HomeNelson – MarlboroughNelson Marlborough: Where to fishMatiri River

Matiri River


The Matiri is a small attractive river that holds a reasonable number of fish. It fishes best early in the season.

Fish type Brown trout
Situation 10 minutes from Murchison; 1.5 hours from Nelson.
Setting The Matiri River is really a stream and flows down from the Matari Lake formed by a landslide caused by the Murchison Earthquake in 1929. It is a remote river requiring anglers to walk some distance if they wish to fish the upper reaches.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description A small river flowing in its lower reaches over mostly open land across a shingle bed. It is easy to access in the lower reaches and the upper reaches can be accessed along a well defined track. The river is a mixture of riffles,long runs and pools punctuated by some rapids. There is good bank-side vegetation that provides excellent cover for the fish during the day. An easily waded river though the stones can get very slippery in the warmer months. It can also get quite low during any dry spell.
Fish numbers and size Fish numbers are average to low and fish tend to be smaller than other rivers in this area being mostly in the 2-4lb range. Note that there are no trout in or above Lake Matiri.
Ease of fishing The lower reaches offer easy fishing though bank side vegetation can be a problem in some areas.

The Matiri joins the Buller just below the town of Murchison. Most of the fishing can be reached via the Matiri Valley road which follows the true left bank and crossing over the river to fish the upper waters via the Matiri West Bank Rd. See the access map.

Recommended lures

Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tails and Caddis imitations all work well in sizes 14 or smaller.

Dry flies:
Small flies such as Hardies Favourite, Dad's Favourite and March Brown work well at all times of the day. Fish bushier flies over the faster water. Beetle patterns work well in early summer and Cicada patterns in late summer.

Wet flies:
Small wets like Greenwell's Glory, March Brown and emerger sedge patterns work well when fished sub-surface. These flies are particularly effective when fishing the evening rise.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners (Mepps or Veltic)

Biosecurity requirements
Biosecurity Because of the presence of the invasive alga didymo in these waters, anglers must clean their fishing gear including waders and boots, especially when moving between
rivers. See Didymo Biosecurity Alert for details.
Applicable to Matiri River
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Season 1 October - 30 April
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region


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