Weekly fishing report for Central South Island and North Canterbury regions for 14 December 2023

  • Central South Island North Canterbury
  • 14/12/2023

Weekly fishing report for Central South Island and North Canterbury regions  for 14 December 2023

Central South Island Report

Things are looking up

Angler Charles Smith (pictured above) reckons dry fly fishing at his local rivers has been awesome lately.

*Authors note - shout out to Charles for taking the above photo of his fish over the water – that way if it wriggles out of his hands he’ll drop it softly into the water.

Charles’ favourite dry fly is a ‘classic’, the parachute Adams in #14 and #12 (mine too!).

If the trout are being a little more particular, Charles often switches to a mayfly spent spinner in #14 or #18.

Another angler I caught up with recently, sorry no names or rivers, says he has caught heaps of rainbow trout on another ‘classic’ dry fly, the Royal Wulff.

I went down to a local South Canterbury river for the evening rise last weekend. The pool and run I parked up at had around 6 fish active on the surface, or rather just in the surface film. It all kicked off right at dusk.

My #16 parachute Adams dry was ignored but one cracking three pound brown took my mayfly CDC emerger fish in the surface film.     

Above Right: Charles Smith caught this brown trout recently on a dry fly at a local South Canterbury River photo by Tim Bowman.  

Sea-run salmon reports

Salmon anglers at Rangitata river mouth- Photo by Blake Harper

Rangers have been active at the Rangitata / Rakitata River mouth over the last couple of days with river flows and clarity being ripe for salmon fishing in the 85 – 70 cumecs flow range.

Although none of the salmon anglers checked had caught a salmon, rumour has it there was at least one caught last week and a couple caught this week.

More kahawai anglers than salmon anglers have been checked on by our rangers.  

Catch checks of Kahawai anglers have found no sports fish taken.

Please note – MPI Officers are responsible for monitoring bag limits for native species such as kahawai. 

Rod giveaway for kids aged 5 – 17 

The line up of rods to give away to kids

Do you know a young person who loves fishing but doesn’t own their own rod? Or maybe a whippersnapper has been nagging you to try fishing for the first time… 

We have a number of rod and reel sets to give away to kids aged 5 to 17. 

These rods have been seized off offenders by our rangers and with cases now closed, it’s time they found a good home. 

They are in fishable condition but don’t expect anything too flash. 

Please ring 03 6158400 to claim a rod, first-in-first-served, and organise a time for pick up from our Temuka Office.

They must be collected by 5 pm on December 21st

The only thing we hope for in return is a report and photo to share of the kid out enjoying fishing with their new rod.   

Outlook for the weekend 

A short and sharp wet front is forecast to race up the Main Divide on Friday – this may cause a slight increase in flows of rivers with their headwaters in the Main Divide such as the Ahuriri and Rangitata. 

The pick of the fishing windows, sunny and calm, looks to lowland and foothill areas on Saturday. The high-country should be airtight too but may be windy. 

On Sunday the high country is forecast to be battered by winds and rain as another wet front is set to rip quickly through the Main Divide. Eastern areas will likely be your best bet on Sunday – keep a close eye on that yourself.   

Notice Board

CSI Fish & Game Council Annual Performance Report

Following last week's Annual Public Meeting of the Central South Island Fish & Game Council – the CSI 2022/23 Performance Report is now available online for your viewing and to download, please click here.  


North Canterbury Report

Where to go fishing this weekend?

Spey anglers lined up the lower reaches of the Rakaia River.

Looking at the weekend weather forecast, there looks to be a northwest front hitting the main divide from Friday afternoon, bringing some rain.

However, Sunday looks to be raining the most, so once again, I imagine this will increase the flows of our salmon rivers and make them unfishable by either later in the weekend or early next week.

But if you can knock off work early on Friday or can get out on Saturday, then I'd say the rivers will still be fishable, and with the rough weather we have

Our high country lakes will be a good option if you can find a nice calm bay out of the wind.

If you are after a challenge and don’t mind the wind, then fishing the downwind shoreline of a lake can be very productive as this stirs up the lake bed and blows all the food down to one end of the lake.

It basically gives the fish an abundance of food to eat so that the fish will be relatively close to the shoreline.

Fishing in a nor-wester can be challenging but productive!

So your casting doesn’t have to be too flash as long as you can get your spinner or fly a few metres off the shoreline then you’ll be in with a chance.

For those who may have already finished work for the year (lucky for some!), I would look into the long-range forecast, which is currently looking good.

This is a great opportunity to go and explore some of our back country rivers, which clear up in 1-2 days.

Depending on where you go and fishing during the week, you are likely to bump into fewer to no anglers at all.

Fishing off the back of a fresh can be very productive as the fish are hungry after hiding from the higher flows

 This means they will show themselves and provides more of an opportunity to potentially take your spinner or fly if you present it right to fool the fish.

Fishing over the holiday period

The ranging team out checking licences at Lake Coleridge this week.

With a lot of people having time off work and making the most of their days fishing and camping near a lake or river, the usage of these areas obviously goes up.

For everyone to have a good day’s fishing, it is always a good idea to leave a note on your vehicle saying whether you are fishing upstream or downstream from your vehicle.

 Or if you see an angler, it is always good to introduce yourself, talk to them about their plans for the day, and come up with a plan so you aren’t disturbing each other’s water.

This lets everyone get an opportunity to catch a fish.

For boat-based anglers, it is good to observe what other boats are doing before you decide to drop a line over so you don’t cause any tangles with other boat anglers.

Annual Public Meeting

You can check out a video of some of the 2022-23 highlights that was presented to the public at last week’s Annual Public Meeting here.

Tight Lines

Harry  Graham-Samson, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.

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