North Canterbury Reel Life September 2017

Opening Day prospects

At the time of writing almost all the rivers in the region are high and dirty, fairly typical for this time of year - but read on! 

It’s just been the last couple of years that we have got used to low rainfall and clear rivers. 

So this opening maybe a bit more challenging to find fishable water. 

Back country rivers always clear quite quickly. 

Rivers in the Lewis or Arthurs Pass areas are generally fishable two to three days after rain. Low country streams can take a lot longer.

It really is going to depend on weather in the last few days leading to opening, but even with the river levels the way they are now a lot of places will be marginal for fishing. 

Using diverse techniques will help. 

Purist fly angler fishing to sighted fish may struggle, but those who're happy to fish blind and probe the backwaters and edges of the current will do okay. 

The high river levels are probably going to be ideal for spin anglers. 

Remember it is also the opening for the waterways downstream of State Highway One. 

So the river mouths are always an option if it is too windy up country.

It has been hard to determine fish numbers lately as the water clarity has been poor. 

Although the Selwyn has a healthy flow at the huts, I'm yet to see significant numbers of fish there. This may change once the weather settles down a bit. 

There's the possibility of another Lake Ellesmere opening happening this spring, due to the inflows that are currently going into the lake.

If this happens it will boost fish numbers in the Ellesmere tributaries.

Foothill streams such as the Ashley and Selwyn have been hit hard by floods this winter. 

There will be less adult trout around at the start of this season. 

Trout should be very active though as the substrate has been flushed clean along with the invertebrates that live there. 

The riverbeds are clear and fresh gravel has been washed down. Some exploring will be needed to find some decent pools.

For me opening day isn’t all about catching fish - It's tradition to get out there. 

Often it's windy and wet but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Have fun, keep the expectations realistic and look forward to some good fishing once the weather and rivers settle down some more.

Fish & Game's new home

North Canterbury Fish & Game staff are pleased to announce that we will be operating from our new premises on 595 Johns Road from October 2.

If you're heading north on Johns Road, you will need to turn right onto Sawyers Arms Road, left onto Gardiners, left onto Wilkinsons and then left onto Johns Road again and approach the building heading south. 

595JohnsRoadThis is because there is no right turn into the driveway. 

Just like the old days at Horatio Street, you will be able to buy a licence and pick up brochures. 

Our office administrator Debbie Ambler will be on hand for general inquires.

If you are after a specific staff member, it's better to arrange an appointment beforehand as staff are often out and about.

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer

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