North Canterbury Fishing Report Friday 26th October 2018
- North Canterbury
- Richie Cosgrove
Prospects for North Canterbury anglers look average in most places this weekend.
The main rivers in the region have had a small fresh from more significant rain in the headwaters yesterday, but should be fishable later this weekend, and with light winds forecast for most of the region, anglers that find fishable water should have success.
Above Right: The High Country opening is only a week away!
The Selwyn, Ashley and most other lowland rivers are also likely to be a little dis-coloured at present, but should be fishable by tomorrow.
Other lowland rivers such as the Styx and the Otukaikino, or South Branch of the Waimakariri River should also be fishing well over the next month following the rest they have had from anglers over the winter.
Recent low flows across the region has resulted in some great trout fishing in the headwaters where access is usually limited by the flow.
Leading up to Christmas, anglers should make the most of low flows before the next Nor-west fresh arrives, as we are overdue for a few decent floods.
Although off to a slow start, we should start to see a few sea-run trout being caught in the lower Waimakariri, and this should improve right up until Christmas as the trout follow whitebait and silveries into the river.
Salmon anglers should start gearing up for the season, as it won’t be long before we hear a report of the first salmon caught for the season, more likely in the traditionally early Rangitata and Rakaia rivers.
Keen anglers are eager to see what the season turns into, having had one of the worst years on record last season.
A summary of last season’s salmon returns can be found in the annual salmon report here (link here).
Fish & Game have also adopted a strategic plan to help restore the salmon fishery, with good progress on fish screen monitoring which we will keep anglers informed about (a summary of this report can be found here).
If you haven’t already done so this season, now would be a great time to check over your gear and get your reels serviced, replace your line and any rusty trebles etc.
High Country opening
The opening of the high country lakes is now only a week away which will be celebrated again this year with a fishing competition at Lake Coleridge, with a great prize pool generously sponsored by Hunting and Fishing.
The focus of the competition is on participation, and every angler who shows their licence at the weight in will be given a ticket for spot prizes.
The competition will be based at Ryton Bay where there will be a Fish & Game tent and weigh station.
Weigh-in is from 9 am – 1 pm, with the prize draw around 1:30 pm.
Those anglers that are lucky enough to weigh a salmon or trout in are reminded they are to be whole and not gutted for this.
Please also ensure you arrive at the weigh-in before 1 pm to avoid missing out.
Lake Coleridge is the most popular lake in the region for fishing and this event is a great way for anglers to celebrate the traditional high country opening.
Fish & Game have been stocking the lakes in the area for many years to supplement harvest, with indications from late winter fishing showing good prospects for opening day.
Hopefully we get a break in the weather Saturday morning, with Nor-west winds often rising through the day, where fishing can become challenging.
Boat anglers please take appropriate life jackets for all those on board and don’t wait for the waves to grow before deciding to come in, as things can change very quickly on Lake Coleridge.
Good luck if you are heading out for a fish this weekend.
Steve Terry, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.