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Southland, New Zealand

Trout Fishing, Tekapo is closer to the heavens

Maurice Rodway

Column for November 11, 2005

Lying under the stars at Tekapo is an intellectual experience. Tekapo is closer to the heavens than many civilised places, and its air is clear. Each star that you can see has sent out its light years ago. If you could see the faintest of them the light that reaches out to you is several billion years old. You are viewing the creation of the universe.

Exploding skyrockets are brighter and perhaps more fun, if you don't think too much about it. The fireworks of the sky are much more fascinating. 

For anglers the star show is a bonus to the start of the Mackenzie Country fishing season. The open plains there, formed by eons of glacier gouging and river grooming now carry waterways withered by hydropower development. In a strong wind the fishing is hard but when that wind changes to the south it becomes a near perfect place to fish. Some of the depleted rivers provide good trout habitats. The most notable is the Tekapo. Once an ice blue river rushing around the feet of mountains. It now is a relative trickle, but it provides good fishing waters. Trout abound and, as on a good day on the Mataura, a competent angler can catch dozens of trout.

The area also supports little spring fed streams where trout are a challenge to the most skilful of us. There are still waters too, such as Lake Alexandrina, which hold fat rainbows and browns that cruise the shorelines.

Anglers tend to think that rivers near to home are the best. This is evidence that rivers we are the most familiar with are the most productive for us. While we may not catch as many trout when we go to a new river the expansion of our angling horizons makes us better anglers.

Fish and Game Councils provide access information and pamphlets on the waters in their regions to make success at a new place a little more likely. Sports stores and the Fish and Game web site are good sources of this information.

You can stay at a motel when you go away but if you camp under the stars, and the campsite is close to a river or a lake, your new experience will be a better one for your bones and your brain. 

Maurice Rodway
Southland, New Zealand                           E-mail:

Article © 2005 Maurice Rodway, All Rights Reserved.


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