Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 22nd November 2019
Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury region fishing report, the weather looks a little harder to predict this weekend.
Especially in the high country as there looks to be a weak front on Friday and Sunday.
Neither of these seem to be bringing much run.
Right: A pleasant way to fish - trolling from a kayak.
Saturday in the high country looks to be reasonably calm while the NW winds pick up again on Sunday.
The plains look to be quite settled this weekend.
All of the main alpine rivers are still running high and dirty at the time of writing (Wednesday).
These are unlikely to clear by the weekend in the lower reaches.
Back country rivers and upper reaches will be clear as there shouldn’t be any significant later this week.
The flows will be large though, so it is still tough going.
Fish will be congregated out of the fast flows, so they won’t be that obvious.
Blind casting with heavy nymphs in likely pools and deeper sheltered water will be worthwhile.
Spin anglers will do well in these conditions
Foot hill streams are looking good, the flows are a little high at the moment but should be ideal by the weekend.
Temperatures are going to be warm on the plains during the weekend.
So, look for feeding fish actively on the surface. Spotting conditions will be good with sunny days and dropping flows.
Although Lake Ellesmere is shut the tributaries are well worth a look.
There are some fish around in the Haswell, LII and Selwyn.
The bullies and smaller trout are also back in the lower Selwyn, the first time since the drought two years ago.
As mentioned last week, brown beetle imitations on a warm evenings would be worth a go on any of these streams.
If you are heading for the high-country lakes this weekend,
Saturday looks to be the calmest window of weather.
It is forecast for strong NW on Friday afternoon so keep this in mind if you plan on camping somewhere.
Sunday starts off calm, but the NW winds pick up strength throughout the day. The lakes are fishing very well this season.
Technique of the Week
Using non-motorised craft
Kayaks or row boats are a great method for fishing high country lakes.
They are reasonably cheap and open up more lakes where motorised boating is not allowed.
Often our lakes are tree lined and hard to get around.
Nosing quietly around the edge of a lake about 30 metres from the shore and casting back into the tree lined shore can be very effective for either fly or spin.
I prefer to use an inflatable dinghy with a seat that sits on top of the pontoons.
This just gives me a bit more height than a kayak, which is great for spotting fish or fly casting.
With practice you find casting from a kayak is okay, but you don’t quite have the visibility.
Kayaks are my preferred choice when trolling.
They are just more effortless than rowing and you have the added bonus of seeing where you are going.
It is a bit harder to fit the dog on though!
Other advantages to being non-motorised are you tend to spook less fish and you can get into shallow bays.
Trout love cruising these areas.
On every lake I have fished whenever you have a bay that cuts inland and contains a shallow shelf, there is always a fish cruising around.
Often you end up spooking them when trying to creep in from the shore.
Sneaking in on a kayak or inflatable can be very effective.
You should stop as soon as you get within casting distance and watch the drift.
You may only get a couple of casts in before you have to back off again.
Remember to take a landing net as it can be complete chaos without one on a small craft.
Try and keep the fish in the water the whole time you are releasing it, if that is your intention.
If you want to keep it, good on you. In my opinion lake trout are some of the best eating fish around.
December 11th - Annual General Meeting
All meetings commence at 6.30pm at 595 Johns Road, Harewood, Christchurch.
Tony Hawker Fish and Game Officer, North Canterbury Fish and Game Council
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