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Motupiko River Trout Fishing

The Motupiko River is a major tributary of the Motueka and an excellent dry fly water, particuarly early and late in the season.


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Fish type Brown trout
Situation 1 hr from Nelson; 35 minutes from Murchison
Setting A beautiful scenic river that meanders over farmland and through bush allowing easy access to some top quality dry fly and nymphing water.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions

View graphs at the Tasman District Council website of recent:
- Motupiko river flow
- Motupiko rainfall

View MetService weather forecast for Motueka

F&G pamphlet Motueka River access pamphlet  >>>
Description The river is a mixture of sparkling riffles, long glides and surprisingly deep pools over a mostly gravel bed. The majority of the river is through open farmland with a plenty of overhanging vegetation providing shelter for the fish especially during the heat of the summer months.
Fish numbers and size Fish numbers are highest in the early part of the season when fish are returning to the main river (the Motueka) after spawning. Average size is around 3lb though some larger fish are always present. Numbers are average.
Ease of fishing A challenging river with very clear water requiring stealth and accurate casting with light gear. Easily waded.

The river follows Highway 6 though it is usually around 300 metres away from the road. Five access points are well signposted. Otherwise seek permission from land-owners to cross their properties to the river.

See the access map

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Any Pheasant Tail variant or Hare and Copper (14 or 16 sizes or even smaller during the very warm months)
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.
Wet flies: Greenwell's Glory, Grouse and Purple and Red Tipped Govenor. Larger patterns fished deeper such as Hamill's Killer and Mrs Simpson.

Applicable to Motupiko River
Region Nelson Marlborough >>>
Season 1 October to 30 April
Methods Artificial fly and spinner
Bag limit 2 (with only one fish exceeding 500mm in length)
Size limit (cm) No minimum size




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