Brown Trout Capital
Mataura River, just outside of Gore, is “the world capital of brown trout” and a “world-class fly-fishing destination”. The Mataura extends for an impressive 140 miles of trout water in the heart of sheep and dairy country. Most tourists fishing these waters will catch at least one three-pound trout a day, according to American angler Tom McLoughlin, who fishes the Mataura in the New Zealand summers, and fishermen will frequently catch 17- to 19-inch fish. Some streams contain trout that average five to seven pounds, said Ron Granneman, a retired guide from the Bighorn River in Montana. The trout hide in deep holes, long riffles, and upstream or downstream of willows at the river’s edge. New Zealand began importing brown trout from Germany, France and England in the 1860s, and they thrived. So did rainbow trout, brought in later from the Russian River in California. But brown trout dominate on South Island, and browns are the greater challenge. Many fly fishermen consider them the most difficult to catch of all trout.