Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 21st February 2020

  • North Canterbury
  • 20/02/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 21st February 2020

Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury region fishing report, there was a small fresh last weekend that affected the Rakaia and Waimakariri. 

On Friday there is a front moving over the South Island which will bring heavy rain to the West Coast. 

There is meant to be some spill over into the Canterbury headwaters as well. 

Above Right: Lake Lyndon is a great spot for a family fishing adventure.

Once again it looks as if it will affect the Rakaia and Waimakariri more than the northern rivers. 

Please check the flows before heading out though.

On Saturday the weather changes to a Southerly which looks to be bringing some showers to the plains and foothills. 

Probably not enough to help the drying rivers.  Sunday looks to be the best day as the southerly clears and brings a calm, sunny, but cooler day.

At the time of writing (noon, Thursday), the Rakaia is still marginal for fishing, but the other main alpine rivers are fishable for salmon. 

It looks likely that these rivers will receive a fresh that will come down the river on Saturday. 

Salmon are all through the rivers, so keep an eye on early to mid-next week when they are fishable again.

Conditions in the back country are going to be windy and wet on Friday afternoon. 

The rain is not forecast for long though.  Back country rivers clear quickly and will be fishable again by Sunday in the more bush clad catchments. 

High country lakes are still fishing well.  The levels have only just started dropping now but they are far higher than usual. 

Staff were in the high country last week and observed lots of fish feeding on the surface at catchable distances from the shore. 

Temperatures will be cooler but the fine conditions on Sunday should be ideal for lake fishing.

Where to take kids fishing

This is something we get asked a lot, so it is about time we wrote something on this. 

There are still fish at the Groynes.  I was there last week and there are still some big rainbows cruising around the ponds. 

Remember these are junior fisheries only. 

If you are looking for a family fishing experience where everyone has a go, you will need to go further afield.

It can be challenging this time of year as rivers dry up close to Christchurch. 

There are some options around the Lake Ellesmere tributaries. 

The lower Selwyn around the upper huts offers some easy access and deep water that is ideal for soft baiting or using bullies for bait. 

There are heaps of smaller fish this year which will be ideal next year as catchable fish. 

The lower Haswell offers some great perch fishing.  The lower reaches look more like a canal. 

Once again it offers good casting and soft baiting for kids.  Lake Forsyth also has good numbers of perch.

The Kaiapoi has a long tidal reach and good access along its banks from the township to well above State Highway One. 

There are lots of smaller sized sea run trout in this area.  The same applies to the Avon in the tidal reaches. 

There is almost unlimited space and access with good numbers of sea run trout.

For those wanting to go further afield or get their kids into fly fishing I would recommend Lake Lyndon. 

This year the lake has high numbers of smaller fish.  It is the closest high-country lake to Christchurch and offers easy access around the entire shore. 

The ample gravel beach gives unimpeded casting and youngsters can practice their fish spotting skills on calm days from elevated positions. 

Pick the days.  You don’t want to take kids in unpleasant windy conditions. 

Although fishing in the waves and wind is quite effective it is about the greater experience and sense of adventure when you take kids fishing. 

So, it helps when the day is pleasant.

Tight lines

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish and Game Officer


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