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Fly Fishing Lake Taupo's Tributaries and Streams

The following Lake Taupo tributaries and stream mouths offer excellent fishing during the winter months as trout enter all the rivers and make their way upstream from the lake to spawn. The streams are listed in clockwise order starting from the town of Taupo. Please refer to the Taupo regulations before fishing any of the streams.

 

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Eastern shore of Lake Taupo
1

Mangakoura Stream mouth

This a seldom fished stream mouth worth trying at night and when fish are smelting.

2

Mangamutu Stream mouth

The Mangamutu is a major tributary of the Waitahanui River which it joins immediately above the State Highway 1 Bridge. It is spring-creek fed and so has crystal clear water and holds a surprising number of large trout (mostly browns) despite its relatively small size. Although it does not enter Lake Taupo directly, it is included here as it is an important fishery that is often overlooked in favour of larger rivers.

Only fly fishing is permitted in the Mangamutu Stream and the open season is from 1 December to 31 May. Tributaries of the Mangamutu are closed all year. See the Taupo regulations for full details.

3

Waitahanui River mouth: the picket line

At the river mouth of the Waitahanui River is the famous picket line or picket fence made up of numbers of anglers lined up fishing the current of the Waitahanui river as it enters Lake Taupo. Due to the popularity of the spot, it is not recommended for beginners as often anglers stand very close together and do not appreciate poor casting.

Often after a strong westerly wind the current is forced to run parallel to the beach bringing the fish close to shore. The best time to fish the picket line is during the winter as trout congregate around the river mouth ready to move upstream to spawn, and during February and March when large browns can be caught as they come close to shore.

For further information, see Waitahanaui River.

4

Hinemaiaia River mouth (also known as Hatepe River)

The mouth of the Hinemaiaia river is fairly shallow but has a good rip a or current that is best fished after strong southwest winds forces it to run along close to the shore. This section is best fished with an intermediate or floating line and is particularly good on dark evenings. The best months to fish here are between February and May.

For further information, see Hinemaiaia River.

5

Waitotara Stream mouth

There can be good fishing at the Waitotara stream mouth that flows into Hallett's Bay south of Hatepe. This area is best fished at change of light or on dark nights.

6

Wairere Stream mouth

The Wairere is a very small stream that provides good fishing when the smelt are running. It fishes best at change of light or on dark nights.

7

Waipehi Stream mouth

The Waipehi is a small stream that offers good fishing at change of light and at night. It is very shallow and rocky and so is best fished using a floating line.

8

Waitetoko Stream mouth

The small stream mouth is very shallow and so it is best fished using a floating line on dark evenings particularly when smelt are running.

9

Tauranga-Taupo River mouth

The Tauranga Taupo river mouth is very popular and is fished both from the shore and from anchored boats. The the water where the river enters Lake Taupo is very deep and great care must be taken when fishing at particularly at night. Because of its depth it is less affected by bright moonlight. It can also fish well during the day. It is best fished using a fast sinking line as the fish tend to lie deep.

For further information, see Tauranga-Taupo River.

10

Waimarino River mouth

Where the Waimarino river enters Lake Taupo at Stump Bay is very shallow though there is a steep drop-off some distance from the shore that can be reached when the lake levels are low. Floating lines are needed under normal conditions but when Lake Taupo is under 356.4 metres, you can wade to the drop-off and use a fast sinking line. This area is best fished after dark and is particularly good in the months between March and May.

For further information, see Waimarino River.

Southern tip of Lake Taupo
11

Waiotaka River mouth

The Waiotaka River enters Lake Taupo at very shallow bay. It provides excellent fishing during the smelting season. Due to its depth it is best to use a floating line. During times of low lake level it's possible to wade approximately hundred metres out into the lake and fish the steep drop-off using a fast sinking line as the fish tend to lie deep.

For further information, see Waiotaka River.

12

Tongariro River mouth

The Tongariro river mouth, also known as the delta is one of the top fishing spots in this fishery. It is fished usually from an anchored boat. Those wishing to wade can do so but be very careful as the lake bottom is made up of soft pumice which does not provide secure footing. Great care must also be taken as the drop-off is very steep.

For further information, see Tongariro River.

13

Tokaanu Tailrace mouth

The Tokaanu tailrace is where the water from the Tokaanu powerhouse enters Lake Taupo. It provides excellent fishing for large trout when the smelt are running. Most anglers fish either at the mouth of the tailrace a from the Tokaanu wharf.

14

Tokaanu Stream mouth

The Tokaanu stream is very small but can provide excellent fishing at night when using a floating line as the water is very shallow.

15

Slip Creek

Slip Creek is very small and flows into the southernmost part of Lake Taupo. It is best fished either early morning or during the evening or night using a floating line.

16

Waihi Stream

Waihi stream enters Lake Taupo near Waihi township and those wishing to fish it from the shore will need permission as access is over private land. It can be reached by water however and offers good fishing at change of light and on dark nights using dark smelt fly patterns.

Western shore of Lake Taupo
17

Pukawa Stream mouth

This small stream is best fished with a floating line at change of light or on a dark night.

18

Omori Stream mouth

The Omori is a very small stream requiring a floating line as the water here is very shallow. Best fished at change of light or on a dark evening.

19

Kuratau River mouth

The Kuratau River enters Lake Taupo across a shallow delta which is safe to wade and can provide excellent fishing. Although this is a top spot for harling, it is also very productive when fishing with a floating line during the day when the smelt are running, and particularly at change of light and on dark nights.

20

Whareroa Stream mouth

The Whareroa Stream enters Lake Taupo at Te Hape Bay and fishs very well when the smelt move close to the shoreline. It is relatively shallow and so best fished with a floating or intermediate line.

21

Mangakara Stream

Mangakara Stream is very remote and really only accessible by boat. It offers good fishing from October to December as fish move close to shore chasing smelt and during times of change of light and on very dark nights. Best fished with a slow sinking or floating line.

22

Whanganui Stream mouth

The Whanganui stream mouth is remote and generally only be reached by boat. The stream mouths provides good fishing during the smelt season as it is relatively shallow a floating or intermediate line is best. While most fishing is around the rip where the stream enters the lake, there can be very good fishing all along the shoreline especially on dark nights.

23

Waikino Stream mouth

The Waikino stream mouth is very remote and can only be reached by boat, but can provide excellent fishing in the rip for the trout that feed in the current. It is best fished using a sinking line.

24

Otaunga Stream

One of the most remote stream mouths, Otaunga Stream can only be reached by boat. For those who can get there it offers good fishing where the stream enters the lake. The water is deep so this area can fish well at any time of the day and even during bright moonlit nights.

25

Waihaha River mouth

The Waihaha River mouth is generally reached by boat and fishes very well during the smelting season. There are many stretches that fish well, and as it is so remote it receives less fishing pressure than other areas around the lake. The water is relatively deep and the current formed by the river entering the lake provides an excellent river in which fish feed.

View graphs of Waihaha water quality at the Environment Waikato website.

26

Otupoto Stream mouth

The Otupoto stream mouth is usually fished by boat either by fly casting or harling through the current formed as the river enters the lake.

27

Tutaewaeroa Stream

A small remote stream mouth that enters Taupo at Waihora Bay and provides excellent fishing in the rip at change of light and at night. Waihora Bay can be reached by boat or by taking a walking track.

28

Kotukutuku Stream

A small remote stream mouth that enters Taupo at Waihora Bay and provides excellent fishing in the rip at change of light and at night. Waihora Bay can be reached by boat or by taking a walking track. This area receives very light angling pressure.

29

Waihora Stream mouth

The Waihora stream mouth is accessed by boat and provides excellent fishing when smelt are running. It can be fished from the shore a by casting from the boat.

Northern shore of Lake Taupo
30

Tutaeuaua Stream mouth

The Tutaeuaua Stream enters the remote Kawakawa Bay and provides excellent fishing in the rip for those anglers willing to walk to it.

31

Otutira Stream mouth

The Otutira stream enters Lake Taupo at Kawakawa Bay and has an excellent rip providing good fishing during the day and especially at change of light and on dark nights when there are good numbers of smelt around.

32

Omoho Stream mouth

The Omoho Stream also known as Chinaman's Creek, is remote and provides excellent fishing for any angler willing to make walk to it. It fishes well during the day but comes into its own during the evening or on a dark night.

33

Otaketake Stream mouth

The Otaketake is a small stream that fishes well during the smelt season.

34

Whangamata Stream mouth

The Whangamata stream is a small and best fished at night using a floating or intermediate line.

35

Mapara Stream mouth

The Mapara stream enters Lake Taupo on the eastern edge of Whakaipo Bay. It fishes well throughout the year and is very popular due to its relatively easy access and closeness to Taupo township.

 

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