North Canterbury Fishing Report Thursday 7th March 2019

Weather conditions are looking great for High Country anglers this weekend, light winds are forecast both days on the back of a fading Nor-West, with a Sou-West change tonight.

The Rakaia River is flowing at around 108 cumecs, and the Waimakariri at Otarama is at 43 cumecs.

The main snow fed rivers may receive some rain in the headwaters before midnight tonight. About 40 mm of rain is expected which may only be enough to put a little bit much needed colour in these rivers.

In general there should be good fishing conditions for all anglers this weekend.

The Alpine rain shouldn’t have too much of an effect on the snow fed main rivers, but keep an eye on the Ecan website for river flow levels just in this case

March is typically a very low flow month for all our rivers from the lowland streams to the snow fed rivers.

Please keep an eye on your local stream for signs of disconnected flows, and trout which maybe trapped in pools.

Fish and Game are anticipating trout salvages this month, please call the North Canterbury office on 0800 327 426 if you notice any issues.

It is usually members of the public out taking the dog for a walk, or going for a swim, that are the first to witness stranded trout.

Fly of the Month 

At this time of the season trout have been cast at by many anglers, with all sorts of gear.

They are wiser now than they were! However there is an abundant food source on the way which peaks in numbers in March, the Cicadas.

These noisy chirping little beauty’s are a favourite for high country trout.

They are clumsy flyers and often crash land on the water after sunny themselves on the riverbed stones.

Black or green ones will be present and the best imitations are made of deer hair.

Large patterns size 8# or even 6# are best, when trout are freely slurping Cicadas they often seem oblivious to all else around them.

It’s a good time for anglers to take advantage of this.

What’s coming up on the Fishing Calendar

There are a couple of high profile salmon fishing events coming up soon.

Firstly there is the NZSAA Waimakariri Competition on Saturday the 23rd March.

Entry forms are available at Hunting and Fishing Stores and at the Kairaki Beach camping ground.

This salmon fishing social event is eagerly looked forward to by many anglers so good luck to all involved.

Then there is the Annual Rangers Salmon Fishing Competition on Monday 8th April from 7am.

It is  held at Kairaki Beach, and this event is confined to the Kairaki Beach area only. Anglers may register on the day at the Fish and Game marquee and it is free to enter.

A BBQ will be going all morning for the anglers, and typically this social angling event attracts a large number of dedicated salmon anglers. 

Compliance issues

If you see any illegal activities please Call Fish and Game on 0800 327426, or Dirk Barr, 021 221 8378, Steve Terry, 021 221 8327, Tony Hawker, 021 221 8325. We will try and get a ranger there asap. 

Notice to Anglers-Volunteer Assistance Needed

Attention Anglers! Fin Clipping Weekend at Montrose Club Funds Raising Event on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th April 2019


The second part of the annual chinook salmon smolt fin clipping program will commence at the Montrose hatchery at 8.30 am Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of April and will probably involve two partial days clipping finishing around  2 pm with a good team both days.

This important task of marking Chinook salmon for the purpose of identification within the fishery is one of the most essential fisheries management tools we have. 

North Canterbury Fish and Game are inviting members of the New Zealand Salmon Anglers Association and the Canterbury Lurefishing Association, and members of the public to assist with the task of adipose fin clipping approximately 140.000 Salmon Smolt at the site.

These smolt stocks are destined for release into the Waimak, Rakaia, Coleridge, Kaikoura, and the West Coast in July.

Numbers of club members advised to complete this task on this weekend are 40 volunteers on both days.

Members of the public are also very welcome on the days, so invite your friends and their families to enjoy the comraderie of anglers on this social and educational event.

Fish and Game Rangers and Council members are also invited to take part over the weekend.

The car pool meeting point will be at the Yaldhurst Hotel car park, at 7.30am both days.

Volunteers whom have not been to the Montrose hatchery before and are making their own way up, should head for Blackford Road which is the first Road on the right after crossing the Rakaia Gorge bridge, it is on the South side of the river.

The entrance to the property is sic kilometres up the road from the turn off and it will be marked by an angler access sign.

If the road turns to shingle, you have gone past the entrance by a couple of kilometres!

Fish and Game will also be providing a BBQ lunch on the day.

Warm clothes and wet weather gear is advised. Gumboots or waders are also advised.

An indication of numbers from the clubs, or members of the public prior to the weekend would be appreciated. Please contact below. 

Tell all your friends! A good crowd is needed for this one! Looking forward to catching up with you all, for what is not only a valuable part of fisheries enhancement process, but also a great social event for anglers. 

Fin Clipped Salmon 

fin clipped

A slightly fin-clipped salmon

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for any fin clipped salmon that are being caught in good numbers of late.

If you do happen to catch a fin clipped fish, make a note of that, and have your information available for the annual phone survey which is carried out at the end of the season.

This information is important to assessing how well the enhancement programs releases did and may help us to decide how best results are achieved.

If you are on the lower Waimakariri and you catch a fin clipped salmon please let others know around you as there is an independent data collection effort going on down there, where all fish caught are being recorded.

This information collected by five regular anglers is proving very valuable.

Occasionally not all of the adipose fin is removed. In the above case a curve has been cut out as the scissors used are shaped that way.

In other cases a pointy fin is left as a result, Ideally the fin should be completely removed, however new fin clippers often take a few to get the hang of holding smolts the right way to allow a clean removal of the fin.

Tight Lines All,

Dirk Barr, North Canterbury Fish and Game.