Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island and North Canterbury 05 Jan 2023

  • North Canterbury Central South Island
  • 5/01/2023

Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island and North Canterbury 05 Jan 2023

Top 3 ‘generalist’ dry fly patterns 

When it comes to summertime fly fishing, anglers dream of sight-fishing for rising trout.

Precisely matching the hatch can be critical, but often it’s not – the trout are simply looking up and taking anything that looks yummy.

A handful of generalist dry fly patterns have probably caught more trout in NZ than all other specialist patterns combined. 

Here are our top three picks of generalist dry fly patterns to have at the ready this summer for whatever waterway you intend to fish. 

Above: from left to right - Parachute Adams, Royal Wulff and blow fly-Photo by Rhys Adams 

Parachute Adams – resembling a mayfly with a white wing post to help with visibility, often fished in a dry & nymph dropper combo as the indicator-fly. Traditional coloured in grey body, and white wing post, other colour variants like black body and pink wing post are worth having handy. 

Royal Wulff – a real generalist and can resemble mayflies, cicadas, hoppers – you name it. 

Blow Fly – the shiny blue tinsel gives this generalist fly a point of difference and can attract trout from long distances. Traditionally tied in ‘humpy’ style and now common super buoyant foam-bodied variants.     

Perch Fishing – how-to

Baylee Kersten shows us how to catch perch.

West Coast Fish & Game has put together this helpful video on how to target perch.

Perch are active in warm water and easier to catch than trout or salmon, so they are a great family fishing option over the summer holidays.

Perch can be found in these waterways:

CSI Region: Lake Hood near Ashburton; lakes Clearwater, Camp and Lake Emma at the Ashburton Lakes; Saltwater Creek in Timaru; Waihao River Lagoon near Waimate; and Island Stream near Maheno in North Otago.

North Canterbury Region: Halswell River, Lake Forsyth, the Roto Kohatu lakes and the Kaiapoi lakes.

They are also an excellent eating fish, so don’t forget to grab some for the plate.

Catch and Release

Attractive photos can be taken without removing the fish from the water Photo by Lorenzo Rawnsley

Taking a fish home for dinner is a fundamental part of sports fishing; however, there will be times, either by choice or by legal requirement you will release a fish. 

Careful catch and release is a skill you must learn to ensure any fish you intend to release doesn’t come to harm.

Here are our ‘Quick Five’ tips for handling fish with care: 

  • Cool your hands and landing net by wetting them before touching the fish.
  • Keep the fish in the water while removing the hook.
  • Do not squeeze the fish, and never touch the gills.
  • Photograph the fish in or over the water, and make it quick - the fish should not be out of the water for more than 5 seconds.
  • Revive the fish facing into the current long enough for it to regain its swimming strength.

In the unfortunate instance that a fish you intended to release does end up bleeding from the gills, so long as you can legally take that fish, you should keep it as part of your bag limit and utilise it. 

This YouTube video demonstrates good fish handling skills.

Tagged fish – research underway

A tagged rainbow trout with a yellow tag is shown in the red circle.

Fish & Game tag trout and salmon to research their movement and growth and to assess the success of relocation efforts.

There are currently tagged trout in these CSI and North Canterbury waterways:

Mackenzie Hydro Canals, Lake Ruataniwha, Waitaki River, including tributaries like the Hakataramea River, Ashley River and Hurunui River.

If you catch a tagged trout, please take notes, carefully recording its unique tag number and estimating or measuring its weight and length, location of catch and the date.

Either use the contact details on the tag or this online form on our www.fishandgame.org.nz website to report your catch of a tagged fish.

Fishing in the Wind

Richard Ballantyne targets a trout in the waves of Lake Taylor

Recently while staff were up in the Lake Sumner area ranging, we found some anglers not put off by the nor-wester and having a great time fishing. 

The wind can be a constant issue for Canterbury anglers, so we thought we would offer a couple of tips for fishing lakes in the wind.

  • Always fish the downwind end of the lake – trout will be feeding in the waves as the insects are blown into the water.
  • Wade out into the water and cast sideways along the face of the wind. You’ll have more success for less effort than trying to cast straight into the wind. 

New Fishing Gear?

Got some new fishing gear for Christmas and wondering where to try it out?

Our “fishing locations and access” web pages will be more than valuable in offering some spots to try out your new fishing gear:

Click here for the CSI Region page

Click here for the North Canterbury Region page

You can also check out our five quick tips for river fishing here.

Tight Lines

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer


Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer


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