Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island Region – 20/12/18

  • Central South Island
  • 20/12/2018
  • Richie Cosgrove

Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island Region – 20/12/18

I’ll summarise the weather forecast and current river conditions for you in this report.

Be aware, some patience and active river flow checking may be needed over the coming days to get some good river and stream fishing.

We had region wide rain this week, again.

We had a north west front that brought rain to the high-country and an easterly front that brought rain to the low-country.

Above Right: Read more below about ECan's survey of the Ashburton River-mouth.

On top of this, my review of the region-wide weather forecast out to Christmas Day, has 15-40 mm of rain predicted for the period of Friday afternoon to late Saturday night.

Sunday through Tuesday looks to be fantastic weather.   

River flows are elevated region-wide after the weeks rain and some are still rising at the time of writing on Thursday morning. 

Who knows how river flows will fare with the predicted rain over the next couple of days?

Briefly, here are some river flow increases observed from the week: the Ashburton jumped from 35 to 115 cumecs, the Rangitata from 100 to 280 cumecs, the Opihi from 30 to 150 cumecs (and rising), the Ahuriri from 26 to 43, the Maerewhenua from 3 to 29 cumecs and the Kakanui from 6 to 62 cumecs.

Many of our rivers drop quick and become fishable shortly after rain.

Some great fishing can be had as the river flows decrease.

Regardless of high river flows there are always places to fish in this expansive region as we have numerous lakes and canals.

The Waitaki River between the Waitaki Dam and the Hakataramea River confluence usually remains fishable too, based on the controlled flows of the clear waters of Lake Waitaki.

If you fish the Waitaki or Hakataramea rivers keep an eye out for tagged trout and report the details to our office (csi@fishandgame.org.nz, 03 6158400).

The last reported tagged fish was a rainbow caught last Saturday in the Waitaki close to the Kurow Bridge.

The angler said the fishing was excellent and he and his buddy caught 11 rainbows and 1 brown combined for their day out on a jet boat.  

Fish & Game Officer Mark Webb was ranging at the canals last Sunday.

He said the canals water was clear and the anglers were spread out throughout the system.

There were real no catches of note, but Mark said there were some 4-5-pound salmon being caught in the Tekapo Canal.

Although trout spawning traditionally finishes up by November anglers are still using imitation eggs with success, especially to catch XL rainbow trout.

If you’re planning to visit the canals for the first time or struggling to find your way around then please click here and check out our Hydro Canal Fishery pamphlet.

Whether at the canals or not the holiday period is a good time to try night fishing.

It provides the opportunity to spend the whole day with the family and then a few night time hours on the water.

In my experience rainbow trout are very susceptible to glow-in-the-dark (lumo) flies and lures.

A couple of weeks ago I fished Lake Poaka at night with a lumo bead woolly bugger fly and caught several rainbow trout in the 0.5-2.5-pound size range.

In the past I have also had some success night fishing the canals with lumo flies rigged up on a spin rod while using a small sinker/large split shot as a casting weight. I caught small-ish salmon and lost some big fish I never laid eyes on.

Fishing this way is very similar to “egg rolling”, whereby you bounce the flies down the canal bottom and walk along the canal following at the speed of the flow.

The key to success is to keep a straight line so you can feel the bites and give a strike and to keep recharging the glow of your lure or fly with a torch.

Its also very useful to familiarise yourself with your spot in the day time and make a couple of casts to feel out the water.  

Last Thursday we held the Annual Public Meeting of the Central South Island Fish and Game Council.

Around 25 members of the public attended and were entertained with a presentation by Bob Bower on the Managed Aquifer Recharge project underway in the Hinds area.

All meeting attendees had an opportunity to address the Council and some did.

To view our 2017-2018 Annual Performance Report click here.  

Ashburton River-mouth user survey

Environment Canterbury are developing a management strategy for the Ashburton River/Hakatere Mouth.

A survey of river-mouth users has been set-up to gain information about how anglers and other groups use and value the area.

If you fish or use the Ashburton/Hakatere River-mouth regularly or only on occasions we encourage you to complete the survey to represent anglers’ values.

The management strategy could result in changes that affect you like the restricting or enhancing of access to the area.  

Click here to link to the online survey.

Finally, I want to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy holiday period. I hope you all get out for a fish and I might even bump into you on the water while ranging.

If you are short on Christmas gift ideas, why not gift someone some fishing gear and take them out fishing.

Just remember every person needs a sports fishing licence to target sports fish: trout, salmon, perch, tench etc.

Day licences (24 hours) are relatively cheap at $21 for an adult and $5 for a junior (12-17 years).

Licences for children 11 years and under are free. A Day Licence for Non-resident anglers is $34.

You can buy licences 24/7 online on our website with a credit or debit card. Click here to visit our website and get all the licencing information.

Tight Lines

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Region Fish & Game Officer

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