Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 4th December 2020

  • North Canterbury
  • 3/12/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 4th December 2020

Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury region fishing report.  A couple of Nor’ westers are going to dominate the fishing conditions this weekend. 

A front came through Wednesday night which dumped some rain into the headwaters. 

This will be followed by another front on Friday and then again on Saturday.

At this stage it is hard to say how much rain night eventuate in the headwaters.

At the time of writing (Wednesday), the main alpine rivers have a near perfect flow and colour for salmon fishing. 

Two confirmed salmon have been caught on the Rakaia and plenty have been seen by other anglers as well. 

If there are salmon in the Rakaia it is usually a safe bet that there will also be some salmon in the Hurunui and Waiau Rivers as well.

Anglers are just going to have to monitor the flows on the link below and try and get out when the flows recede.

The following is a rough guide for salmon flows on the main rivers:

  • Waiau River 75 to 95 at Marble Point.
  • Hurunui River 35 to 55 cumecs at Mandamus.
  • Waimakariri River 85 to 110 cumecs at Otarama
  • Rakaia River 165 to 185 cumecs at Fighting Hill.

Please note that this is a rough guide and events such as snowfall can change the colour at these flows. 

Also if the river drops below these flows that doesn’t mean you should stop salmon fishing it just means that the rivers will be starting to clear and it may become more challenging.

Remember your greatest chance of catching a salmon is at first or last light or on an outgoing tide at the river mouths.

Foothill streams such as the Ashley or Selwyn are flowing high at the moment.  They should be fishable by the weekend. 

The Ashley will only be fishable in the lower reaches. 

The flows will be too high for fishing at the gorge.

The back country is going to be windy and possibly raining on Saturday. 

Not ideal boating conditions on the lakes.  Sunday looks like the best conditions. 

Shore line anglers should probably target Sunday morning.

The most pleasant and calm areas to fish this weekend are going to be river mouths or lowland streams. 

Targeting sea run fish in the lower Ashley or Hurunui could be a good option this weekend.

Evening fishing on lowland streams would also be a god option.  I have seen more brown beetles hatching now this week than earlier in the season. 

Probably a bit later this year due to November generally being colder than usual. 

Recent rains have helped keep a healthy flow in streams such as the Avon, Otukaikino or lower Selwyn.

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.

Trout Festival

Last weekend in conjunction with the Canterbury Flyfishing club we held our first annual Trout Festival, you can check a video of it  here.

Notice of North Canterbury Fish & Game Annual General Meeting

You are warmly invited to attend our AGM. See details below.

Location: North Canterbury Fish & Game, 595 Johns Rd.

Time: Wednesday 9th Dec – 6.30pm 

Tight lines.

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish and Game Officer.

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