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Owen River Lodge
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Reviews (267)
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Reviewed 10 January 2014

My wife and I just spent 7 days at Owen River Lodge with 3 days guided fishing and 4 tacking the region's rivers on our own - albeit with some tips from owner Felix. On the guided days we hooked 18 brown trout and landed 11 including a purple patch on the Owen a River itself when we hooked 8 and landed 6 - which according to Felix and our outstanding guide, Paul, was an incredible result for that river. The fish included personal bests of 7.25lb and 6.75lb for my wife and self, respectively. We are pretty much flyfishing tragics and have now stayed at many of New Zealand's top flyfishing lodges and we visit NZ every six months or so to fish. Firstly, I'd like to respond to the negative comment below which blames Felix for the weather - every flyfisherman knows that when you fish NZ chances are it will rain at some stage or blow or snow. That's part of it. We once fished out of a North Island lodge with a guide for 3 days - it rained the entire time. We still went out, we hooked seven fish and caught four. And had a ball. The moaner below isn't a true flyfisher person, so discard those comments. This is flyfishing at its finest, casting to wild, wily, brown trout in incredible surroundings. It is one of the ultimate flyfishing challenges in the world. On top of that Felix is a gem and couldn't be more helpful; the staff are all fantastic, chef Ryan's food is outstanding, and our guide Paul did what no other guide has managed to do so far - helped cure me, or at least massively improve, several bad casting traits. And has eyes a hawk would be proud of. Flyfishing has a wonderful community, of which we are proud to be a tiny part, and Owen River Lodge stands as a top class lodge servicing not only the community but travellers who just want to lay back and enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mike G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2013

My husband and I have just spent four days at the exquisitely located Owen River Lodge and it has been one of the highlights of our trip to NZ - fantastic views from the beautifully appointed rooms, gourmet food served in an intimate and friendly environment and amazing fishing in some of the most beautiful spots on the planet. What's not to like? There was nothing better than a day fishing with Steve, one of the incredible guides that Felix (the Lodge owner) uses and returning to the cosy bar to swap stories ('you should have seen the one that got away') with fellow guests then a refreshing shower before sitting down to a truly fantastic dinner prepared by Ryan or Jo.
You will note that the Lodge has rave reviews bar one - and if you read the review that rates this place as 'poor' then you will see that this is not a reflection of the Lodge itself but of the weather resulting in poor fishing conditions. Bit unfair methinks! If you go ski-ing and you get no snow, it's unfortunate but you can hardly expect the hotel to cough up a refund and the same goes here. Felix works hard to make an amazing place for his guests and he certainly does not deserve a 'poor' rating - pretty poor attitude of the reviewer if you ask me.....

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank foxxylizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2013

First a confession: I’m a long-time friend of Felix, the owner of ORL. Hopefully that doesn’t disqualify me from offering my two cents worth on his operation & more particularly the surrounding fishery, but you be the judge.
Anyway, I’ve stayed at ORL as a guest about a dozen times now. I love the lodge – it’s look, feel and especially the location. The food is of a class I only encounter once or twice a year if I’m lucky so I can’t offer any authoritative comparisons except to say that if meals get any better than this, I want to know!

But the main reason I keep coming back to ORL (and no offence to Felix and his beautifully-run establishment)is the fishing. I’ve never had a bad trip there – wet certainly, dry occasionally, yet the fishing has always varied between good and great. There are precious few places where you can walk out the door every morning with the near certainty that you will at least cast to a sighted trout over 4 pounds. Sometimes there might be dozens; sometimes, when conditions really conspire, just a couple. That is the lottery of premium wild trout fisheries the world over. The deal is, the weather effectively makes the fishery in the first place, so you have to wear it when it gets a bit difficult. You simply can’t have one without the other. I guide (not in NZ) )& write about flyfishing for a living and flyfish all over the world and I can safely say that a good chunk of my life’s fishing highlights happened while staying at ORL. Fantastic location, fishery and lodge Felix; can’t wait to get back!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Philip W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2013 via mobile

We spent seven days at Owen River Lodge and it was incredible. A beautiful setting, fabulous host, great guides and a real sense of bonhomie that adds something extra special to the trip. After a day's fishing we kicked back in the spa and enjoyed the beauty surrounding us. For foodies, the meals from chef Ryan are absolutely amazing! We had a wonderful stay - and Felix was only too happy to let us in on some of the secrets of the area - rivers and attraction-wise. I think all fishermen know that the weather is a changeable feast - indeed, in NZ, it's one of the reasons the fishing is world- class. There are no guarantees, but fishermen and women such as ourselves can come away with personal best fish - a real highlight. Thank you for a wonderful week.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Georgina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2013

This is a review quite different to the gushing ones - after two consecutive years ORL in my experience is not a dream, is not the best etc. etc. Felix may encourage these reviews but he would.
My wife and I have just returned from 5 days at ORL. Basically fishing was feasible for only 1 1/2 days due to bad weather etc. Felix's attitude was 'get over it' but at $2000 per day and the risk borne solely by the guest this situation is unacceptable to me. This is a fishing lodge i.e. a fishing base (not a hotel and not a resort). Whilst the lodge etc. is great we are there for the fishing - we won't be returning. Be careful when selecting ORL.

Room Tip: This is a fishing lodge.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Harry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Felix B, Owner at Owen River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 December 2013

Dear Harry,
I’m terribly sorry to hear that our weather & the fishing did not meet up to your expectations. The rivers that surround Owen River Lodge are wild rivers that are inhabited by wild brown trout. It’s no coincidence that wild trout live in wild places and it doesn’t matter where you go in this world, if you fly fish for trout the weather can – and quite often does – play a significant role.

Indeed, the quality of the wild trout fishery in New Zealand is, in a large part, a result of the amount of rain New Zealand receives. The team at Owen River Lodge wish you a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to you returning for your 3rd stay with us.

Felix Borenstein
General Manager & Owner
Owen River Lodge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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