I am an avid fisherman, my newlywed wife... not so much. Needless to say NZ was on the top of my bucket list. I was shocked and excited when she suggested a trip to NZ for our honeymoon. Not trying to press my luck to much I told her to set up the trip however she wanted to avoid a lifetime of scorn because I suggested fishing on our honeymoon. After an extensive search on trip advisor she suggested ORL! In complete disbeleif now I picked my jaw up off the floor and told her I thought that was a great idea.
Come to find out ORL is becoming quite popular with honeymooners and I can see why. Felix runs a tight ship! The grounds are just as beautifull as the natural mountain setting sorounding the lodge. The staff went out of their way to attend to any request we might have. My wife thought the rooms could be a bit more spacious BUT they were VERY clean, comfortable, and well appointed.
The food was the exceptional. Im not sure whos luckier, felix for having chef ryan, or chef ryan for having felix who seems to give him some creative leeway. Most meals were prepared with Veg and herbs from the ORL garden which is a nice touch. The meat and fish were all very fresh and well prepared.
THE FISHING. WAS. EPIC! (*I say that with a word of caution)
New Zealand is truly a fly fishermans fantasy. Crystal clear water, picturesque scenery, and very large trout that are generally willing to eat a well presented dry fly or nymph. BUT, you had better bring your A-game. The fish are spooky, it tends to be windy, and in most scenarios you will be casting a 12'-15' leader. In my opinion this is not first time, beginner, or even intermediate water. If you are any of those you would be better off honing your skills somewhere easier and less expensive and coming to NZ when you are sharp.
Our guide John was knowledgable and had some great spotting eyes! He was resolute in his descision making and had a quirky sense of humor that we enjoyed! He was also a passionate fisherman that would keep us on fish right until the last minute of the day. I would say that he was one of the hardest working guides I've ever seen. As good as he was at dealing with me I have to say that he was also very patient and understanding in his instruction of my wife who is a novice fisherwoman.
We did a heli "fly out" trip our first day. It was expensive but it was also an unforgettable expirience that took us to a pristine mountain river that would have been a 2 DAY hike on foot.
All said we realy enjoyed ourselves at ORL and I hope we can get back there soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Owen River Lodge is New Zealand's finest 5 star rated fly fishing lodge. Luxurious, warm and inviting ambiance. Stylish, understated accommodation located right on the Owen River in the South Island of New Zealand. Come and enjoy the stunning food, superb service and outstanding fishing. ... more less