Nelson, New Zealand

Fly Fishing in New Zealand

Nelson is at the centre of one of the most scenic and prolific wild brown trout fisheries New Zealand has to offer. While fishing this prolific area you will be looked after by John Gendall, one of the region’s most renowned guides.


fish 30 freestone rivers and streams

The New Zealand fly fishing season runs from October until May. From your base, there are 30 freestone rivers and streams within an hour drive. Helicopters can also be used to reach more remote locations further in the field. The rivers sit in three famous catchment’s: the Wairau, the Buller and Motueka, ensuring excellent fishing in all weather conditions.

The style of fishing is stalking sighted fish with floating lines using dry flies and nymphs. New Zealand’s brown trout – especially on the South Island – typically average four – six pounds, with an ever present opportunity to catch a trophy fish. They cater for all levels of fitness and fishing ability, ensuring your comfort and confidence.

It is no myth that New Zealand trout are challenging but with patience and team work from your guide, the rewards can be truly astonishing. This experience will help you grow as an angler and provide you with wisdom that only a trip to New Zealand’s South Island can offer. In March and April, the Wairau River hosts a small run of Salmon in the six to nineteen pound range. These can be targeted with a fly or lure. The river also hosts a good run of sea trout during January and February that can make for some fantastic fishing.

“Well worth it if you can get to New Zealand. Fantastic country and Nelson is a great place with fun to be had by all.” -A.G., UK

a spacious, comfortable and modern lodge

The guest lodge and accommodation is spacious, comfortable and modern. Enjoy sun-filled days – replete with cool breezes – and roaring fires in the evening. Take in the best New Zealand’s South Island has to offer from within your lodge and cottage, which is well appointed and feels like a home – not a hotel. Each lodge sits on a river terrace above Black Valley Stream, surrounded by native bush and framed by mountains.

The self-contained, recently refurbished fishing cottage (known as Blechynden Bach) sits adjacent to the lodge on a very private section – you can hear the sound of the stream bubbling and birds calling.

The cottage accommodation consists of one king bed and one fold out double bed (if required). The cottage is fully contained with modern kitchen and bathroom as well an open fire. After a days fishing you can enjoy a glass of Chardonnay on the main deck of the lodge while watching the evening rise on the stream. As it is a small intimate operation, all needs and wishes can be catered for. You can choose from an independent self-catered stay in the fishing cottage – a restaurant and café are only a few minutes walk away – to a fully catered stay at the lodge.

enjoy the alpine village of St. Arnaud

The lodge is located in the small alpine village of St. Arnaud, which is on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, the gateway to the stunning Nelson Lakes National Park at the northern tip of the South Island. It is only an hour’s drive from Nelson and Blenhiem, and the lodge overlooks the Black Valley Stream, a spawning tributary.

All around, the property is framed by the surrounding mountains. The lodge itself is situated to the right as you come into St Arnaud on State Highway 63 from the east. John and his guides will take you fly fishing for wild trophy brown trout in freestone water so clear you’ll want to throw in a slice lemon and some tonic.

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