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Te Whaiau Canal

Te Whaiau Canal is a relatively short stretch of water but produces some superb fish. The canal is effectively an extension of Lake Otamangakau (The "Big O") which shows in the numbers and the superb quality of the fish in this water.

Access map

Topo map

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Fish type Brown and rainbow trout
Situation The Te Whaiau Canal is situated between the small Lake Te Whaiau and Lake Otamangakau.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions

Lake level of Lake Otamangakau

View a graph of the current lake level at the Genesis Energy website.


View a graph of recent rainfall at Turangi at the Genesis Energy website.

Weather forecast

View the MetService weather forecast for:

- Tongariro National Park

- Taupo


The Te Whaiau Canal is short slow moving and deep. It generally has steep banks with quite dense vegetation coming down to the waters edge. There are few areas however where the land opens up allowing for good casting. Much of the length of this water is difficult to both find a good place to satnd and cast from.

The fish numbers, particularly early and late in the season can be very high and the fish tend to free risers. During the warmer months they can often be seen crashing onto terrestrials and chasing emerging insects.  That said they are often very difficult to fool and will rise close to anglers yet reject even the most beautifully presented fly.

The water is quite similar to a still water of a lake as the flow can be quite slow and the angler must adjust accordingly. Fishing slowly and with jerkily retrieved wet flies is a popular method when other methods fail. Spinning is also popular as small fish make up a good portion of the trouts diet.


This water suits all methods at differnt times. Using sunken nymphs that are slowly retrieved can be effective when no surface activity is seen. In summer large terrestrials such as cicadas and hoppers can be the answer when there are splashy rises. Often however any surface activity is from fish feeding on emerging insects or small bullies just subsurface.

This is one water where you will need to continually change to suit the conditions (or out of sheer frustration when what you are offering continues to be rejected).

Recommended tackle Rods 9 foot plus around weight 7 seem to be best as a wind can sometimes be quite strong. Leaders can be short though. Many anglers in this area use a spin rod with a bubble float and suspended nymph and either allow it to move slowly with the current or with a slow retrieve. Use tippet with a reasonable breaking strain (3kg or higher) as some fish are big and will take some stopping and there is plenty of weed for them to bury themslves and your flies in..
Recommended lures

Dry fly: Cicada patterns, Hoppers, Beetles (brown), Ants, Blowflies and even Muddler Minnow fished dry during the summmer months can be

Nymph: A dark green or olive nymph such as a Stone Fly, buzzers, or Hares Ear that is almost black when wet.

Wet flies: Small bully patterns such as a Mrs Simpson or Hamill's Killer or a green or olive Wolly Bugger.

Spinners: Rapalas in small sizes are favoured as well as bladed spinners such as Mepps or Veltic in dark colours or a black and gold Toby.

Applicable to Te Whaiau Canal
Region Taupo fishery area regulations
Season 1 Oct-31 May
Methods Fly, spinner.
Bag limit 6
Size limit (cm) 35 cm minimum



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The Fishing Lodge


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