The McKenzie hydro canals are a series of man-made canals joining three lakes (Tekapo, Ohau and Pukaki) that provide excellent fishing for Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Salmon. They may not be as scenic as wild New Zealand but they offer consistently good fishing througout the winter and offer a great chance to catch a real monster. Trout here start their lives in the headwater streams of the mountains, before migrating down into the lakes and then into the canal system. Charles Smith is a local canal fishing expert and shows us why these man made waterways can offer a real challenge and some fantastic fishing. His guest is Anto Hall, an expert fly angler who is more at home chasing trophy fish on wild streams so this will be a steep learning curve for him. Condition aren't easy, in fact its snowing and the water is very clear so they take it turns with one angler spotting fish for the other and talking each other on to the fish. The fish are in spawning mode with the males acting agressively so the team decide to abandon nymph tactics and try and tempt them with streamers. But things aren't easy so the guys relocate to another canal to try and pick up a fish and after some frustrating fishing, Anto gets into a cracking fish and lands a stunning 9lber. There's some massive fish here and the guys fixate on something approaching 30lb but it just won't take and Anto has to settle for a 'small' 7lber! The fly fishing in these canals certainly proves tricky but when you're fishing for fish of this quality, one or two fish a day is a great result.
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