Motu River

Motu River

Real tiger country deep in the heart of the East Cape. A brown trout fishery with sight fishing opportunities. Exploring opportunities for the more adventurous angler.

Local Knowledge

Ranging from the easiest of roadside access to the most difficult, isolated and rugged The Motu River can be as friendly or challenging of an angling experience as you’d like to make. Above the Motu Falls around the towns of Motu and Matawai the river meanders across farmland and offers an intimate sight fishing experience in close quarters to cruising  very timid and wise browns. It is here that precise casting and practice of stealth are rewarded. 

Below the falls and down on through the rugged Raukumara Ranges the river becomes one of the most difficult accessed parts off NZ and for this reason was the last place in the country to be mapped. Access to this section of river is by raft or helicopter, which can open up a massive system of tributaries waiting to be explored with both rainbows and browns present. The Motu River was the first river in NZ to be granted environmental protection against development in 1984 preserving this remarkable piece of water for future generations. 

Watch the adventure unravel during the Pure Fly series 2 hosted by local fishing guide Cory Scott

Fishing tips by Cory Scott

Winter / July

  • If you see another car or angler, give them at least a day’s fishing, there is a lot of other water available with roadside access if an angler drives an extra 5 minutes. Fish up from your point of entry, not walk down on top of another angler and fish back up. It can also pay to communicate with any angler you come across as to each parties intentions. 

  • This an isolated area of NZ, take personal safety precautions, carry a GPS and PLB, if doing and overnight or multiple day leave a note on your car of your intentions.

  • Support the local Motu-vation café.

  • For best results utilise a professional guide. Not only will you maximise success, but you will learn the craft straight from the local experts.

Pro Guides

Cory Scott Fly Fishing

Cory Scott

Eastern Region Eastern Region
Cory grew up fly fishing under the tutelage of his grandfather on the streams of Southland and can recall catching his first trout aged 3, since those early beginnings he has immersed himself in the art of fooling trout on a fly developing into a backcountry addict leaving no stone unturned or no question on what lays beyond the next bend. Cory has been guiding for 18 years which he alternates between his job as a photographer with the two professions developing a symbiotic relationship. Cory has guided everyone from the complete novice to sporting professionals to rock stars and everyone in between, with his professional yet super friendly humorous approach being popular. When it comes to the East Cape/Te Urewera region there is no one that knows this region as intimately as Cory and on any given day he can be found either fishing by the road side or multi days hike back in the mountains that surround his region.


Tackle Shops

Flyshop is both an Online and a Bricks and Mortar fly fishing shop and this is now our 10th year trading. Was Incorporated as a Company in 2009. I have sent thousands of orders for flies and equipment to all corners of the world in that time.My aim is to provide quality fly fishing equipment that will work in New Zealand's conditions and that suits the NZ style of fly fishing which is predominately sight fishing to individually sighted fish of above average size by world standards. There are certain things that make a big difference and that's where my guiding experience certainly can help
Flyshop NZ 30B Forest Drive Methven, 7730 NZ


Motu River Jet

The scenic quality of the Motu River has been described as “unsurpassed”, it travels through the last significant area of untracked native bush in the North Island. The Motu’s banks are covered with unique & rare flora in a setting of awesome splendour. Ancient Maori history abounds and the river was the first in New Zealand to be totally protected by a conservation order.
Motu River Bridge, Highway 35, Opotiki, Bay of Plenty


Motu-vation Cafe

The Cafe is now open and we hope you can visit the lovely Motu valley, and enjoy a delicious muffin with your coffee or tea.


Wairata Station

Your hosts Bob and Mary Redpath will make every endeavour to ensure your time spent on our farm is a memorable and enjoyable experience. The Waioeka River and the Opato Stream either run through the heart of our farm or borders it for at least 14 kilometres. Providing some of the best wilderness fishing in NZ with many rapids and good pocket water in a fast flowing river. Chalets, cabin and family cottage are all available along with meals upon request.

Living Water Bush Cafe & accommodation

Henare and Brenda offer affordable, rustic self contained sleeping quarters in a very unique setting right next to the Opato stream. Feel like you have travelled back to how you remember things. An excellent place to stop and refresh when passing through the Waioeka gorge a or before and after fishing. . Well worth the stop.
6375 Waioeka Rd, Waioeka 3197, New Zealand