|Both brown and rainbow trout in very good numbers and some of which reach very impressive sizes (over 20kg!). In the canal between Tekapo and Pukaki there are also some salmon that have escaped from the fish-farms and now provide a target for anglers.
|As part of the hydroelectric power production, Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau have been joined by a series of large canals. These run for many kilometers, often in a straight line.
|Map and conditions
View the MetService weather forecast.
While the canals could not be described as beautiful water to fish as they run in straight lines across the countryside, they are in some of New Zealand's most outstanding scenery. They also provide some exceptional fishing were extra-ordinarily large trout and some salmon can be targeted. The canals do not have the natural features you would expect in a river however and so the fishing is more akin to still water fishing. As well the water often carries some glacial silt that makes spotting fish difficult though in summer fish will be seen cruising close to the shore.
At times though there can be spectacular rises across large sections of the canals which can make for very exciting fishing as these are often fish over 20lbs. Most times it is necessary to fish blind using either a streamer fly or a deeply sunk nymph. Spinning is also a good option as the canals also hold a good population of small white bait
that make up a good part of the trout's diet. Bait fishing is also an option and the use of soft baits has increased markedly in popularity.
|There is easy access to large stretches of the canals as the roads follow the canal banks for many kilometres. In fact it is possible to stop almost anywhere and cast a line with a reasonable hope of success.
|The canals are suitable for all fishing methods, especially spinning.
|Rods capable of casting a weight six or higher line when flyfishing. It is best to use a floating or a slow sinking line on these canals. Rods capable of casting a 7 to 12 g lure when spinning. Use leaders of at least 8lbs and preferably higher as these are large fish.
Dry flies: Well-dressed large bushy flies such as a Humpy or Coch-y-Bondhu are best. Try also large Deer Hair Sedge in summer or even a cicada when they can be heard chirping in the late summer.
Nymphs: Weighted nymphs in sizes 10 to 14 such as very roughly tied Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tail and Halfback
Wet flies: Streamer flies such as a Parsons Glory, Rabbit, Hairy Dog and Jack Spratts
Spinners: Soft baits are the most popular lures though Black and gold Toby's, Rapalas and Cobras fished deep will also work.
McKenzie hydro canals:
- Tekapo–Pukaki canal
- Pukaki–Ohau hydro canal
- Ohau Canal from State Highway 8 to Ohau C power station
|Central South Island regulations
|Artificial fly, spinner, bait
4 sports fish of which no more than 2 can be trout
No person shall in any one day take or be in possession of more than two salmon greater than 500mm taken from any of the McKenzie hydro canals.
|Size limit (cm)
Trout: No limit
Salmon: Minimum 300 mm.