Canterbury

The Canterbury region provides some outstanding lake or still-water fishing for Brown, Rainbow and Brook trout. Many of the lakes and high country tarns are located amongst some of the South Island's  most stunning scenery. 

It's possible to sight fish for cruising trout along lake margins, spotting, stalking/hunting and casting to trout swiming in often very shallow water. Depending on the time of the year, the travelling angler can use a variety of techniques including dry-fly, nymph, and streamers on the fly rod, soft plastic and spinners on spinning/casting type rods.

It can be a very exciting alternative to the river/stream fishery for which New Zealand is probably most world renowned.

Martin Langlands

Fly Fishing lakes have long been in my blood being very fortunate to have a father who loved fishing lakes. This meant that most weekends in summer we would spend time fishing lakes as a family. Whilst the main focus of my guiding operation is backcountry rivers, lakes can provide fantastic all year round fishing and are a great places to both guide experts and teach beginners.

We are blessed with many different types of lakes from small intimate tarns to large alpine lakes in scenic high country settings, which commonly hold Rainbow and Brown Trout of good size. I also offer two very specialized options: the first being mountain lake Brook Char, a very fun and unique species to target, secondly fishing for large Searun Brown Trout in coastal lakes, lagoons and estuaries. These are some of the largest most impressive wild trout to be found any place in New Zealand that often occur in groups foraging on the many baitfish. We have some streamer fishing that can be nothing short of spectacular but many times we sight fish using Nymphs and at times dry flies.

I take great delight in sharing very innovative and highly original fly and streamer patterns and have several unique techniques that can be used. The angler is bound to learn a lot and take forward some new adaptive approaches . Lake fishing, depending upon the time of year and mood of the day, can involve a mix of both sight and blind fishing using Dry Flies { we get some lush Beetle and Cicada hatches} Nymphs and streamers. I am happy to supply all gear and cater for all levels and have all year round options .

Contact Martin Langlands

Chris Bell

Fly fishing for trout in Canterbury’s many still-water lakes and tarns can be a fun and memorable experience for the visiting angler. Chris from “South Island Adventure Fly Fishing” can take you to fish some of the best still-waters in the Canterbury and West Coast regions to target mainly Brown trout but also sometimes Rainbow and Brook trout, using a variety of different fishing techniques.

Chris specialises in spotting and casting to cruising trout along shallow lake margins, sometimes shallow enough to cause the trout’s dorsal fins and tails to break the water’s surface. This close quarter’s sight fishing is heart stopping stuff and is often compared to bone fishing in the tropics but is instead located in a freshwater environment on shallow sand and mud flats. Browns typically average around 2.5-4lbs but some fisheries have larger fish on average, with 5-6.5lbers and the occasional larger fish being targeted and caught.

If the weather dictates better fishing conditions on the South Island’s West Coast Chris will often be happy to travel across to fish the various lakes of this region even for just a day, to find better sight fishing opportunities for his clients. Chris’s guiding business consistently utilises careful “Catch and Release” even in the lake fisheries to help to protect existing wild fish populations, into which there can sometimes be little recruitment.

Contact Chris Bell

Serge A Bonnafoux

When all the rivers are blown and the weather conditions are dreadful we still have an amazing opportunity to fish and have a great day or two. Canterbury, North Canterbury and the West Coast, were we can transport you in a well maintained late model 4WD, have many lakes fishable from the shore, some offering year-round angling. Surely it will test your ability to spot, cast, entice the trout but also and most importantly the strike.

The lake fishing in New Zealand is exciting, fun and rewarding; the fish living in still waters are powerful, fast and cunning. By mid December damsels and dragonflies are plentiful and seeing Brownies jumping 2 feet out of the water to catch one of these provokes an exceptional adrenaline rush. There are lakes around the region within an hour driving and the methods we use go from indicator which is generally as dry fly and a suspended nymph, spotting the fish walking along the lake margins while casting a dry fly or a nymph, or streamers.

We will not take you to crowded big lakes, as we would rather offer you the wilderness of remote smaller pieces of water where an encounter with other anglers is rare. Fish size in such lakes varies from 2 to 3 lbs and you could catch a couple of dozens fish a day, to larger fish up to 6/7 lbs. Those brown trout are big fighters and have a tendency to offer a magnificent spectacle with jumps and back flips and only surrender after a long battle. In South Canterbury lakes also have big rainbows. Despite of the abundance of fish in the lakes we encourage catch and release. You can contact me on +64 3 315 7499 or +64 21 211 3462

Contact Serge A Bonnafoux

Chappie Chapman

Within one hour’s drive of the city of Christchurch, in the province of Canterbury, there are over ten lakes that hold both brown and rainbow trout.  Within two hours, there 15 or more lakes and even more just slightly further afield.  There are many which have very easy access and you can drive to within casting range of great fishing.   Others need an adventure in my off-road 4WD LandCruiser.   Many visiting anglers often overlook our lakes most of which are lightly fished and rarely ever crowded.
When the skies are clear, you can sight fish for trophy sized browns and rainbows which can be seen feeding over the inshore shallow weed beds and can be caught on a well presented dry fly or nymph.  These fish will often be caught just off the end of your rod tip with very little or even no fly line out on the water.  Even on an overcast day when sight fishing is difficult, fishing randomly with a nymph, dry or stripping a streamer fly will invariably get a result.  
Lakes provide Canterbury anglers with a fantastic and under-utilized resource and are not only our mecca when the rivers are flooded but are fantastic fisheries in their own right.  Even on the most boisterous of days shelter can be found.
I have been fortunate to have been able to fish these lakes for 35 years and I am happy to pass on my knowledge to you. You can call Chappie on +64 3 359 5440

Contact Chappie Chapman