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Lake Tekapo Trout Fishing

Lake Tekapo is a very beautiful, turquoise coloured lake in a pristine environment that provides good fishing for both brown and rainbow trout.

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Fish type Lake Tekapo holds brown and rainbow trout in good numbers with some reaching very impressive weights.
Situation

Lake Tekapo is the northern-most lake in the upper Waitaki basin. It is mostly fed by snow melt and consequently the water is always tinged with a light turquoise colour from the glacial silt.

The lake has been modified for hydo-electric power generation which can have a very noticeable effect on its level.

Maps

Access map

Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions

Rainfall

View graphs at the Environment Canterbury website of recent recent rainfall at Mt Gerald.

Weather forecast

View the MetService weather forecast for Timaru.

Description

Viewed from a distance, Lake Tekapo looks very difficult to fish due to the suspended sediment in the water which makes the water look dirty. Water visibility is generally better when you get closer however, and trout not only survive in this lake but are generally in good condition with some reaching very impressive sizes.

There are a number of small creeks and rivers which generally flow clear providing excellent fishing at the point they enter the lake. For the shoreline angler, some of the best fishing is to be found around the mouths of these small streams. Most anglers however prefer to troll a lure from a boat.

Access

There is good access to the southern shore via State Highway 8. The Lilybank road provides good access at several points along the eastern shore and the Godley Peaks road provides access near Lake McGregor and towards the northern end of the lake.

See the access map.

Methods and tackle

Trolling, spinner fishing and the use of large stream flies around the stream mouth are the most popular and productive methods.

Suitable equipment for trolling a spinner behind a boat is a rod of approximately 6 – 7 feet with lines in the 3-4kg range.

Recommended lures

Dry fly: During the summer large Humpy flies, cicada and blowfly patterns.

Nymphs: Large dark flies with some weight such as Hare and Copper and Hare's Ear.

Wetflies: Streamer patterns such as a Woolly Bugger, rabbit patterns, Parsons' Glory or a bully pattern such as a Hamill's Killer or Mrs Simpson.

Spinners: Tobys, Rapalas and Tasmanian Devils.

Tributaries

A number of tributaries around Lake Tekapo offer a variety of fishing. These include the:
- Cass River
- Mistake River
- Boundary Stream
- Glenmore Station Tarn
- Coal River
- Macauley River

There is also some excellent fishing for very large trout in the Tekapo Canals.

Regulations (1):
Applicable to Lake Tekapo
Region Central South Island regulations >>>
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Trout: 4
Salmon: 2
Size limit (cm)

Trout: No limit

Salmon:

Minimum 300 mm minimum

Regulations (2):
Applicable to Lake Tekapo tributaries
Region Central South Island regulations >>>
Season First Saturday in November to 30 April
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Trout: 4
Salmon: 2
Size limit (cm) Trout: No limit
Salmon: 300 mm minimum
Regulations (3):
Applicable to Tekapa-Pukaki hydro canal
Region Central South Island regulations >>>
Season All  year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit

Trout: 2

Salmon: 2

Size limit (cm) Trout: No limit
Salmon: 300 mm minimum

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