Salmon Fishing in New Zealand

Salmon fishing, South Island, New Zealand

Clusters of salmon fishermen are a common sight at the stony river mouths along the Canterbury coast. Silhouetted against the silver early morning light they are a picture of concentration.

In the distance the peaks of the Southern Alps follow the horizon, a band of permanent snow highlighting their shape. These long braided rivers drop from the alps and cross the Canterbury Plains before emptying in to the Pacific Ocean. It is here that the Pacific chinook salmon arrive from the sea.

Canterbury is the heart of salmon fishing in New Zealand though, unlike Yemen, the movie has never been made.The braided rivers offer endless kilometres of prime salmon country with a great selection of fishing spots available on any day. Your guide knows these rivers well and will find the right spot on the day.


Waimakariri River, South island salmon fishing, New Zealand

The main spawning run for these sea salmon usually starts in December and runs through till mid-March, giving good fishing from November through till April. Fish sizes vary depending on the season and the time of year but a general guide is between 5 and 11 kgs (12 – 25lb) with an average around 7kg (15lb). Catch and release is not a requirement, so catch and eat is a definite option.

There are also land-locked salmon in some of the inland lakes, which are regularly restocked. This opens up the possibility of fishing in the high country as well.

There are four excellent salmon rivers within a 90 minute drive of Christchurch, allowing you to stay in a luxury lodge or boutique hotel and enjoy the finer things in life, with a day or two of great fishing added in as well.

We can also arrange a Big Fishing Day – head out to fish for salmon in the early morning, then spend the afternoon fly fishing for trout. What a day!

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We can confirm availability, get up-to-date pricing and a full quote to you overnight. We’ll then handle and complete your booking for you with full personal service all the way through.

We can also help you with all your flights to and from New Zealand, your other travel and accommodation arrangements, transfers to and from the lodge, and suggested itineraries for you to further explore this beautiful country.