Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 11th December 2020

  • North Canterbury
  • 10/12/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 11th December 2020

Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury region fishing report, although Nor’ westers have been dominant in the last week, the amount of rainfall in the headwaters hasn’t been too excessive. 

There is another front due Friday morning which is forecast to dump some rain into the Canterbury headwaters.

Once again it is hard to say if this will make the main alpine rivers unfishable. 

If a fresh does come through it will not be until Saturday morning so there is a window on Friday evening. 

It would pay to check the flows on Saturday on the following site:

Salmon anglers have been enjoying some great conditions this week. 

Continual small fronts have put just enough water into the main rivers to keep them at ideal flows and colour. 

There are reports of salmon being caught in all the rivers including the Waimakariri. 

The salmon appear to be in better condition this year as the example above caught on the Rakaia last weekend shows-Credit NZ Salmon Anglers.

If the salmon rivers are unfishable due to dirty water this weekend keep an eye out for early to mid-next week as there is some settled weather coming.  There will be fresh salmon coming in the rivers if they lift over the weekend.

A south west change on Friday is meant to bring scattered showers to the Canterbury Plains on Friday. 

I do not think there will be much rain in this at all. 

Certainly not enough to alter the flows of foot hill and lowland streams. 

The Ashley is now dropping to an ideal flow for those fishing the lower and middle reaches.

For the high country, sometimes a South West flow can be a bit of a lottery weather wise. 

My pick would be that Sunday looks like a good day to head for the high country. 

The lakes should be starting to see the first hatches of green beetles.

At times, these beetle hatches can be prolific with rafts of the fluorescent green beetles on the water surface.

Trout can be hard to catch as they gorge themselves. 

I think the best time is when the beetle hatch only just begins. 

This is when you just see the odd one start to appear on the water and the trout start to rise. 

This is the most likely time that your beetle imitation will be snapped up by a passing fish.

The technique is easy, just cast out to where the shallow shelf of a lake begins to drop off at leave it there until something happens. 

Use plenty of floatant, these days beetle imitations are usually tied with foam so float well any way. 

You only have to recast when the fly floats off course or you want to actively cast in the direction of a rise.

Spin anglers can get in on the fun too by using a bubble and a fly. 

Just make sure you cast well ahead of a cruising fish as the splash of a bubble right on top of fish is sure to spook it.

Fishing with beetle imitations is not limited lakes. 

They can be very effective at times on back country rivers. 

The more bush clad back country rivers should be fishable by at least Sunday after the front passes through.

December is the time to start using dry flies as trout start to feed closer to the surface. 

This also means your casting will have to be precise as they can be spooky. 

Get your first cast right for greatest success. 

Salmon Heads

This season North Canterbury Fish & Game are looking to see which of our rivers have significant “spring run” salmon entering and improve our understanding of how these early run salmon contribute to the fishery and angler harvest.

For this to be successful, we need anglers who catch a salmon in November or December in any of the North Canterbury rivers to record the date, location caught, length (from nose tip to the fork in the tail), weight (if possible), sex, fin-clipped or not, as well as keep the head with pectoral fins attached, stored in their freezer to be analysed by Fish & Game.

A $200 tackle voucher will be drawn from each river for information collected (one entry for each head returned).

Please contact Fish & Game (03) 366 9191 to arrange pick-up of these heads.

Tight lines.

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish and Game Officer

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