A helicopter and up to 30 police and volunteers, and two dog teams, are scouring the area near Arthur's Pass for a Christchurch man who failed to return from a fishing trip last night.

Graham Bryce Perkins, 39, went fishing in the Cave Stream area near Castle Hill, about 100km west of Christchurch, but failed to return, said incident controller, Senior Constable Phil Simmonds.

His vehicle is still parked in the Cave Stream carpark.

A search and rescue operation involving 30 LandSAR and police personnel, two LandSAR dog teams and one helicopter was launched this morning. Weather conditions in the area are reported to be fine.

Mr Perkins was described as 170cm tall, of solid build with short red hair. He was wearing camouflage clothing.

Anyone who may have seen him was asked to contact police.