The river supports a huge population of rainbow trout, mostly
under 1 kg in size though some grow to reasonable sizes .
||The Waimakariri Stream is spring
fed and rises in the hills north east of the township of Putaruru.
In the upper reaches, upstream from where it is crossed by State
Highway 5, the river is small but the current is surprisingly
powerful. Downstream to the confluence with the Waihou
River it tends to meander over open farmland offering open
access to many kilometres of fishable water.
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is a cold spring fed stream that remains clear except after
the heaviest rain. In the upper reaches the river tends to
run between heavily vegetated banks making wading necessary.
Anglers should beware that the current is deceptively strong
and caution is needed to avoid a cold dunking.
In the lower reaqches below the State Highway
5 bridge, the river flows more sedately over open farmland.
Fish can be easily spotted in the clear water (but the fish
can also easily spot the uncautious angler). There can be
a lot of weed in the stream which provides good cover and
a good source of food for the huge fish population. Fishing
along these weedbeds can be very productive even when fish
are not visible.
The river was used for the 28th Worlds
Fly Fishing Championships in 2008. it also has the great advantage
of remaining clear and clean when many other rivers discolour.
It is also openall year providing good winter fishing. Fish
are so plentiful that the daily limit has been removed for
fish smaller than 30cm in length.
from State Highway 5, the stream runs alongside the Waimakariri
road allowing good access at a number of points. There is
also an esplanade reserve that extends up form the bridge
for approximately 2kms.
Downstream from the SH5 bridge, an esplanade
reserve extends along both banks for approximately 2kms. Otherwise
seek permission from the landowners along Sommerville Road.
||The Waimakariri is ideal nymph
and dry fly water.
||The clarity of the water and
the relatively small size of the stream neccesitates the use
of light tackle. Rods of 4 -5 weight are ideal though wind along
the valley can sometimes be a problem. Long fine tippets are
also necessary. For those wishing to spin fish this water, very
small bladed spinners such as mepps or veltics are best.
flies: During the early summer
beetle patterns and cicada
patterns in late summer work well during the day. Otherwise
try smaller patterns such as a Dads
or Blue Dun
or a Twilight
Beauty or during the change of light in the evening.
nymphs such as Hare
Pheasants Tail and Halfback
patterns are all effective.
Small wee-wets such as a Greenwells
Glory or March
Brown fished across and down through the faster water
can induce some very hard takes from these feisty fish.
small bladed spinners such as veltics or Mepps.
||The major tributary of note
is the Waipare Stream
||Artificial fly, spinner