Where to fish in Great Lake Taupo

Great Lake Taupo has some of the best fishing in New Zealand and the world. Nowhere else can offer such diversity of fly fishing in such a small region.

From world-class rainbow trout spawning rivers, to volcanic lakes, to monster brown trout streams to breathtaking wilderness rivers - Great Lake Taupo has it all!

The many streams and tributaries in Great Lake Taupo combine to provide trout with an outstanding spawning habitat and protected areas for young fish to grow. The lower parts of the main rivers are open to trout fishing all year round. 

Tongariro River
The Tongariro River is a world famous Taupo trout fishing river. Approximately 750,000 trout spawn up the river each year. View the Tongariro River on a map here.

Tauranga-Taupo River
The Tauranga-Taupo River is a free-stone river flowing from the Kaimanawa mountain ranges. This river can be very productive, and at times produces some amazing action to challenge the best angler, especially after a ‘fresh’. View the Tauranga-Taupo River on a map here.

Waitahanui River
The Waitahanui River is spring fed and seldom discolours, making sighting trout a little easier. This river is ideal for stalking trout. View the Waitahanui River on a map here.

Hinemaiaia River
The Hinemaiaia River can produce some of the most spectacular fly fishing in New Zealand. It can be challenging due to the amount of foliage you will encounter. Although tricky, you are able to sight for both rainbow and brown trout. Some areas are closed during the spawning months, but these will be well sign posted. View Hinemaiaia River on a map here.

Lake Rotoira
Lake Rotoira is famous for its hard-fighting rainbow trout. Many anglers have tales of leaping trout and busted lines while fishing here. This natural lake has been modified over recent years for hydro electric power generation and now offers canal fishing as well as stillwater and shore-based fishing. Lake Rotoira is often chosen for national fly fishing championships and training due to the quality of the fishery. View Lake Rotoira on a map here.

Lake Otamangakau
Set high on a moorland with Mt Tongariro in the background Lake Otamangakau or the "Big O" offers excellent wilderness fishing opportunities in beatiful surroundings. The lake is plentiful in both browna nd rainbow trout. You can fly-fish from a boat or float-tube or stalk brown trout from the shoreline. While this can be a challenging lake to fish, the rewards are often great. View Lake Otamangakau on a map here.

Lake Kuratau
Lake Kuratau is a small, shallow, man-made like situated west of Lake Taupo. There is a large population of resident rainbow and brown trout here that depend on insects for food. The best fishing coincides with the increased insect activity over summer when the trout rise freely. Lake Kuratau offers limited shoreline access so is best fished from a boat or float-tube. Feisty rainbow trout are the most common catch here. View Lake Kuratau on a map here.

Helifishing Experiences
Lake Taupo offers the ideal base for a backcountry heli-fishing experience. Only by helicopter can you access some of the most spectacular and unspoilt rivers anywhere in the world. Imagine sight-fishing a monster brown trout in a pool that may not have seen another person for weeks or months. A short helicopter flight could have you casting into a backcountry river within 15 minutes. You also have the option to overnight in remote fishing huts with your guide.  

The pristine waters of rivers like the Mohaka, Rangitikei and Ripia offer a challenge to even the most experienced angler. From October to April, there are incredible opportunities to sight fish for both brown and rainbows in crystal clear waters. Anglers can often net fish in double figures (10lbs) from these rivers.  

Raft Fishing Experiences
Why not combine fishing with a white water rafting experience? The upper Tongariro River can only be reached by raft or kayak. The crystal clear pools and unspoilt runs get minimal angling pressure compared to the lower reaches of the river. The upper Tongariro River is open from December to April and offers exceptional angling with large quantities of hard fighting fish. Another popular river to raft and fish is the Whanganui. The Whanganui River has large poplutions of wild brown and rainbow trout and stunning scenery along the way. 

If you want expert advice try hiring a fishing charter or a local fly-fishing guide or chat to local fishermen in the many local fishing or outdoor shops. Appropriate fishing gear can be hired or purchased at local fishing or outdoor shops in the area. Don’t forget to purchase fishing license!

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