Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island - 25-03-2021

  • Central South Island
  • 25/03/2021
  • Richie Cosgrove

Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island - 25-03-2021

We have a rare but “consistent” catch report to share this week - an Opihi River rainbow trout.

Above Right: Irihapiti Meager displays her dad's rare catch - an Opihi River rainbow trout March 2021 - credit Nathan Meager.

How rare? Well, most locals haven't caught an Opihi River rainbow, although we hear of about one or two caught each season and mostly from the lower reaches.

Nathan Meager caught the pictured rainbow last week while fishing the Opihi with his Daughter Irihapiti (pictured).

Most Opihi rainbow trout are in the one to five pound range but this one was in the six to seven pound conversation and was released to grow bigger.

Nathan was using the Skagit fly fishing technique – a two-handed fly rod lined-up heavy for casting big flies that imitate large prey fish.

A more reliable spot to catch a rainbow trout would be the Ahuriri River delta at Lake Benmore.

It was great to confirm with the farm manager at Glenburn (Otamatapaio) last week that access provisions to drive to the lake edge parking area have returned for the historical “fisherman’s” access.

For clarity that is access point “five” on our Lake Benmore access guide – click here.

Recently the roadside gate on State Highway 83 was locked, and although walking access was still provided it extended the long walk to the Ahuriri delta and blocked a favourite vehicle-access spot to launch rowboats and kayaks in the sheltered top-end of the Ahuriri Arm.

We are assured the lock is off for good and would like to thank Mike King the manager at Glenburn and the owners of the Station for continuing to provide vehicle access across their private land for anglers to access the lake edge.

Next Wednesday, March 31st is the last day of the sea-run salmon fishing season in the CSI Region.

We would be grateful if any successful Waitaki River anglers could drop off their sea-run salmon heads and tail fins, frozen or fresh, to CSI Councillor Linn Koevoet in Glenavy.

Please ring ahead to arrange a time for drop-off with Linn – 03 689 3883.

Please provide some catch details: length, weight, sex, approximate location caught, and email us a photo if possible – csi@fishandgame.org.nz

Why do we want heads and tails?

We are again collecting samples for DNA analysis on behalf of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of the McCloud River, California.

New Zealand’s chinook salmon originate from the McCloud River and the Winnemem Wintu people wish to restore a salmon run to the river.

It is hoped that if our salmon still resemble those of the McCloud River, we will be able to help them restore their salmon run. 

This morning I briefly caught up with Linn and Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens.

Linn said he knows of about 20 sea-run salmon caught in the Waitaki this season and caught a 17-pounder gilled and gutted himself.

Hamish was ranging at the Waitaki mouth this morning and checked on 18 salmon anglers fishing the high and discoloured river gut at about 500 cumecs of flow.   

When the river is this high you are best to fish either the mouth or way upriver around Kurow.

Flows of around 350 cumecs are suitable for fishing the Waitaki River in general but flows of 250-300 cumecs are preferred.

Hamish said 18 anglers appeared to be a high number fishing the mouth for this season – boosted by a crew of North Canterbury anglers down for the last week of the season.

WFR2021.53 John Denley fishing Lake Alexandrina in a moments solitude credit Trevor Streeter

John Denley fishing Lake Alexandrina in a moment’s solitude' - credit Trevor Streeter

Finally, in this report – an idyllic photo from Lake Alexandrina to share.

Terry Denley got in touch to share the photo of his dad John, and he captioned it “in a moment’s solitude”.

John has been fishing Lake Alexandrina for nearly 70 years and on this occasion caught a nice 5.5-pound rainbow trout on a small woolly bugger.

Notice Board 

Environment Canterbury riverbed weed control

ECan is undertaking riverbed weed spraying for flood management during 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

Pegging/Tagging Day

Saturday 28 March 2021 is game bird hunting stand pegging day.

Check out page 14 of the 2021 game bird hunting regulations guide here to find our pegging rules and info.

2021 Game licences are on sale now at our Fish & Game website here.

The latest ‘Game Bird’ special issue Fish & Game magazine will be hitting your letterbox any day now.   

Tight Lines

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer

More Posts