Central South Island & North Canterbury Weekly fishing report for October 13 2022

  • North Canterbury Central South Island
  • 13/10/2022

Central South Island & North Canterbury Weekly fishing report for October 13 2022


Watch out trout – the kids are out and about

As the school holiday comes to an end this weekend, so too does the anxiety of trout.

Their adversaries and admirers – human children, go back to their routine of school and extracurricular activities come Monday.

Some five-year-old kids like Sefton Stevens are heading back to school with tales to tell of the one that didn’t get away.

If Sefton’s mates don’t believe his fishy tale, he’ll be able to direct them to the photo in this report and suggest if they also want to receive the weekly fishing report by email they can sign up at our website by clicking here.

He’ll also tell them he caught a rainbow trout in the Opihi river too, a relatively rare catch – in theory, but less than two weeks into the new season there are already reports from two other anglers of this same feat.

One thing Sefton won’t tell his mates is the location of his secret spot to dig up red dung worms – his favourite bait to drift through the deep runs of local rivers.

Even the cleverest old brown trout can’t rest easy when there’s crafty new anglers on the scene like Thomas and Archie van Dongen.

Thomas and Archie van Dongen with their big brown trout from the Rangitata River' photo by M Hall

At 6 and 8 years old they started their sports fishing careers like seasoned pros.

Firstly, they obtained their free-of charge Childs Fishing Licences online at the Fish & Game website and secondly, talked to a local expert to guide their school-holiday fishing trip down the Rangitata River mouth.

They referred to expert guide as “Grandad” – the rest of us call him Matthew Hall.

An hour or two of dangling a top-secret lure in some likely water had both the boys into their first ever trout.

These weren’t your average trout – these were two of the Rangitata’s finest 5-pound trophies, seen and spoken of, but never yet caught by retirees or weekend warriors.     

But trout shouldn’t let their guard down just because the school holidays are over soon; there are kids out there like Jake Scranney who will fish at any given opportunity.

Jake was one of the lucky few anglers to be issued a controlled period licence to fish the Ōhau River controlled backcountry fishery for a specified 2–3-day period during September and October.

While flyfishing, Jake caught and released a couple of whoppers including the red-striped rainbow jack pictured.

Jake is a conscientious catch and release kid – he holds his fish above the water just enough to show their beautiful colours and size.

That way, if the fish wriggles out of his hands its instantly back in the water without a fuss. 

Jake Scranney with his Controlled Period prize from the Ohau River - photo by David Scranney

Jake Scranney with his Controlled Period prize from the Ohau River - photo by David Scranney.

Although it might be tempting to go find a whopper for yourself this October up the Ōhau River – you can only do that if you are one of the lucky few anglers that entered the ballots and hold a valid controlled period licence.

The Ōhau River opens for all anglers that hold a 2022/23 backcountry licence endorsement for the CSI Region on High-Country Opening – Saturday the 5th of November.  

Kids like catching salmon too and we have an event coming up just for it.

On the morning of Saturday 5th of November, kids aged 11 and under (child licence age) are invited to attend our Kids Salmon Fishing Day.

The event is held at Loch Cameron near Twizel.

Watch this report and our website for all the detail to be posted soon. 

In the meantime, check out this YouTube video of the 2017 Kids Salmon Fishing Day.

Outlook for the weekend

The weather forecast is looking great.

It’s a great time of year to get out on our low-country rivers and streams and they should all be at fishable flows and clarity this weekend.

Fishing the shallow margins of our large hydro lakes like Benmore and Waitaki will be a great option this weekend with some forecast sunshine on Saturday afternoon to aid spotting the fish.

It’s a good time of year to fish the canals – I was ranging there on Wednesday and can report some nice brown trout have been getting caught lately.  


Notice Board

Return your 2021/22 sea run salmon bag limit card.

Do not delay, please return your green 2021/22 sea run salmon season bag card ASAP.

Return instructions are displayed on the card.


Tight Lines,

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer



The weather for fishing this weekend looks great! 

Sunday is looking like the pick of the days weather-wise, but Friday afternoon and Saturday aren’t to be sneezed at either; there are plenty of options for a bit of fishing this weekend. 

We are hearing reports of excellent condition sea-run trout being caught in both the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers over the last week. 

Lake Coleridge competition is on! 

In 2020, Danny Pye’s beautiful 3.8 kg brown trout (pictured left) was the heaviest fish caught at the Lake Coleridge competition. 

Sponsored by the local Hunting & Fishing stores, the annual Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition is back this year! 

There are $7500 in prizes up for grabs this year, with the spot prize draws alone having $2000 in prizes available, including a $500 rod & reel set & sling bag set. 

Timed for the opening morning of the High-Country fisheries on November 5, North Canterbury Fish & Game will be operating a weigh-in tent at the turn-off to Ryton Bay from 9 am till 1 pm with a prize giving at 1.30 pm.

You don’t need to catch a fish to enter the spot prize draw, just present your licence at the tent to go in the draw. 

Annual salmon report 

Salmon anglers might be interested in the annual salmon report; it was presented to the council at the last meeting in September and can be downloaded here

Some salmon anglers may have missed the salmon update published in the Fish & Game magazine in August, but you can read the online version here

This year's salmon harvest card has a $5 fee which is specifically to recover the cost of producing the season bag limit cards. 

The cards are a fundamental tool for managing the season bag limit and harvest; it provides us with the vital harvest information we need. 

Both the regional and National Fish & Game Councils decided that this fee was the fairest way to recover the costs associated with the sea-run salmon season bag limit. 

Tout Festival 2023

Presenter Mark Rodgers, (centre) from the Fisherman's Loft giving casting advice to an attendee during one of the outside practical sessions held at the Groynes Lakes.

Presenter Mark Rodgers, (centre) from the Fisherman's Loft giving casting advice to an attendee during one of the outside practical sessions held at the Groynes Lakes.

The Trout Festival Date is set for 2023 –  it will be on rain or shine on September 16 2023.

It will be bigger, there will be no attendance restriction, and there’ll be a timetable for presentations so attendees can pick and choose what interests them. 

This festival is great for anglers of all skill levels, so if you are an experienced angler, next year, bring a newbie along with you when you attend. 

A video of this year's event can be watched  here.

North Canterbury Fish & Game Notice Board

-       The Kids Fishing Charitable Trust Take A Kid Fishing Day is on this weekend on Sunday, October 16

-       High Country Opening Day is November 5, and the Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition, sponsored by Hunting & Fishing, will be held this year.

-       North Canterbury Fish and Game Council Annual General Meeting November 17, 6.30 pm at 595 Johns Road.

Tight Lines,

Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.



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