HomeCentral South IslandCSI: Where to Fish

CSI: Where to Fish

Note that the area covered by the Fish & Game Central South Island region is commonly known as South Canterbury.

The region is noted for its large wide braided rivers that are some of the main salmon fishing rivers in the country. While these are the principle waterways in the region there are also many smaller rivers and lakes. One feature of the region is the often crystal clear mountain streams that hold large fish that will only be caught by patience and skill. With the beautiful mountains as a backdrop it could be said that the CSI area is what many people envisage when they think of as New Zealand's legendary trout and salmon fishing.

Trophy trout fishing

The Ahuriri River a fishery of national importance with trophy trout providing sport for the experienced angler in the pristine upper reaches.

The largest trout caught in the country are being caught caught in the Tekapo canal, where they grow huge from eating salmon pellets from a nearby salmon farm. These can be targeted by a range of methods and have transformed these canals into the most popular region in the country for anglers.

Top salmon and trout fishing

The Rangitata River is a big river offering some of the best salmon fishing in New Zealand. It also supports good stocks of brown or  rainbow trout which are less seldom targeted by anglers

The Waitaki River and catchment is widely recognised for its magnificent salmon and trout fisheries. The river and its extensive hydro lakes such as Lake Aviemore and Lake Benmore and canals provide quality sportsfish which attract local and visiting anglers alike. The Waitaki's major tributaries the Hakataramea River and Maerewhenua River are also popular.

High country fishing

The Ashburton Lakes are a cluster of high country lakes and tarns that offer a wide variety of fishing in spectacular scenery for quinnat salmon, brown and rainbow trout and even American Brook trout.  Here you'll fish in very clear water against a backdrop of snow covered mountains. A variable catch rate is amply made up for by the clean crisp air and the beautiful, pristine surroundings.

Other fishing waters of the region