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Matakitaki River Trout Fishing

The Matakitaki River offers a wide range of fishing experiences on a beautiful river flowing through the bush clad mountains. Much of this wonderful river as easy access from the road alongside it, otherwise some of the more remote areas can be reached by foot (or helicopter).

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Fish type Brown trout
Situation 5 minutes from Murchison
Setting The Matakitaki River drains the Spenser Mountains and flows between beech covered hills and mountain valleys to join the Buller at the town of Murchison.
Topographical map

Upper Matakitaki maps:
Access map
Access map with topography

Lower Matakitaki maps:
Access map
Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Nelson Lakes National Park.
F&G pamphlet Buller River access pamphlet
Description In its lower reaches the Matakitaki is often quite silt laden and not an encouraging water to fish. Further upstream however it opens up over farmland and the water flows clear over a rock and shingle bed offering many kilometres of fishable water. In some of the gorge areas it is better suited to spinning. The upper reaches have few fish but those that are there tend to be large with some going to very impressive sizes.
Fish numbers and size In the lower and middle reaches fish numbers are good and around the 3lb mark in average size. Fish numbers in the upper reaches are much lower but here they can reach trophy size.
Ease of fishing The middle and lower reaches offer many kilometres of open accessible water with some difficult stretches interspersed as the river moves through gorge areas with steep banks and deep pools. The upper reaches above Matakitaki are more open and often braided offering easy fishing conditions to wary trout.

The road between Matakitaki and Murchison offer access to most of the middle and lower reaches (with access to the lower reaches of the other bank via the Matakitaki West Bank Rd). The upper reaches can be accessed via the Mangles-Tutaki Rd which takes you to Matikitaki Station. Ask permission from the station before fishing this section.

See the Upper Matakitaki access map.
See the Lower Matakitaki map access map.

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Any Pheasant Tail variant or Hare and Copper (14 or 16 sizes) work well with smaller sizes (even 18) in the headwaters).

Dry flies: Greenwell's Glory, Coch-y-Bondhu, Adams, Kakahi Queen, Beetle patterns (in early summer) and cicada patterns (from mid summer) during the day and Twilight Beauty and Dad's Favourite for the evening rise. Fish will often be seen rising during the day in the middle and lower reaches.

Wet flies: Greenwell's Glory, Grouse and Purple and Red Tipped Govenor fished sub-surface work well, especially in the evening. Larger patterns fished in the deeper pools such as Hamill's Killer and Mrs Simpson can also be effective.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners such as Mepps or Veltic fished into the pools or upstream into faster water work best.

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Matakitaki River upstream of its confluence with the Glenroy River
Region Nelson/Marlborough >>>
Season 1 October - 30 April
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2 (with only one fish exceeding 500mm in length)
Size limit (cm) No minimum size
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Matakitaki River downstream from the State Highway
No. 6 Bridge
Region Nelson/Marlborough >>>
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) None




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