This blog page will comment on current fishing issues in New Zealand and will also share opinions of NZ writers that Ron follows. If you would like Ron's opinion on some issue, just leave a comment in the Facebook post box below and Ron will address it - as quickly as possible. Trout fishing or sea fishing - your call.

Tekapo Canal Fishing

I recently joined a Facebook group at the invitation of a cuzzie-bro in Christchurch. Most of the group seem to fish much of the winter at the Tekapo canals. I imagine that is because that is the most productive water that is open during winter. These hardy anglers, fishing in sub-zero temperatures, are trying to catch the huge trout and salmon that feed on the waste from the salmon farm on the lower canal. These fish can exceed 15kg and 10kg fish are common, as seen below.


I have fished the canal on occasion but not with a lot of success. I never put much time in as I always prefer the more interesting water in the Tekapo River or the Maryburn, the major tributary pictured below.


I have always felt that an 4kg fish, like the one hooked above, from this small stream is a much bigger triumph than a hog from the slow-flowing canals. 

But - am I old-fashioned? Too traditional? Too focused on flyfishing? Maybe yes to all those. But a beautifully-conditioned brown that takes you 200 metres downstream and forces you to climb over a fence while doing so is more of a challenge for me. Well, compared to leaning on a fat but flabby fish for 10 minutes in slow, feature-less water that gives the fish no fighting advantage. I even read today about a technique used on the canal of using a surfcasting rod and a 40kg leader with a prawn or squid bait at the end, weighed down by a substantial sinker??!! Heavy work compared to my 6 weight rod and 3kg leader used to eventually subdue that hard-fighting brown.

I have seen big fish taken from the canal that, when you hold them up in the middle, flop like a wet noodle. Try that with a wild trout/salmon and that just does not happen. Maybe that is why Tekapo trout are banned from all local troutfishing competitions.

Sure, when there are few fishing options in winter, I can well understand why Canterbury anglers are drawn to the canals. Does it appeal to you? Is it real fishing? Let me have your thoughts via the Facebook comments box below. Happy to publish your thoughts on this blog.