow Trout, Not as famous as their cousins the brown trout but they are a delight to catch. They fight hard but bite softly. Again your guide will be constantly working with you to make sure that you are fishing the best spots with the best fly expertly tied on. Watching a trout midstream actively feeding but not taking anything that you are casting at it with is what makes fly fishing for trout one of the best sports on earth.
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 Stonefly Fishing Lodge 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 Stonefly Fishing Lodge enables guests to experience relatively gentle flowing easy access rivers to more adventurous backcountry 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.
Stonefly Fishing Lodge 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 Stonefly Fishing Lodge targeting the ever assertive wild brown trout.
What to expect.
We all know what it’s like to agonise over the choice of a nymph. We know that is what the fish are eating and our local expert guide knows what they’d typically like in a fly but for some reason, it’s just not taking it. Fly boxes come out of your guides pockets that you didn’t even know existed. As you look at hundreds of different nymphs both your expertise are tested. The wide choice of rivers available from Stonefly Lodge enables you to experience relatively gentle flowing easy access rivers to more adventurous backcountry 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 flyfishing guide to pick the most appropriate flyfishing destination according to your experience the current weather and the flow rate of the rivers and streams. The location of the lodge itself is enough of an experience that you feel like just kicking back and enjoying the view. Different Heli fishing options are available as well if you want to go well and truly out of dodge and explores some of the back, backcountry.
This is not camping this is not glamping this is luxury accommodation providing new with luxurious but homely accommodation. At the end of each day as you contemplate the highs and lows of the fishing you will soon be dreaming of your beautiful hot shower awaiting you. As you get changed overlooking the Motueka River anticipating a delicious dinner and maybe a glass of wine or two I recommend that you pause for a moment each early evening to take in the view.
Fine linen sheets and top-quality duvets combined with handcrafted furniture and local New Zealand are work with the spectacular wilderness setting. All rooms are equipped with private ensuites a writing desk luggage storage and of course a hairdryer. Your ensuite has a fluffy bathrobe along with fantastic towels and of course a heated towel rail.
There are two guest rooms in each of the two wings of the building enabling the rooms to be quiet remote from the main activities area on the ground floor. All guest rooms and the entire Lodge, in fact, has a wireless connection. The lodge offers an iPad for in-house entertainment if you require. Breakfast can be served on the balconies of the guest rooms if you require.
Each room has a super king bed that can be split into two singles allowing the Lords to accommodate for couples or eight singles over time. You can, of course, have your own room which means that there would be no more than four people at the launch if each of you in the group has your own room. Before you head down to dinner if you fancy a private massage in your room by a local massage therapist then they can organise that.
How to get there?
The team at FishingEarth will work with you to put together the most cost-effective and time-efficient travel plans for you. We will work with you to make sure that your budget and time limitations are taken into account and the best route there and of course the best route home. AtThis FishingEarth we get excited for you when you are going on a FishingEarth Fishing Adventure. But the thing that makes us smile is when you walk in your front door ‘home’ safe and sound.
Brown Trout & Rainbow Trout
Fishing season opens the 1st of October and closes the 30th of April. For more information, see the South Island Fishing Regulations.
Spring weather throughout New Zealand, but still cool. The opening of the 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 artificial 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 hatch 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.
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.
FishingEarth will work with you to develop the best possible package around prime fishing times and your availability.
The team at FishingEarth will work with you to put together the most cost-effective and time-efficient travel plans for you. We will work with you to make sure that your budget and time limitations are taken into account and the best route there and of course the best route home. AtThis FishingEarth we get excited for you when you are going on a FishingEarth Fishing Adventure. But the thing that makes us smile is when you walk in your front door ‘home’ safe and sound. It is easier thank you think!
Q. Do I need my own fly fishing gear?
A. No you do not. They have top quality sage and simms gear.
Q. What type of fishing is the area famous for?
A. Big Bad Wild Brown Trout. Some of the most amazing country (the area is famous for its backcountry)
Q. What is the weather like?
A. What makes the landscape what it is and the fishing as good as it also makes for some interesting weather. Pack to keep warm and dry.
Q. What else is there to do?
A. You are there to fish and fishing well. I recommend that you take at least one-day, heli fishing.
Q. What does FishingEarth recommend?
A. Back to that heli fishing agian… I recommend that you give it a crack… The country that you typically fly to requires a little more fitness than most over spots.
Q. Passport Information
A. To travel to New Zealand you’ll need a valid passport with minimum 6 months validity and 2 full free passport pages
Q. Can we drink the tap water?
A. Difficult to find anything in New Zealand that is not drinkable. Their water is amazing their beer is fantastic and the wine is some of the best in the world as well.
There are so many things to love about New Zealand (apart from the fact we cannot beat them in men’s rugby) the D number one recommendation would be to take the time each day and take in your surroundings.