Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 20th December 2019
Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury region fishing report, the weather looks to be quite reasonable this weekend.
The real issue is the amount of rain leading up to the weekend.
There will be significant rain falling in the headwaters of Canterbury rivers on Thursday and Friday.
Right: Fishing the edge, which is the only clear, quiet bit of water.
There has also been some heavy rain in the foothills which has caused some freshes in those catchments.
Once again this means that there is not much fishable water around this weekend.
All of the main alpine rivers will be high and dirty.
Depending on how much rain on Friday there could actually be some significant flooding.
This will mean they won’t be fishable until well after New Year.
Foothill streams such as the Ashley or Selwyn have also had a fresh through them.
They will be marginal by the weekend.
At the time of writing the Selwyn had not run all the way through to the lower reaches.
So, the lower reaches will still be clear and fishable. As with the other Lake Ellesmere tributaries.
They will be elevated but should be fishable.
Back country rivers will be a washout this weekend.
High country lakes will be the place to go this weekend.
The forecast is for almost no winds on Saturday and a light North West on Sunday.
These will be perfect conditions for fishing these lakes.
A light North West often brings on green beetle hatches and other insect activity on the surface making the trout very active in the middle of the day.
The lakes are very full, and the trout are still very active around the edges and the surface as the water temperature is nice and cool.
The lakes are in perfect condition heading into the holidays, compared to previous years where the trout have already gone deep to cooler waters.
Lowland spring creeks may be carrying a bit of murky water from the Southerly earlier in the week but should be starting to clear by the weekend.
These would be a good option too considering there won’t be much wind around.
Sunday looks to be the warmest and should finish with a pleasant evening rise on these streams.
Technique of the week
Fishing streams as they are clearing
This is something that a lot of anglers have had to cope with this season – arriving at your chosen stream to find it is very marginal for sighted fishing.
One way to combat this is simply switch to spinning gear.
Sometimes if the water is running high and slightly coloured it can be very challenging to fish with a fly blind.
Often the current is very fast, and you don’t get that ideal drift and presentation of the fly.
Spin fishing in these conditions is a lot more versatile.
You can cover more water quickly.
When the water is marginal or just starting to clear, this is often the most effective time for spinners.
Trout are hungry after taking shelter during peak flood flows and come on the feed vigorously as the water starts to clear.
They become less cautious and more likely to take a spinner. Flashy lures can be used in these conditions such as gold tobies or silver spoons.
For those of you who only want to sight your fish I can understand that.
Some streams after all do not hold high numbers of trout and identifying them first significantly increases your chance of catching them.
So, if the river has marginal visibility you should still at least try and narrow down where the fish will be.
Brown trout are lazy by nature and will be in the quietest water possible while still maintaining a decent amount of food floating down the river.
This is often at the eye of a pool or right on the edge or a run.
Sometimes after heavy flows they will still hide behind large boulders.
Rainbow trout are slightly more tolerant of faster water, so often even in clear conditions they are just out of sight further into the fast current.
If the stream takes on a grey or blue colour when it is clearing it is still possible to spot fish in the quieter water.
Often all the montage of colours of different rocks that you see at normal flows blend into one colour of a light grey.
You can spot fish against this colour, but it will be a grey smudge rather that a fish.
One of the best pieces of advice a got when I was a teenager was not to try and spot a fish but try and spot something that is not a rock. What is meant by this is maybe seeing a shadow or a smudge that is on its own. Movement is usually the giveaway.
In a situation where the river is full and fast it does narrow down where the fish will be.
Sometimes if a river is low and clear it just looks like everywhere is fishy.
When there is only a couple of quite areas for a fish to hide in amongst a 500m section of fast murky water, there is a good chance that these areas will hold fish.
These are the areas that you should intently watch for any smudge or movement.
If you can’t see anything then have a couple of flicks or casts with the spinner in these areas before moving on.
Don’t linger for more than 4 or 5 well placed casts.
Canterbury fish stocks are not high, and you want to cover as much water as possible in a day to get into contact with fish.
Tony Hawker, Fish and Game Officer North Canterbury Fish and Game Council
- May 2023
- April 2023
- March 2023
- February 2023
- January 2023
- December 2022
- November 2022
- October 2022
- September 2022
- August 2022
- July 2022
- June 2022
- May 2022
- April 2022
- March 2022
- February 2022
- January 2022
- December 2021
- November 2021
- October 2021
- September 2021
- August 2021
- July 2021
- June 2021
- May 2021
- April 2021
- March 2021
- February 2021
- January 2021
- December 2020
- November 2020
- October 2020
- September 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- December 2013
- March 2013
- September 2012
- July 2012