Reel Life April 2021

Winter fishing opportunities

This winter there is plenty of angling opportunities in the winter months. 

Often the weather can be more settled producing clear still days. 

High country lakes can be spectacular, and rivers can be running low and clear. 

Below is a summary of the fishing opportunities.

High country lakes

Lake Coleridge is open until the 30th of September. 

A large lake stocked with salmon, brown trout, and rainbow trout. 

Early winter the salmon and browns will be spawning but the rainbows will still be feeding well. 

Excellent lake for boating especially during the winter months. 

The most productive areas are Ryton Bay and the Harper Delta.

Lake Selfe is open all year round. 

This is a smaller lake. 

Trolling from a motorboat is not permitted. 

Kayak fishing is very popular on this lake. 

The lake has both rainbow and brown trout. 

This lake is well known for producing big browns.

Lake Lyndon has large amounts of small rainbows. 

It is the most accessible high-country lake from Christchurch. 

Trolling is allowed and there is excellent shore access. 

Junior anglers only can use bait here.

Above Right: Lake Lyndon is a great fishery for young anglers.

Lake Person is open all year round. 

Please note this is a wildlife refuge so no motorboats are allowed. 

Shore access is reasonable in some parts of the lake and fishing from a kayak is effective. 

It has both brown and rainbow trout, but the browns are dominant.

Lake Taylor is now open all year round and well stocked with brown trout. 

Trolling is allowed and it is also excellent for shoreline stalking and fishing.

Loch Katrine is also open all year but is now closed for trolling from motorboats. 

Nearby Lake Sumner is open for trolling by motorboat and is open all year. 

Loch Katrine is mainly brown trout but does have a small population of rainbow trout as well. 

Lake Sumner is mainly brown trout fishing.

For those seeking a remote winter fishing experience that requires a tramp, Lake Guyon is now open all year round. 

This lake has good numbers of both brown and rainbow trout and has good shore access.

Large rivers

The Rakaia is open all year for trout fishing below the Coleridge tailrace, all methods are allowed. 

The most productive area of the Rakaia is still around the lower braids and the lagoon.

The Waimakariri is open for trout fishing below the confluence with Staircase Stream, all methods are permitted. 

The lower tidal reaches below State Highway One are productive for brown trout. 

The middle reaches are also productive for rainbow trout fishing.

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The Ashley River is a great sight fishing river.

The Ashley is open all year round below the Ashley Gorge Road. 

This is a smaller river that offers sight fishing for brown trout. 

Numbers are quite low during the winter months and a lot of walking can be required. 

Fish numbers are better below State Highway One to the mouth.

The Hurunui River is open all year to trout fishing below Lake Sumner. 

Please note the South Branch is not open for winter fishing. 

The Hurunui has the highest number of brown trout compared to other rivers in North Canterbury. 

It is suitable for fly or spinning, fly fishing is best when the river is below 25 cumecs at the Mandamus recorder.

The Waiau is open all year to trout fishing below the confluence with the Hope River. 

The Waiau has good numbers of brown trout and has many reaches to explore including open braids and confined gorges.

Lowland fisheries

The Avon River below Barbadoes Street is open all year round to trout fishing. 

This stretch of river is tidal and very productive for brown trout. 

Also very accessible being right in the city. 

The Heathcote River is also open all year round to trout fishing.

Lake Ellesmere and Lake Forsyth are open all year. 

Forsyth is a popular fishery for brown trout and Perch. 

Lake Ellesmere itself is not that fishable but its main tributary the Selwyn River is open all year round.

Tight Lines.

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.