Weekly Fishing Report — Central South Island — 13/01/2022

  • Central South Island
  • 13/01/2022
  • Central South Island

Weekly Fishing Report — Central South Island  — 13/01/2022

It’s time to enjoy summer fishing conditions

We seem to have finally made it to mid-summer weather forecast with no obvious rain predicted for a week or so, but that can change.

Region-wide waterway river conditions are now looking like what we expect in summer, relatively low flows, warm water and a bit of algal growth.

Feature image 'summertime fishing at Lake Alexandrina' Credit Rhys Adams

In saying that, it has been a pretty wet holiday period and flows are still holding in there in river sections that are expected to go dry.

However, summer water conditions will indeed be enjoyed this coming weekend so there are a few things to keep in mind.

Water temperatures are coolest in the morning, so this can the most productive time to fish.

For fly anglers its dry fly time so be sure to take a selection of flies that resemble terrestrial insects like blowflies, cicada and aquatic insects like mayfly.

Anglers trolling the surface and shoreline on lakes should be mindful of lake surface temperatures.

If surface temperatures are getting above about 19°C then it’s time to get your lures a bit deeper, usually only 2-3 metres deep water is substantially cooler and preferable for trout.

To gauge water temperatures, you can review the ECan river flow website, some of the flows gauge sites also provide water temperature.     

Water temperatures are usually at their highest in the late afternoon as the heat of the day wanes.

Now for a few observations from the region.

There is some optimism we are in for a better sea run salmon season at the Rangitata River than the previous two “dud” seasons.

The river has finally cleared up after months of back-to-back rain events in the headwaters.

WFR2123.39 Ben Chivers tries his luck at the Rangitata River during the school holidays credit Rhys Adams

Ben Chivers tries his luck at the Rangitata River during the school holidays credit Rhys Adams

Some nice fish in the 10 – 15-pound size class have been caught recently.

At least two anglers have hung up their salmon gear for the season, successfully harvesting their season bag limit of two sea run salmon already.

We have had reports of great salmon fishing in Lake Benmore near Benmore Dam.

The salmon are reported to be taken deep trolling and said to be about 2-pound sockeye.

In my experience, Lake Benmore sockeye salmon should be around 1-pound currently – I’d guess they might actually be Chinook salmon.

But, I havn’t seen the fish or photo’s, so I could be wrong and we could be seeing larger sockeye this year like were observed about four seasons back.

There has been another super-sized sockeye caught from the canal system – about 12-pound. I have seen that photo.

In my observations from ranging at the canals we are experiencing some of the most consistent catches of chinook salmon in the canals in a few years.

I’m not suggesting everyone is catching their bag limit at all, rather, that there is consistently an appreciable number of salmon caught.

So rather than the boom-and-bust style canal salmon fishing we have experienced in recent year there appears to be a reliable chance of hooking one currently.          

Notice Board

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.

Tekapo River spill flow advisory

Genesis Energy are currently spilling water to the Tekapo River via the Lake George Scott Weir.

Spilling is likely to occur over the holiday season.

Tekapo River flows may rise rapidly during spilling and all river users are urged to take extreme caution to avoid rising river flows.   

Spill flows can be viewed at the Genesis website here.

Tekapo River flows in the lower river, downstream of the Mary Burn confluence, can be view on the ECan website here.” 

Waterway Health Warnings

Before planning your trip, be sure to visit Environment Canterbury’s website to view up to date notifications and information regarding toxic cyanobacteria warnings on Canterbury waterways.


Tight Lines,

Rhys Adams

Central South Island Fish & Game Officer

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