HomeNelson – MarlboroughNelson Marlborough: Where to fishDove River

Dove River


The Dove is a delightful small stream that holds reasonable numbers of trout in the early part of the season. It is a tributary of the Motueka, best fished in the first few kilometres upstream from the confluence  with the Motueka.
Fish type Brown trout with some good sized fish early in the season though fewer fish in the warmer months
Situation The Dove joins the Motueka near the small settlement of Woodstock.

Access map

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A small tributary of the Motueka, the Dove provides good sight fishing  early in the season though tends to become very small during the warmer summer months. The bed is mostly shingle interspersed with rocky outcrops and easily waded.

It is best fished in the first few kilometres upstream from the confluence with the Motueka. Here the river flows between high banks some of which are scrub covered making
access from the road difficult. Once on the river however it is generally easy to move along the stream though vegetation does grow along the banks for much of the fishable section (however this provides necessary cover for the fish).

Due to the small volume of water and its general clarity, great care must be taken to avoid spooking the fish.


Either turn off SH16 at Woodstock into Dovedale Road which runs parallel to the Dove River.

Or turn off SH60 between Nelson and Motueka, following the signs to Upper Moutere. Drive through Upper Moutere village and stay on the main road for about 2 km. Turn left into Neudorf Road and follow Neudorf Road to its end.

Recommended tackle This is a small stream and so tackle needs to reflect that. It's best to use a light weight rod around 8 ft to 8 ft six in weight 4 or 5.
Recommended lures

Very small (16 to 18) lightly weighted nymphs such as Pheasants Tails and Hares Ear.

Dry flies:
Terrestrial fly imitation such as Dad's Favourite and Greenwells Glory. Beetle patterns such as Coch-y-Bondhu work well from early summer. Adams and pother mayfly patterns are usually effective.

Wet flies:
Small wets such as March Brown or Greenwell's  Glory work well fished sub-surface during the evening rise.

Spinners: Small bladed Mepps or Veltic work best.

Applicable to Dove River
Region Nelson Marlborough
Season 1 October to 30 April
Methods Artificial fly and spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) No minimum size

Other fishing waters of the region


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