Weekly Fishing Report for North Canterbury 23-1-20

  • North Canterbury
  • 23/01/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Weekly Fishing Report for North Canterbury 23-1-20

Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury region fishing report, the weather is going to heat up this weekend. 

A North West front will come over the South Island on Saturday. 

This will bring warm temperatures and warm winds to lowland and coastal areas. 

Meanwhile the high country may get some rain in the main divide and some stronger North West winds.

Right: A file photo of Fish & Game staff drift diving the Hope River.

At the time of writing (Wednesday), all the main alpine rivers are clear fishable. 

They are probably at the low end of ideal flows for salmon fishing. 

They will drop fast and become clearer before the weekend, this will make catching salmon more challenging. 

Temperatures are also forecast to get high on the weekend so the water temperature will be warm as well. 

There could be some rain in the headwater on Saturday evening, this may bring down a fresh on Sunday, but it is not expected to be much. 

Check the following website before heading out on Sunday, remember there is a temperature column now on the flow site as well. 

As a guide anything over 18oC means that trout will stop feeding and salmon will be reluctant to come into the rivers.


Foot hill streams such as the Ashley, Selwyn and Waipara are getting very low in flow. 

There is no immediate rain forecast so this situation is not going to improve. 

Anglers need to be aware that there is a toxic algae outbreak on the lower Ashley. 

Please be aware that sometimes these notifications are only at places that ECan monitor. 

So, it pays to become familiar with what the algae looks like yourself, remember this can be deadly to dogs. 

Have a look at this link for more information.


The high-country lakes will probably be windy this weekend. 

This is not necessarily a bad thing as days on end of calm hot weather are not good for water temperatures. 

So, a bit of wave action mixing up the different temperature zones should help keep these lakes cooler. 

As I have said before a lake with a bit of wind and waves can be quite good fishing if you can manage to cast into or along the waves to cruising fish.

Backcountry fisheries have been fishing well with the calm weather in the high country. 

This weekend will be a bit more challenging due to some wind and possibly cloudy or rainy conditions. 

Next week the weather looks to improve again to offer some good days in the backcountry.

Fish are responding well to big bushy dry flies at the moment as the weather has warmed, creating more insects flying around hitting the water.

Notice to anglers

Drift Diving on the South Branch of the Hurunui River.

Drift Diving on the South Branch of the Hurunui River.

Next week North Canterbury staff are looking to undertake our backcountry drift dives. 

Drift dives are an important tool for monitoring fish numbers in our back-country rivers. 

This data helps us to manage pressure on these rivers and to form regulations. 

However, it will cause some disturbance to fish on the days that we undertake the dives. 

So, this year I would like to notify anglers of our plan at this stage so there are no surprises when we come floating down the river.

Here is a plan of what is planned to occur:

  • Tuesday  - drift dive the Boyle river from the confluence with the Lewis River down to the first car park on the left upstream of the Doubtful River confluence.
  • Wednesday – drift dive the Hope River from the Kiwi Stream confluence to 1.5km downstream.
  • Thursday – drift dive the Upper Waiau from the Ada confluence to the gorge just above the Henry.

Although the dive does disturb the fish for the short term, all the sites are only 1.5km long so anglers can fish around these areas. 

These plans maybe subject to change so if you are planning to fish these areas and are worried about our dives disturbing your fishing you can contact the office on Monday to get our finalised plans.

Fish & Game CEO Rasmus Gabrielsson's podcast on salmon

The Complete ANgler this week has a 30 minute talk with North Canterbury Fish & Game's new CEO Rasmus Gabrielsson on salmon , which you can watch here.

Tight lines.

Tony Hawker, Fish and Game Officer, North Canterbury Fish and Game Council

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