Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island, 04-11-2021

  • Central South Island
  • 4/11/2021
  • Richie Cosgrove

Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island, 04-11-2021

It's an exciting time of year to be a trout and salmon angler with springtime fishing in full swing, the high-country season opening this Saturday and the start of the sea-run salmon fishing on our doorstep.

Apart from the upper Ahuriri River and lagoons that open in December and our permanently closed waters, Awakino River and the Aviemore Spawning Race, all CSI water is fishable from Saturday. 

That's a good reminder to read your 2021/22 regulation guide before high-country opening — especially those fishing Lake Heron. 

If you want to access Harrisons Bight at Lake Heron, the DOC vehicle access permits are available on this website

The weather is looking pretty good for the high-country opening, but writing this on Wednesday means it's a bit early for me to give too much weather advice other than to pack your sun protection.

Above Right: Murray Johnson fishing the Twizel River on High-country Opening Day 2020-credit Rhys Adams. 

With all these new high-country opportunities available, it might be easy to overlook the great opportunities at our "low-country" waterways. 

The first example of these great opportunities is from Ian Stuart, who fished a tributary of the Opihi River on two days last week, catching and releasing a bunch of trout. 

Ian reports, "The first day I was only using one fly, either a shaggy black tungsten bead #12 H&C or a #16 black tungsten bead PT tied on a caddis hook, the fish were not hesitant at all to take the fly." 

"Second day using two flies, again the H&C with the same PT with normal black bead.  Then I switched to a dry (royal wolf variant) later in the day with a #18 black tungsten bead PT variant dropper.  In hindsight, I should have been fishing with the dry/dropper all day." 

I have linked the flies and rigs mentioned by Ian to google images of what is referred to in typical fly fishing jargon — that should be greatly helpful for any newbies to fly fishing or those considering buying the gear to learn flyfishing. 

WFR2122.17 Ian Stuart had great success fishing the Opihi Catchment last week Credit I Stuart

Ian Stuart had great success fishing the Opihi Catchment last week' Credit I Stuart

Another example, Graeme Hughes, has been an early starter this year on the night-time caddis (sedge) hatches at the Waitaki River near Kurow

Before the full moon hits the water, Graeme and his mates have been getting a few good browns and rainbows and losing most of the "big ones" that fight too well.  

Graeme's report from last Saturday goes like this: there are "gazillions" of caddis on the wing at night, "the fish are there", "the maiden rainbows are fat, round, and hard to control", the bigger fish are in "good nick". 

Graeme said the flows have been very high and challenging mid-week, around 400 or more cumecs at ECan's Kurow Flow Recorder, but it's usually a more manageable 200-300 cumecs in the weekend.   

On Monday, I emailed a survey to about 4,200 anglers that endorsed their licence for the Ōhau River backcountry fishery. 

If you haven't already done so, please check your email inbox and complete the Ōhau River Spring Season survey. 

You might need to check if it ended up in your junk mail. 

Please fill out the survey even If you haven't fished the river yet; it's a very quick task that helps us accurately estimate the number of anglers that actually fished the river in October.  

If you endorsed your licence for the Ohau River backcountry fishery, but your survey is nowhere to be found, please email me radams@fishandgame.org.nz; there may be an error in the spelling of your email address etc. that we can quickly resolve. 

Anyone still intending to fish the Ohau River backcountry fishery, please be aware DOC have a managed black-fronted tern nesting site on the largest gravel-island of the upper Ōhau River.

The island is located about 3.6km upstream from Lake Ruataniwha or 2.4km downstream of the ford. The island is readily identifiable, being mechanically cleared of vegetation, and you will likely encounter some dive-bombing terns.

Their nests and eggs are camouflaged and practically invisible, so please keep off this island to avoid inadvertently trampling on their nests. Also, repeated disturbance can cause the birds to desert their eggs and/or chicks.

There won't be too many fish left in the river at the moment, but it could still be worth the trip to check the river out, and you never know, you might catch a whopper.

A backcountry licence endorsement is required to fish the upper Ohau River; you can get that at our website here.

If you are still trying to get your head around how this one-of-a-kind fishery is managed, grab a cuppa, find a comfy chair and have a squiz at this management report.


Bi-Monthly Council Meeting – Thursday, November 11, 2021

This is the first meeting of the newly elected Council.

It may be held virtually under Covid conditions. 

Copies of Council Agendas and confirmed minutes are available under the terms of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 



Meet in Twizel, outside Jakes Hardware Store, at 8.30 am for a briefing and your Spot Prize number. 

Generous sponsors mean the spot prizes are fantastic again this year. 

BBQ Salmon Lunch supplied by Mt Cook Alpine Salmon and High Country Salmon. 

2021 Kids Salmon Fishing Day - Cancelled 

Unfortunately, the 2021 Kids Salmon Fishing Day in Twizel, pencilled in for November 7, has been cancelled.  

Want to catch a sea-run salmon? 

New regulations and requirements apply for sea-run salmon in the CSI and North Canterbury Regions. 

Click here for all the information you need.

Tight Lines

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer

More Posts