HomeEastern – RotoruaEastern-Rotorua: Where to fishLake Aniwhenua

Lake Aniwhenua

Lake Aniwhenua, a small shallow hydro lake on the Rangitaiki River, consistently provides top-quality fishing for a good population of fish. At one time it was a premier trophy fishery but now has a good population of hard fighting trout up 2 kg. It is a great lake to fish.

Fish type Both brown and rainbow trout are present in good numbers.
Situation Lake Aniwhenua is a man-made hydro lake situated in the middle reaches of the Rangitaiki River between Murupara and Lake Matahina. It is located on Galatea Plains near the small township of Murupara.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast.

Lake Aniwhenua is mostly very shallow (with an average depth of 2.5 m); the only exception is the deeper section that follows the old riverbed. It is a long narrow lake running from south to north. The eastern shoreline is open farmland, and the western shoreline is mostly scrub covered or regenerating bush-land.

Lake Aniwhenua offers great fishing all year round. Late autumn through to spring often sees superb fishing with winter fishing particularly good for brown trout. Summer fishing is also excellent as the warmer waters promote prolific damsel and midge hatches.

Fish numbers and size The large numbers of well-conditioned trout are now in the 1 -2 kg range. Very stocky fish and hard fighting.

While there are some areas available for the shoreline angler, a small boat gives access to a much wider range of productive water.

Fly fishing is the most common method using using lightly weighted nymphs or wet flies. Fishing along the edges of the old riverbed can be very successful. In summer there can be a good rise to hatching insects as well as fish taking wind-blown insects that have landed on the lake. Mostly however fish respond to nymphs.


There is good access at both ends of the lake and from the Kopuriki Road. Bridges cross the river at each end of Lake Aniwhenua and a walking track extends along most of the eastern side of the lake.

There are two boat ramps:

- at Rabbit Bridge at the southern end of the lake
- near the camping area of Black Road at the northern end

The free camp site adjacent to the boat ramp off Black Road is very popular with anglers over the summer months. See Lake Aniwhenua access map.

Recommended tackle

As the lake is so shallow, much of it can be covered using a floating line and a long leader that allows the weighted fly to get down to the fish.

Those fishing with wet flies or streamers need to use a slow to medium sinking line is anything too fast will catch the prolific weed that grows along the bottom.

A weight six or seven rod is ideal.

Recommended lures

Hare and Copper and Pheasant Tail patterns with enough weight to get them near the bottom of the lake generally work well. Sizes 12 to 14 best as are nymphs when tied in darker colours.

Dry flies:
Sedge patterns work well in summer and beetle patterns can be effective on the western shore and early summer and cicada patterns from late summer.

Wet flies:
During the day try green Woolly Buggers, Red Setter, Mrs Simpson, Hamill's Killer or Muddler Minnows. If fishing the evenings, use dark patterns such as Craig's Night-time or Scotch Poacher. At night lumo flies such as Black Marabou Lumo can also be very effective.

Applicable to Lake Aniwhenua and canal
Region Eastern region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit 2 trout
Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region


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