Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island - 18-03-2021

  • Central South Island
  • 18/03/2021
  • Richie Cosgrove

Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island - 18-03-2021

The weather forecast is looking great for fishing this weekend with sunshine or high cloud, mild temperatures and light winds.

For fly anglers, this presents one of the last weekends of the season where you can expect great action on big dry flies like cicada, hopper, spider or blowfly imitations.

Above Right: The blowfly imitation fly and one of the three fish it tricked.

I experienced that great dry fly action last weekend with three nice browns holding in one small high-country pool.

They were feeding flat-out off the surface and took my blowfly imitation without hesitation!

If you don’t fly fish then bear in mind you can still spin fish with flies (legally spin fishing) and this advanced spin fishing guide gives you tips on how to rig up.

Sockeye salmon spawning is still in full swing but will disappear in the blink of an eye in the coming weeks.

It is mind-boggling how thousands of spawned-out sockeye salmon carcasses (they all die) seem to vanish from the waterway just weeks after spawning.

A few get cleaned-up by hawks and other predators or washed out into the lakes, but it still comes as a shock that by mid-April – it’s as if 60,000 spawning sockeye never existed!

WFR2021.51Fish Game Officer Hamish Stevens counts spawning sockeye at the lower Ohau River photo R Adams

Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens counts spawning sockeye salmon at the lower Ohau River-photo R Adams

For some trout anglers, the short-period of the sockeye spawning run is a good thing though as sockeye can become a nuisance for trout fishing throughout the Mackenzie in March.

Sockeye will spook and tear through the pools disturbing trout left, right and centre.

There are just two weeks of the sea-run salmon season left with the last day falling on Wednesday 31 March 2021 in the CSI Region.

The settled weather this weekend should present an opportunity or two to try for a sea-runner but keep an eye on the river flows as both the Rangitata and Waitaki rivers have been high this week, the former with a rain event and the later with high generation demand and a generated flushing flow from the Waitaki Dam.

I’d be optimistic that they will both be fishable at some stage this weekend.

I did a quick ring around today (Wednesday) to see how sea-run salmon catches have been going this season.

Linda Whipp from the Rangitata South Huts said she has tallied up 33 for the season including six for March for all the folk fishing the mouth and lower reaches around the south side of the Rangitata River.

I have also heard of a few salmon caught throughout the Rangitata River but I promised not to say by who, or where.

Richard Davidson from Davo’s Fishing Hunting and Sports said he is led to believe that it is five total caught for the season at the Opihi and none have been caught recently.

He also said rumours are that only two or three have been caught at the Orari.

Brooke from Oamaru Sports and Outdoors said an angler reported knowing of 8 caught and kept and a few caught and released at the Waitaki River. 

So, all in all, we are probably looking at another low-catch season for sea-run salmon, similar to the last three seasons.

This is a timely reminder that we are asking anglers to voluntarily limit their sea-run salmon harvest (fish killed) to a maximum of four.

The idea is that limiting your harvest should result in a few more fish making it to the spawning ground which will help to preserve the future of the fishery.     

Notice Board

Environment Canterbury riverbed weed control

ECan is planning to undertake riverbed weed spraying for flood management through to mid-March at these rivers: Ashburton, Waitaki, Pukaki, Tekapo, Ohau, Orari, Te Ana Wai, North Opuha. 

The spraying will be helicopter and ground-based and signage will be in place during operation, for more information contact Sam Kidner 0273044255

Check Clean Dry

Didymo, Lake Snow, Lagarosiphon… just to name a few aquatic pests we have locally.

Please remember you can inadvertently spread these unwanted pests to other waterways so if you are moving between waterways to check, clean and dry your gear.

This MPI website has all the info on what to do.

Tight Lines

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer

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