Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 8th November 2019
- North Canterbury
- Richie Cosgrove
Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury region fishing report.
Wow! That’s all I can say about the conditions for high country last weekend.
I have never seen so many boat trailers parked up at Ryton Bay. What an incredible day.
Around 270 people entered the Fish & Game Lake Coleridge fishing competition.
Right: Matt Cummins casts into Lake Georgina on Saturday morning.
We made the most of the calm conditions setting up right on the lakeshore at Ryton Bay allowing anglers to beach their boats and weigh in their fish.
This is a rare treat as usually we are hiding behind some scrub seeking shelter out of the strong winds.
A similar amount of fish were caught to other years but it was the pleasantness of the conditions that was a stand out for me.
There were also a lot more families fishing this year which was good to see.
The weather this weekend is not going to be so kind.
Saturday is forecast for strong North West winds in the high country with rain on the main divide.
Sunday sees a southerly change bring rain to much of Canterbury.
There is more settled weather early next week.
Currently the main alpine rivers are finally starting to clear.
This will probably change as rain in the headwater all day Friday and Saturday will more than likely see these rivers dirty by the weekend.
Foot hill and lowland streams will be worth a look on Saturday as they are all clear and fishable with large healthy flows.
Brown beetles have also started to appear with the warm evenings.
Streams close to Christchurch such as the Selwyn, LII, Otukaikino or Cust Main Drain all fish really well with beetle imitations.
The high country lakes are fishing really well this season.
It is going to be windy up there on Saturday.
This won’t worry the fish as the wave action stirs up plenty of food for them.
As talked about last week just cast into those waves for the cruising trout.
Fly anglers can usually find somewhere sheltered on the lakes to have a reasonable cast.
Last weekend the trout were rising already due to the warm conditions
Technique of the Week
Dealing with the wind
If you have lived in Canterbury for a while you will know that you can’t always just go fishing in calm conditions. Learning to deal with the wind will provide opportunities to get out more often.
If you are new to fly fishing my advice would be to buy the most powerful fly rod that you can afford.
The rod is the most crucial component to spend money on.
An expensive reel is not going to help you cast into a strong headwind.
It is the quality of the rod which will help you the most.
Learning to cast with either the right or left hand is a big advantage.
Don’t worry about presentation, just get the line out on the water even if it slaps down hard.
This isn’t going to matter to a fish that is cruising around in a wavy lake.
Fish often feed with attitude in windy conditions.
Spin anglers shouldn’t be concerned with wind at all.
Maybe you won’t be able to flick the soft bait as far.
This doesn’t matter.
Windy conditions often mean increased feeding opportunities for fish.
This means there will be more actively feeding fish within your reach.
Using a bubble with a fly is very effective in windy conditions.
Fish are often actively feeding near the surface.
A bubble half filled with water, with a dry fly and nymph dropper is best.
The windy conditions hide the initial splash of the bubble landing.
This should be cast well upstream of the trout allowing the flies to get to the right level before reaching the fish.
You can also cover water blind casting very quickly due to the ease of casting.
It also works very well on windy lakes.
Just cast the bubble and flies out just beyond the breaking waves.
Then you can just watch the bubble as an indicator for when the fish bite.
This is a great technique for kids as it gives them something to watch for rather than just casting and retrieving.
Fish and Game Officer
North Canterbury Fish and Game Council