Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island Region – 02/11/18
If you’re heading out this weekend, then be prepared for some environmental challenges.
Many will be fishing in rain, hail or shine for the first Saturday in November “high country” season opening in the Central South Island and North Canterbury Regions.
Above Right: Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens displays a large Lake Heron rainbow-credit R Adams
You will probably get all those conditions mentioned, and super strong wind gusts on top of that so let’s hope those rainbows and browns that have finished up spawning or inhabit sensitive fisheries will let their guard down a bit and be keen to strike at any lure, bait or fly without hesitation.
Saturday has a nasty westerly front forecast to hit the main divide and then Sunday looks like a cold southerly sweeping through.
Please check the weather forecast, especially those intending to fish from small row boats, or those headlamp clad anglers awaiting the first legal minute of opening day in darkness.
Region wide rain struck us through the week, thankfully, as some waterways were getting low.
What that means though, is that some river and stream flows will be perfect for fishing, some will be elevated but manageable and some will possibly be discoloured and unfishable.
With rain forecast to hit the main divide Saturday there could be a further influence on flows too.
I suggest you check out the Environment Canterbury river flows page by clicking here and selecting the “Southern Region” tab.
We have also been notified that a short section of significant river works is underway on the Temuka River just above the Manse Bridge, so this may affect your fishing.
Lake Heron anglers should be aware that the permitting system to access Harrisons Bight is now online and it is super quick to get your permit.
Click here to visit the Department of Conservation website and get your permit.
Lake resident salmon are the main target on high country opening at Lake Heron and the lake is also known for rugged brown trout fishing in the waves during a westerly blow.
Over the winter staff and volunteers made many visits to Lake Heron’s main spawning tributary Mellish stream.
We were in search of winter run salmon to take DNA samples from for a project involving the Winnemem Wintu Tribe of California.
Click here for background information on the project.
During that time, we got a good look at the rainbow trout population.
Rainbow trout don’t get much attention at Lake Heron but there is a surprisingly good number that rivals the brown trout population, if not exceeds it.
If the wind is too strong for river fishing this weekend then consider finding a sheltered beach or bay on one of our major lakes like Benmore, Tekapo or Opuha.
With an offshore wind a heavy spinner, like my favourite, a bronze coloured 14g hex wobbler/ticer, can be belted out a fair distance.
This can be a simple and effective way to catch trout and salmon.
I fished Lake Tekapo and Pukaki this way with my dad and son last weekend and had some great action.
Only problem though, was that we couldn’t get the hook to set well!
Although we had probably a dozen bites and some long fights.
I only landed one small rainbow and dad only landed one foul hooked brown that had to go back.
We also had a report in from Simon and Olivia Grant, they recently fished Lake Opuha from the boat and Olivia caught a nicely coloured up brown and shared the photo.
She was using a brown and gold tassie devil from their boat.
Lake Opuha water levels are high now, so a boat will help to access those submerged willow lines shores.
There is always some shoreline to access at Lake Opuha which increases when the lake level drops.
Lake Opuha is great family fishing spot to belt out a spinner or dunk a worm and if conditions are right, sight fishing with the fly rod can be rewarding.
Fish & Game Twizel Kids Salmon Fishing Day
Thanks to Mount Cook Alpine Salmon, the Fish & Game Twizel Kids Salmon Fishing Day held at Loch Cameron is fast approaching on the 17th of November.
The event is for kids aged 3-11 years old, registration is at the event and numbers are not limited.
And one final message in this long-winded report. Anglers fishing the Hakataramea River for high country opening should be on the lookout for tagged trout.
The tags are yellow and positioned by the dorsal fin.
Please report the capture of any tagged trout and provide the: tag number, capture location and whether you kept of release it: email – firstname.lastname@example.org or ph- 036158400.
Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer
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