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.
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
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).
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..