North Canterbury Weekly Fishing Report for 27-10-17

  • North Canterbury
  • 27/10/2017
  • Richie Cosgrove

North Canterbury Weekly Fishing Report for 27-10-17

Dear Anglers, the weekends forecast is looking good in the high country for weekend with only isolated showers on Saturday clearing on Sunday.

Coastal weather conditions are forecast to be north easterly breezes which is better than the 4 different wind directions in one day we have been having all season.

Above Right: The Groynes junior fishery is a great starting point for young anglers.

A stable environment is good for trout residing in certain reaches of rivers and can provide good consistent fishing opportunities.

A bit of colour on the back of small floods and freshes, in the rivers can make for good sea run trout fishing, and prospects may well be good for that at some stage over the weekend.  

Some reports are starting to come in, of a few nice sea run trout being caught from the Rakaia and Waimakariri rivers now.

White bait and smelt runs are encouraging the trout into the river deltas.

A good way to be sure of fishability is to get familiar with the ECAN river flows website, and learn at what level or cumec reading the river is fishable at.

Fishable flows may not be the same as they were last season! Flows relating to fishability will vary dependent on seasonal snow falls, and ground water abundance. 

Good flows to date in our Lowland streams and rivers are great to see this season.

However the time will come that streams carrying good flows now, will fade.

This season we are going to have to be very vigilant when flows drop.

This is because trout will have ventured into, and re populated areas that during the past 3 years, would not have been possible.

We are asking for anglers whom are out on these waterways to phone in if you have any concerns for the wellbeing of trout in these areas. 

If you notice any waterways that have non connected flows, or you suspect that it will be imminent,  please contact the Fish and Game office 0800 347 426.

Depending on fishability, the best options for fly or spin anglers this weekend will be the lower reaches of all the North Canterbury main catchments for sea run trout, and the mid or upper reaches for resident brown trout.

Some very respectable fish are there to be caught in the headwaters of our larger rivers.

Be advised that river flows, and weather conditions always need to be researched before planning a fishing trip, especially inland.

For Anglers looking to stretch a fly line or spin fish in larger low country streams this weekend, rivers such as the Ashley or the upper Selwyn will be worth a look.

Lake Ellesmere has been open to the sea for sometime now so prospects are looking good for trout entering the streams flowing into the lake.

Don’t forget about some of our Christchurch local streams,there is some great sport to be had in streams such as the Otukaikino, Styx, Silver Stream and the Cust main drain.


Anglers are reminded that the North Canterbury high country lakes are closed until Saturday 4th November.

Although the main fishing season is declared open from the 4th of November there are still a few places that do not open until the 1st of December.

These are “ rivers or streams that flow into “ tributaries “ of Western Zone Lakes.

If in doubt consult your regulations book or you can download it here.

Another regulation change introduced for this season is the minimum size limit for all trout and salmon taken.

No fish may be taken unless it meets the minimum measurement of 300mm.

Anglers should also be aware that there are also maximum size limits in some areas, it is important to read your regulations guide before fishing in a particular place.

Unique regulations exist in certain areas to protect special fisheries characteristics, or trout populations in decline in some cases.  

Junior Fishery at the Groynes 

FGNZ NC TAKF08There are still some good opportunities for juniors anglers under the age of 17 as of the 1st October for catching fish at the Groynes.

The Groynes junior fishery ponds are a great place to teach your children how to cast and there is a very realistic chance that they may catch one.

Soft baits and bait fishing with shrimps or worms are favored.

Remember a fishing licence is required for all children regardless of age and it is a 100% Junior Fishery.

The junior fishery at the Groynes has unfortunately attracted some adult anglers whom think it is ok to break the regulations and take fish from a junior fishery.

Rangers have been out daily, and have heard all the excuses before! 

Licences are available at most major tackle stores, or North Canterbury Fish and Game, 595 Johns Road Belfast. Phone 0800 347 426.

Snake Creek Restoration Project – potential effect on the Selwyn/Waikirikiri River  

FGNZ NC SnakeCreeksampling4The Water & Wildlife Habitat Trust will be working during the month of November on a project at Snake Creek (a tributary of the Silverstream which flows into the Selwyn/Waikirikiri River just above Coes Ford).

Right: Fish & Game, ECan and University of Canterbury staff undertaking Baseline sampling before the restoration project starts.

The project is aimed at restoring brown trout spawning and rearing habitat so as to improve angling opportunities in the Selwyn.

It also aims to help address water quality issues in the lower Selwyn.

Works include: reforming the banks to reduce erosion, create a gentler slope to plant on and reduce the number of pathways for pollution to flow directly into the stream.

It also includes digging sediment traps and installing river features such as boulders, wood and narrowings.

All of the works have been assessed by a qualified engineer and will not reduce the flood carrying capacity of the stream.

During the construction phase there could be times when sediment ends up in the waterway and is carried downstream into the Selwyn/Waikirikiri River.

We ask for your patience while we develop these techniques that will ultimately improve the waterway.  

If you have any questions please contact Emily Arthur-Moore on 021 221 8332 or

Any Salmon Around?

 The only salmon around at present are mostly in anglers dreams from what I can make out.

However there are often reports of salmon at this stage of the season in previous years, and someone has to be first to catch one! Watch this space…..

Tagged Brown Trout Research Program

NC tagged troutJust a reminder that many of the Rakaia released tagged Brown Trout will have lost their double tags.

Please inspect the adipose fin of any Brown Trout you catch for evidence of a partial fin clip being made.

Due to the larger than average size of the trout when tagged it was only possible to cut a straight line snip at the back end of the fin.

Information relating to these fish is very important to the research program so please provide that to or phone Dirk, 021 221 8378.

Family Fishing Day at Lake Lyndon

North Canterbury Fish and Game are inviting new to angling families to an educational fishing day at Lake Lyndon on Sunday the 10th of December.

The social junior fishing event will finish at 12pm with the prize giving to follow at 12.30pm.

This event is the next step for all of those junior anglers who have started learning to fish at the Groynes lakes in Christchurch. This is all about the High Country fishing experience, and learning how to catch trout in their wild environment.

Lake Lyndon is the closest high country lake to Christchurch with a travel time of around 1 hours drive from the city.

Lake Lyndon is regarded by many North Canterbury anglers as a favorite place to fish and provides some great rainbow trout angling.

The lake regulations also allow fishing from boats ie, trolling, and bait fishing for “junior anglers only” is also permitted.

On the day many local fishing clubs, volunteers and Fish & Game staff will be available to help out with techniques, and advise to help junior anglers learn about the secrets to becoming a successful angler.

Five hundred rainbow trout will also be released into the lake on the day for the event.

Some of them will have lucky tags in them, and if caught by a junior angler they will receive a special prize.  More details of this event will be published closer to the time.

Lake Coleridge, Camping Conditions at Ryton Bay, on Glenthorne Station Land

FGNZ NC LakeColeridgeComp37Thanks to the generosity of the land owner and managers, the paddock on the right hand side of the lane to Ryton Bay is available to be used as a base for the 2017 Annual Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition.

Camping will also be permitted during the first 2 weekends in November, details below.   

The paddock gate will be unlocked for opening weekend from Friday 3rd - 5th November, and again for the following weekend of the 10th – 12th November.

Anglers will need to take everything with them between the 2 weekends as the paddock will be locked during the week in between.

Just a reminder that there are to be no dogs, we have ewes lambing in the area, there is no access to any other paddocks, no fires, and all rubbish is to be taken away please.

Salmon Symposium         

On the weekend of November 11-12, the Central South Island & North Canterbury regions will be hosting a Salmon Symposium at Hotel Ashburton for anglers and other interested parties to review the state of our sea-run salmon fishery and the disappointing runs of recent years.

We will have a range of topics and experts to talk to them during the two day symposium. If you are keen find out more about the event and register to attend please click here to link to the Fish & Game website.

Tight Lines all,

Dirk Barr, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer


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