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Lake Atiamuri Trout Fishing

Lake Atiamuri is a small, very deep lake that receives very little angling pressure but holds good stocks of both rainbow and brown trout.


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Fish type Both brown and rainbow trout are present in this lake, with some of the fish reaching the magical 10 pound (4.5 kg) mark.
Situation Lake Atiamuri is downstream from the much larger Lake Ohakuri and is usually overlooked by anglers. It does however have good numbers of fish, many of which reach impressive sizes.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast for Tokoroa.
F&G pamphlet The Waikato River

Lake Atiamuri was formed in 1958 when the Waikato River was dammed for hydroelectric power generation. It is a very deep lake and has two arms, both of which provide excellent fishing. Like most Waikato hydroelectric lakes though, lake weed can be a problem, especially during the warmer months. When the lake is first seen, the water appears to be almost black although it is in fact clean and has good visibility. Due to the excellent aquatic life, which includes smelt, fish grow rapidly and have a good average size with some trophy fish being caught each year. There is very limited shoreline fishing on this lake.

Lake Atiamuri Dam and tailrace

There is good fishing from the dam face into the faster water of the tailrace and for a good section of the river downstream. This section is best when the water is flowing swiftly as water flows through the dam during hydroelectric generation.


There is limited road access to this lake but there is a good boat ramp at Atiamuri township which can be reached by taking the side road off State Highway One. See the Waikato River hydro lakes access map.

Methods Trolling is the preferred method for fishing this lake although those taking a boat upstream towards Lake Ohakuri can find good spinner fishing and when fly fishing in some of the faster water. Those wishing to troll for fish in the lake need to get the lures as close to the large weed beds as possible although this can be frustrating as often it will mean hooking weed on a regular basis.
Recommended tackle When trolling, it is necessary to get the lures down to the fish especially during the brighter warmer parts of the day so either lead core line (and using two to three colours) or adding a small sinker of around 3 to 4 ounces about 1 metre above the lures is recommended.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Casting of weighted nymphs such as a size 12 or 14 Hare and Copper, Halfback or Pheasants Tail as close as possible to the weed beds and slowly retrieving can be effective.

Dry flies: This lake is not noted for its dry fly fishing although cicada and beetle patterns may work well during the warmer summer evenings.

Wet flies / Streamers: As smelt are present in this lake, patterns such as Grey Ghost, Parsons' Glory and rabbit patterns can be effective, though large (size 4 to 6) Hammill's Killer, Mrs Simpson and Red Setter are probably the best bet.

Spinners: Probably the best spinner pattern is the Tokoroa Chicken. Black Toby's and dark Cobras and Tasmanian Devils are also effective

Tributaries The only tributary of note is the Whangapoa Stream and its tributary the Tahunaatara Stream which offer reasonable if challenging fishing due to the overgrown banks.
Related waters See also Lake Aratiatia, Lake Ohakuri, Lake Whakamaru, Lake Maraetai, Lake Karapiro, Lake Arapuni, Lake Waipapa and the Waikato River.
Applicable to Lake Atiamuri
Region Eastern region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait.
Bag limit No limit
Size limit (cm) None





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