The snow–fed rivers flowing to the South Island’s East Coast are renowned for salmon fishing. Quinnat salmon, or chinook as they are called in North America, are well established from the Clutha River, located in the far south, to the Wairau River, in the North. Successful salmon fishing is usually between the months of December and March. Brown and rainbow trout are in plentiful supply from October to December. Hatcheries release fingerlings annually.
The mouth of the Rakaia River is well known for its abundant salmon and proudly flows 60kms south of Christchurch.
Canning and smoking facilities are available at the Rakaia Hotel, as are experienced guides for both trout and salmon fishing. The township of Methven, located 30kms upstream, operates fishing safaris and also has experienced guides.
Travel one hour north of Christchurch to Lake Pearson and Grasmere, located beside Highway 73 (route to Arthur’s Pass). Seasons run from the 1st of October to the 30th of April. Rainbow and brown trout are in plentiful supply, however you may need to inquire about limits, as regulations vary widely.