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John Gendall Fly Fishing

John Gendall offers guiding services and lodge accommodation right in the Nelson Lakes National Park, in the centre of New Zealand's most scenic and prolific wild brown trout fisheries.

John, your guide with  25 years guiding experience in NZ has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to spotting and stalking big wild brown trout. John has fly fished all over the world and has also guided in Russia on the Ponoi River and for Westbank Anglers in Jackson Hole USA.
John's professional yet fun and relaxed attitude on the river ensures a few laughs with plenty of big trout action.

John Gendall flyfishing is pleased to also offer guided saltwater fly fishing for kingfish in the Golden Bay region.

Name John Gendall Fly Fishing
Contact John Gendall

State Highway 63
St Arnaud

Phone/fax Ph +64 3 548 7892
Mobile 027 247 0319
Email j.gendall@xtra.co.nz
Web www.johngendallflyfishing.com
Fishing waters

and the many smaller rivers and stream in the area.

John Gendall's fishing lodge is marked on the Lake Rotoiti map, the Black Valley Stream map, the Upper Buller River map and Upper Wairau River map.

Fishing options
  • The usual style of fishing is stalking sighted fish with floating lines using dry flies and nymphs.
  • In March and April, the Wairau River hosts a small run of salmon in the 6-19 pound range. These can be targeted with a fly or lure.
  • The Wairau River also hosts a good run of sea trout during January and February that can make for some fantastic fishing.
  • Helicopters can even be used to reach more remote locations if you like
  • All flies, tippet materials and indicators, vehicle transport and a picnic lunch are supplied.
  • It's a good idea to bring your own equipment, but if this is not possible John can provide all tackle. See John Gendall's website for information on what to bring and see also What to Take When Fly Fishing in New Zealand.
  • To get the best opportunity to fish a variety of waters, allow 2-3 days or longer if time allows.
Saltwater Flyfishing

As well as guiding on the rivers and lakes around Nelson for large brown trout, John can guide you for great saltwater fly fishing to fish for the powerful kingfish and kahawai that feed in the shallow waters.


About your  guide

John Gendall's passion for fishing extends more than 35 years. He has been guiding for 25 yrs in NZ and around the world from Russia to the Caribbean, the USA and through the South Pacific. He has been featured on several television fishing shows and in the year 2000 won the Jackson Hole One Fly professional division.

He now guides from October to May for wild brown trout in the South Island where he has more than 10 years of experience; while during the New Zealand winter, he heads to Wyoming, USA where he guides for Westbank Anglers.

John describes himself as light hearted, enthusiastic Kiwi (New Zealander) who loves fishing and enjoys spinning a few yarns. He caters for all levels of fitness and fishing ability, ensuring your comfort and confidence

Skills and qualifications

John's skills and qualifications include:

  • More recently won Top Wyoming guide in 2011 One Fly competition
  • A degree in parks recreation and tourism management
  • A boats master license
  • Trained in first aid and CPR
  • Member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association (the NZPFGA)


One way of landing a good hard fighting salmon!



Situated in a completely private native alpine forest, the fishing lodge is located in St Arnaud village at the heart of the breathtaking Nelson Lakes National Park. St Arnaud is only an hour's drive from Nelson or Blenheim.

Accommodation Options

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.

The Fishing Lodge

The well-appointed guest lodge offers spacious, comfortable, modern accommodation. Each lodge sits on a river terrace above Black Valley Stream (a spawning tributary), surrounded by native bush and framed by mountains. After a day's fishing, enjoy a glass of wine on the deck or in front of the roaring fire.

The Cottage (Blechynden Bach)

The recently refurbished, fully self-contained cottage sits adjacent to the lodge on a very private section. It has a king bed, plus a fold-out double bed if required.

Lodge and cottage

The lodge and cottage

Indicative costs
as at 1 April 2018

All prices are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include GST.

Guided fly fishing

NZ$750 (one or two anglers) per day.
Includes guide, 4x4 vehicle, lunch, all flies and tippet material.

Lodge accommodation

NZ$275 per single room per night

$325 per double room per night
Includes full breakfast (one or two people).

Cottage accommodation

NZ$250 per single per night

$275 double per night
Includes full breakfast (one or two people).

Dinner option

Dinners are provided on request.
$100 per person includes nibbles, main meal, dessert and a couple of glasses of wine.

Transfer option

Transfers from Nelson or Blenheim: $225 each way.

  • Payment by wire transfer, cheque/check or cash
  • A 20% deposit is payable on booking, and the remainder at the conclusion of your trip.
Cancellation policy

Cancellation within 60 days of booking, deposit is forfeited.
Cancellation within 30 days of booking, 50% of total is forfeited.
Cancellation within 48 hrs of booking, 100% payment

Note: Should John be able to make a suitable rebooking he will refund the deposit and / or fee.


Directions from Picton and Blenhiem

From Picton, take State Highway 1 (SH1) to Blenheim.

Turn right onto SH6. Signposts show Nelson/West Coast.

Take SH6 to Renwick, then SH63 to St Arnaud.

The lodge is situated to the right as you come into St Arnaud.

Directions from Nelson

From Nelson, take SH6 South. Signposts show Murchison/West Coast.

After about a 50 minute drive from Nelson, turn left (at Kawatiri Junction) on to SH63 and follow the signs to St Arnaud.

The lodge is located on the left just as you come through St Arnaud.


John Gendall

Your guide, John Gendall


Your hosts; Polly and John


The lodge

Transport at your door

The cottage


Saltwater flyfishing





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