Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 5th February 2021

  • North Canterbury
  • 4/02/2021
  • Richie Cosgrove

Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 5th February 2021

Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury region weekly fishing report, the weather looks fantastic this weekend for the whole region. 

A big high is settling over the South Island until early next week. 

As is usually the case with a big anticyclone there maybe some strong sea breezes from the North East. 

But inland areas should be calm.

All of the alpine rivers are at ideal salmon angling flows. 

These will continue to clear and drop in flow heading into the weekend. 

They will definitely be worth a look on the weekend.


Coming soon, the Rakaia Salmon Fishing Competition

Check out the link below for the annual Rakaia Salmon Fishing Competition. 

The dates for the competition are 26th to the 28th of February. 

This usually coincides with the peak salmon run for the Rakaia River. 

There are great prizes and is the biggest event of the year for the Rakaia township. 

Great junior competition as well. 

Tickets are on sale on the link below.

Salmon Heads

Don't forget, 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 any of the following rivers: Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui, Waiau Uwha and the Clarence, 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.

Fishing options 

The Canterbury back country rivers will have superb conditions this weekend. 

There will be little or no wind and the rivers will be low and clear. 

Back country trout are large this year and are responding well to big bushy dry flies.

High country lakes would be a really great option for a camping/fishing trip for the long weekend. 

The weather looks perfect for spotting cruising fish around the edges. 

Cicadas have started making an appearance in the high country this week. 

This can lead to some spectacular surface action as trout vigorously take theses insects which slam onto the water surface.

There will be some lakes that are busy with boating activity but there should be good fishing conditions in the morning and evening. 

Trolling will be a good option with the calm boating conditions being forecast.

Foothill streams such as the Ashley received a top up last weekend but will be low and clear for this weekend. 

The flows have been good this summer so fish should be throughout the middle and lower reaches as there have been no dry reaches on the Ashley yet. 

This river can have great evening rises as a surprising number of trout come out from under the willows. 

Spin anglers should target seas runner that inhabit the pools below State Highway One.

Junior Fishery

For juniors there is still some salmon left in the Groynes from the release a couple of weeks ago.

You can check out a video from the day here.

There will be bright sunny conditions this weekend, so morning or evening is best. 

Please remember this is a junior fishery only, so it's only anglers like Jack Bishop pictured above who can fish there.

Another good option for junior anglers is Lake Lyndon as bait fishing is open to junior anglers only on this lake.

Tight lines

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.


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