Gore · 11 Feb 2021

Celebrating the Mataura River

News Desk

News Desk

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What do a Master Chef and a Master Angler have in common? Both will be among special guests at this year’s On the Fly Mataura River Festival.

Original MasterChef champion Brett McGregor and internationally renowned fishing guides Chris Dore, Barry Perkins and Mike Dennis, will be hanging out on the banks of the mighty Mataura on Saturday 20 February.

On the Fly has something for everyone, fly-fishing & fly-tying demos, fantastic guests, yoga and massage, great food and fabulous summer sounds from 46South and Dubious Groove.

Gore District Council Events Coordinator Mishel Kaaplan said the festival will celebrate the Mataura’s incredible status as the Brown Trout Capital of the World.

On the Fly starts at 3:00pm, in River Terrace, near the Gore bridge. Entry is free.

“What better way to spend a summer’s afternoon than having a go at something new and enjoying great entertainment on the banks of the mighty Mataura.”

Now was the perfect time, with so many Kiwis exploring more of their backyard.

“We’re lucky to have this world famous resource right on our doorstep.” she said.

Evening Rise Fly Fishing guide Mike Dennis is keen to teach the younger generation the joys of fishing.

“If we can develop their interest, they will continue to look after the river in the future.”

New Zealand’s original MasterChef winner Brett McGregor will be whipping up some sensational salmon and trout dishes using an array of local produce and products.

Mishel said On the Fly was also a great opportunity to learn more about the history and significance of the Mataura River with informative displays from the Hokonui Runanga, Thriving Southland, Fish & Game and Environment Southland.

Former local, keen angler and author Dougal Rillstone will be there as well to talk about his love of the Mataura, as recounted in his recently released book Upstream On The Mataura.

There will be plenty of food and drink options, and entertainment galore for the children.

Heaps of amazing prizes are up for grabs thanks to a host of generous sponsors like Kilwell, B&B Sport Gore, Manic Tackle, Shooters’ World Gore and Hurley’s.

Have a go at fly fishing on the day and go into the draw for the top prize – a night’s accommodation at Hukarere Station and a day fishing with professional NZPFGA guide Mike Dennis.

Mishel said there are a few other events on in the District on the same day.

“Hopefully the later start means people can support those events, but still come visit us for dinner and a tranquil evening on the riverbank.

“If people are considering doing a day trip to Gore why not stay the night. Come enjoy some fly fishing fun and our well know southern hospitality,” she said.