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Waiotaka Stream Trout Fishing

The Waiotaka Stream provides excellent fishing for large trout in a small stream. Despite its close proximity to the Tongariro it receives much less pressure and is ideal for anglers wishing to escape the crowds on the more famous waters while targeting large fish on a challenging smaller water.

 

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Fish type Rainbow and brown trout
Situation The Waiotaka stream flows into Lake Taupo at Stump Bay, just north of the Tongariro River.
Maps

Access map
Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions

River flow

The Waiotaka Stream river flow is normally 2-3 cubic metres per second.

Weather forecast

View the MetService weather forecast for Taupo.

Description

It's very easy to miss the small Waiotaka Stream when crossing it on State Highway 1. However, the stream widens into a very attractive small river upstream. The bank side vegetation does not allow much casting space however, making it more suited to the experienced angler.

Lower reaches

Description

The mouth of the Waiotaki Stream provides excellent fishing in the shallows in early summer when the smelt are running. There is a drop-off about 100 metres into the lake from the mouth which you can wade out to if you wish. Take care after dark.

From SH1 to the mouth the river is very narrow and overgrown, making it difficult to fish.

Access

Travelling north, the mouth of the stream can be reached by taking Frethey Drive which turns off SH1 approximately 300 metres past the SH1 bridge. Frethey Drive takes you to Stump Bay. Follow the pumice vehicle track to the mouth, but be aware that off the track the pumice is very soft and care is needed if driving rather than walking.

See the Waiotaka River access map.

Middle reaches

Description

Above SH1, anglers can fish around 4-5 km by following a walkway along the bank of the Waiotaka. Much of this section of the river has vegetation growing along the banks making for some very difficult casting. Because of the small size, and the challenging conditions it presents, this river does not receive a lot of angling pressure.

Fish numbers and size

Despite its small size, there are a good runs of large fish during the winter months. There are also reasonable numbers of resident fish throughout the year that can be spotted in the clear water and carefully cast to.

Access

A walkway that follows the true left bank of the Waiotaka can be accessed from two tracks that lead off the highway just south of the bridge on SH1.

The well signposted Waiotaki Road takes anglers to near the upper limits of winter fishing. To get to Waitaka Road: if you are travelling north from Turangi, either turn off SH1 into Korohe Rd (7km from Turangi) and turn right at the junction; or turn off SH1 at the Grace Road intersection near Turangi.

Two vehicle access tracks also lead off SH1.

See the Waiotaka River access map.

Upper reaches

Above the prison, the river provides some good sport but the difficulty of access makes it hardly worth the trouble.

Access

Access is either by helicopter or a long walk through the the Waimarino River end of the Kaimanawa Forest Park. The only road access is a prison road and permisison to use it would be unusual.

See the Waiotaka River access map.

Methods

Most of this small stream is very shallow, and so floating lines are recommended.

When fishing the mouth, use a floating line and a light-coloured smelt fly during the day, and a very dark fly during the evening.

Recommended tackle

For nymph fishing:

A 5 to 7 weight rod.
A floating line.
A weighted nymph with lighter nymphs tied below.
Leader 4-4.5 metres in length and 2.5-4 kg strength.
An indicator (to detect strikes)

For wetfly fishing:

A 6 or 7 weight rod.
A medium to fast sinking line.
A short tippet of 2-2.5 metres.

 

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Globugs (during the spawning season), White Caddis, Halfback, Hare and Copper

Dry flies: During the summer small Parachute Adams and sedge patterns. During the early summer try beetle patterns, and later in summer try cicada patterns.

Wet flies/streamers: Use smaller flies such as Red Setter and Rabbit patterns especially an Orange Rabbit. Also Woolly Buggers, Mrs Simpson, and Hamill's Killer. At the mouth try smelt patterns such as Grey Ghost and Parson's Glory during the day; and very dark patterns such as Fuzzy Wuzzy and Craig's Nightime at night.

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Waiotaka River lower reaches (from the mouth to the prison boundary approximately 2km above the Hautu Ford on Waiotaka Road)
Region Taupo fishery area regulations
Season All year
Methods

Fly fishing only.
Boat fishing from an anchored boat only.

Bag limit 6
Size limit (cm) 35 cm minimum
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Waiotaka River within the boundaries of the Tongariro-Rangipo Prison (from approximately 2km above the Hautu Ford on Waiotaka Road to the north-western boundary of the Kaimanawa State Forest)
Region Taupo fishery area regulations
Season Closed
Methods

Not applicable

Bag limit Not applicable
Size limit (cm) Not applicable
Regulations (3)
Applicable to Waiotaka River between its source and the north-western boundary of Kaimanawa State Forest Park, including tributaries
Region Taupo fishery area regulations
Season 1 Dec-31 May
Methods

Fly fishing only.
Boat fishing from an anchored boat only.

Bag limit 6
Size limit (cm) 35 cm minimum
Regulations (4)
Applicable to Waiotaka River tributaries
Region Taupo fishery area regulations
Season Closed
Methods

Not applicable

Bag limit Not applicable
Size limit (cm) Not applicable

 

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