There are 30 rivers to fish within an hour of our base in Hanmer Springs. Within 2 hours that number triples. Being so close to Chirstchurch, so close to the high country, so close to our beech forests, and so close to the West Coast, we have an incredible diversity at Hanmer Spring’s doorstep. We make our fishing decisions based on the weather, water conditions, and try our best to be on the right water each day. As you may know the weather in New Zealand is variable. We’re on the drier side and there are many, diverse waters to fish.Canterbury Rivers
Closest to home, many days we climb out of the Waiau River valley and into the high country to the north and explore several rivers in the tussock back country. These are more windswept and exposed rivers that – while not as raucous as those on the west coast – offer a series of riffles and pools with wonderful holding water. Other days we travel through the Waiau system and explore rivers to our west or south, those touching on the edge of beech and pine forests. Many of these waters offer higher catch rates of 4 – 8 pound browns, though there is always an exception waiting.
An hour away from Hanmer Springs we cross the divide and into the west coast forests and the opportunities of stunning rivers flowing under the beech and rata forests, with toi-toi, silver ferns, and endless under-story plants lining our streams. The riffle, runs, and pools are a constant sequence as these rivers flow west, back to the Tasman Sea after solid rains. These rivers drain as quickly as they rise and are equipped to handle 300mm a day falling. Fishable water within a day is usually possible in even the heaviest falls.
Spring Creeks – there are many spring creeks throughout Canterbury and over to the West Coast. Many are short, many are out of the way, but all have gin-clear water and are very productive.
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