North Canterbury Weekly Fishing Report-24 September 2021

  • North Canterbury
  • 24/09/2021
  • Richie Cosgrove

North Canterbury Weekly Fishing Report-24 September 2021

Welcome anglers to the first weekly fishing report for the 2021/22 season. 

The 2021/22 season is shaping up to be an absolute cracker. With COVID restrictions still playing a part in overseas anglers hitting our shores, it’s a great time to get out and explore our vast and expansive river systems, “hey, maybe even take a guided trip with one of our many highly experienced fishing guides”. 

You can find a local fishing guide on the New Zealand fishing guides association website:

Although it may be a bit early to tell, the weather is looking rather nice for opening day this year; rainfall coming early in the week will hopefully bring a nice fresh down the rivers providing excellent fishing opportunities on opening day. 

Make sure you check the weather reports before heading out on opening day. Here is a couple of helpful weather links 

Many lakes will now be open all year as of the 1st of October, including Lake Taylor, Lake Selfe, Lake Pearson, Lake Lyndon, Lake Ellesmere, and Lake Guyon. 

If you are new to angling or looking for easily accessible waters for opening, the Ashley River provides excellent angling early in the lower reaches early in the season, although the fishing upstream of Rangiora should remain good all season. 

The best access points are through the Waikuku Beach township, the SH1 Bridge or the bridge immediately north of Rangiora. In addition, the Ashley River is open all year downstream from the Ashley Gorge Road bridge. 

Above Right: an angler on the Ashley River on opening day 2020.

Our small spring creeks provide great early season action with their gin-clear waters, and stable food source allowing the fish to thrive and be in great condition come opening day. 

There are also a healthy number of sea-run brown trout making their way back up the rivers which provides anglers with a different experience on the river. 

Sea-run brown trout, which enter the river mouths in pursuit of whitebait and smelt, are silver with a few dark, often indistinct marks which appear as small spots or crosses.

To the casual observer, large “sea runs” because of their silver appearance may be incorrectly identified as a searun salmon. 

Brown trout are caught by a variety of methods which include: natural baits, spinners and wobblers, artificial flies, which include nymph, wet fly, feathered lure and dry fly.

They are considered warier than the rainbow trout, and, in a fly caster’s opinion, it is the most difficult of the species to deceive with an artificial fly. 

Large brown trout may attain a 10 kg or more weight, although a fish over 5 kg is considered a trophy. 

Please also check the regulation guide below before venturing to new areas to fish this season, as there have been a few regulation changes recently


The most notable addition to the 2021/22 season regulations is the requirement to have a sea-run salmon endorsement card. These can be obtained when you purchase your licence at one of our many agents or through our website


Good luck if you are heading out for a fish come opening day. Tight Lines

Compliance issues

If you see any illegal activities, please Call Fish and Game on 0800 327426 or Emily Arthur, 021 221 8332. We will try and get a ranger there asap.

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