Fishabout

Stone Fly Lodge New Zealand

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  • Fish for: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout
  • Available seasons: October 1 - April 31
  • Location: South Island
  • Recommended stay: 3 days
  • Accomodation: 5 Star Fly Fishing Lodge
  • Other activities: Bird Watching, Bushwalking, Helicopter tours, Horse Riding, Kayaking, White Water Rafting
  • Pricing: From $2200

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Stonefly Lodge is a fly fisherman's paradise.

Situated on 56 hectares of private forest on the banks of the Motueka River, only 50 minutes drive from Nelson, this is the place where fly fishing enthusiasts dream about. Wild Brown Trout in rivers that have hardly ever seen a human being is the norm, and 5-10lb fish are the average!

If you think this is an exaggeration- check out the photos...

The Lodge is centrally located between 3 spectacular National Parks (Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi National Park) making the Lodge an ideal base from which to explore the region. Activities from the Lodge include, fly fishing, sea kayaking, guided and unguided hiking tours, wine tasting, white water rafting, rock climbing, abseiling, horse riding tours, and exploring the many art and craft studios in the region.

Architecturally designed and engineered, the Lodge has been built from natural stone and timber acquired from the property. The total complex is powered by alternative energy sources built on site to reduce the projects environmental footprint. The Lodge interior focuses on the large stone double sided fireplace which provides the ambiance to the games room, dining room and sunroom. A large open kitchen adjoining the dining area offers the relaxed atmosphere where guest dine together, or private dining opportunities can also be catered for. Breakfasts can be served on the guest room private balcony. The cuisine is designed around seasonally fresh produce from the extensive garden with home made produce, local quality meats and fresh seasonal seafood. Special diets are easily catered for.

Complete with library, a snooker table, and the "Matai Bar", guests have the ideal setting to relax after an exciting days fly fishing or after exploring the numerous sites and attractions of the local region. Four guest rooms are located upstairs complete with ensuites, heated towel rails, and private balconies overlooking the Motueka River and surrounding mountains. The upper landing area above the dining room provides a quiet secluded place to utilise our fly tying area and guest computer or just indulge in a game of chess or relax with a good book.

Stonefly Lodge is designed to meet the needs of the most discerning traveller and yet provide home comforts with personalised hospitality from the experienced hosts. Your hosts, John and Kate Kerr, have over 50 years combined experience in tourism and hospitality.

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End of Season Specials offer HUGE savings -

Stonefly Lodge - Fly Fishing, New Zealand

During the March and April period the Motueka River and it's tributaries provide some of the best fishing

of the season and it is a period when there are less anglers and stable weather. The river levels are at

their lowest and access to so me of the deeper pools provides opportunities to sight cast to some

monsters. End of March last season one of our guests landed a 10.5 Lb brown trout out of a pool with 2

other trout the same size. (see photos)

The lower levels allow us to cross sections of the high country rivers usually too high in the early season

making for better access to exciting fly fishing.

Stonefly Lodge has limited dates available for the end of the 2013/14 season so we can offer the

following great deals:

Valid dates February 21st to 25th, March 15th to April 30th 2014

Stay 7 nights for the cost of 5 includes:

• 7 nights luxury accommodation at Stonefly Lodge

• 4 course gourmet dinner and cooked breakfast

• 5 days guided fishing

• Use of all fly fishing gear (waders ,boots, rods, reels)

• Transfers from Nelson retum

• Cost: NZ $4375 per person twin share basis. (a massive saving of $1537.50 pip)

Stay 5 nights for the cost of 4 includes:

• 5 nights luxury accommodation at Stonefly Lodge

• 4 oourse gourmet dinner and cooked breakfast

• 3 days guided fishing

• Use of all fly fishing gear (waders, boots, rods, reels)

• Transfers from Nelson retum

• Cost: NZ $3175 per person twin share basis. (a massive saving of $892.50 p/p)

Stay 3 nights with one day free guide includes:

• 3 nights luxury accommodation at Stonefly Lodge

• 4 course gourmet dinner and cooked breakfast

• 2 days guided fishing

• Use of all fly fishing gear (waders, boots, rods, reels)

• Transfers from Nelson retum

• Cost: NZ $2022.50 per person twin share basis. (a massive saving of $572.50 p/p)


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StoneFly Lodge - The Experience
WILD BROWN TROUT FISHING

The first thing you notice about John Kerr is his huge moustache. ‘A reminder of his Scottish heritage' he tells us as we arrive at his new fishing lodge in New Zealand's South Island. The next thing you notice is his Aussie accent- John and his wife Kate are Australians who started the hugely popular Cape Don fishing lodge in the Northern Territory. ‘It took me 15 months to acclimatise to the cold weather down here, but I've never looked back. This is our 20 year dream come true,' he said proudly.

And proud he should be. The lodge is on the Moteuka River in the heart of wild Brown Trout land, and to put it simply, it is sensational. Architecturally designed and engineered, it has been built from natural stone and timber acquired from the property. The total complex is powered by alternative energy sources built on site, and because of this they have won countless eco awards including the coveted New Zealand Regional Environmental Award for "Best use of renewable energy".

But we weren't here for the accommodation or the food, (which was incredible by the way) we had come to try our hand at these fabled Wild Brown Trout of New Zealand- the Mecca for any serious Trout fisherman. The Motueka River has been measured as having the highest counts of Trout per km in New Zealand, and on the first afternoon we hooked into a number of these fish on some of Mayfly nymph patterns. Sight casting these beautiful Brownies is certainly an acquired skill, and although we got the hang of it after a while, if it wasn't for the eagle eyes of our guide Paul, I fear that we wouldn't have had much luck.

Over dinner that night John got our blood pumping as he regaled a story of a 90 year old who caught 5 Brown's over 5 pounds, and one 7 ¾ pound monster in one session at the Kahurangi National Park. The Park, which is only accessible by foot or by helicopter, is full of rivers that have hardly seen a human being, except for a number of actors during the Lord of the Rings shoot.

The next morning after a hearty breakfast, the 7 seater Helicopter picked us up from in front of the lodge, and we made our way over the hills deep into the middle of nowhere. From the air the guides assessed the river conditions and after some discussion we landed next to a wide river with a rocky base and crystal clear water.
It didn't take long to get into the action. Hiding behind tree stumps and flicking a Mayfly nymph into a back eddy, we picked up four fish ranging from 4 to 6.5 pounds within 40 minutes. I knew it was going to be a cracking day. The tricky part about the fishing is that the gin clear water makes the fish spooky.

To minimise this we approached all fish from downstream and made every effort not to make any noise whilst wading. We also used incredibly long leaders ranging from 15 to 18 foot, which tapered down to a 4 pound tippet.
But the advantage of the clear water is that you can see if the fish are sitting up near the surface or down on the riverbed. This helps when choosing the correctly weighted nymph, and using combination of different Mayfly and Stonefly Nymphs we hooked into a bunch of 6 pound plus beauties.

As the day warmed up we switched to some dry flies, and had a lot of luck on Cicada, Blow Fly and Caddis Moth patterns. The biggest fish for the day just tipped the scales at 7 pounds and the smallest was just below 4- and I'm pretty confident that there wouldn't be many rivers in the world that could boast such a high average weight for Trout.

Whilst we didn't beat the 90 year olds record for biggest Trout this time around, we will certainly be back and maybe next time we might hook into one of the 10 pound monsters lurking in the deep.