Reel Life January 2024

  • North Canterbury
  • 19/01/2024

Reel Life January 2024

The trout fishing has been fantastic in the region’s lakes and rivers despite the warm temperatures we have been getting.

So, anglers are adapting to the conditions and still managing to catch some magnificent fish, which is great to see.

Remember, from now on, the trout fishing will only get better.

It has been a bit of a mixed bag on the sea-run salmon fishing front, with a few anglers bagging their first salmon for the season.

Simon McMillan from Hunting and Fishing Tower Junction with a Rakaia salmon in early January.

However, the early pre-Christmas run didn’t really happen like usual, and our braided rivers have been holding really good flows over the summer period.

But with the river being in flood in the middle of this month, it should pull the salmon in from the ocean, and they will start their journey upstream to their spawning grounds.

So once the river clears to fishable conditions, this should create excellent salmon fishing opportunities in the coming weeks.


Over the past month, the team at North Canterbury and our Honorary rangers have been out and about throughout the region checking licences.

Some anglers are very surprised to see us in certain locations, and most have been great at producing their licences, making it very easy for us.

Below is a table of the various locations that we have visited.























Needless to say, we mix it up a fair bit so don't be surprised to see us out and about.

Fish salvage 

It the time of year when we at North Canterbury Fish & Game often get calls about fish stuck in disconnected pools  as rivers dry up.

We recently salvaged fish stuck in disconnected pools in the Ashley River. 

In two small pools just downstream of the Rangiora Rail bridge, rescuers found over 50 good-sized brown trout (2-8 pounds) and dozens of bullies, galaxiids, torrent fish and shortfin eels. 

As many as possible were relocated to areas of continuous flow and cooler water.

However, exploring the riverbed found examples where the river had dried up quickly, stranding and killing fish and eels. 

If you find a disconnected pool with fish there is some important info we need so we can triage the urgency to attend versus other important work at hand:

Fish Salvage Info required: 

  1. Exact location.
  2. How many live fish, and what are their sizes and species?
  3. How deep is the water in the pools - we can only recover using electric fishing in knee-deep or less
  4. Is there water flowing into the pool where they are stranded?

Tight Lines

Harry Graham-Samson, North Canterbury Fish & Game 

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