Waters: Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers
This outstanding sports fishing region extends from the Waiau
River in the north to the Rakaia River south of Christchurch.
Prolific salmon runs between November and March draw thousands of
anglers to the major rivers that empty into the Pacific Ocean.
The mighty Rakaia and sea run salmon are synonymous and this
rivers reputation is second to none as the top fishery
during the seasonal runs of Pacific-bred chinook salmon. It is a
sensational feeling when a giant silver salmon takes your spoon
and storms out to sea, and it takes every ounce of skill to
grapple with the fish and land it on the shingle. Many anglers
consider the salmon to be the king of fish and this great quarry
presents an irresistible and exhilarating feast of angling
pleasure during the salmon run.
The Waimakariri River, just one hours drive from
Christchurch, is another majestic braided river, and is the
longest and most extensively fished waterway in Canterbury. It
silently runs its course from the Alps to the Pacific carrying
vast amounts of alluvium to be deposited on the plains and
discharged into the sea. Its many braided channels have
crystal-clear water in the upstream reaches that test the
patience of even the most skilled angler spotting the elusive
trout. The clear, crisp, refreshing alpine air in the foothills
of the Alps makes angling a joy and privilege. The alpine fish
tend to be smaller than their plains cousins but their fighting
ability and native cunning is certainly equal.
The Hurunui River has excellent runs of trout and salmon fishing
water including a very popular lagoon. The Waiau offers wide
runs, ripples and pools that often produce trout in superb
condition. High country lakes such as Lakes Pearson, Hawdon and
Coleridge hold plentiful supplies of brown and rainbow trout for
those anglers who enjoy pleasant interludes among the snowy
Guided salmon and trout fishing safaris on all the main
Canterbury Plains rivers can be arranged in Christchurch, Rakaia,
Methven, Oxford and Omarama.