HomeEastern – RotoruaEastern-Rotorua: Where to fishLake Waikaremoana

Lake Waikaremoana


Lake Waikaremoana offers the angler the opportunity to fish for large wild hard fighting brown and rainbow trout in a pristine environment.

Fish type Waikaremoana Lake is very well-stocked with wild brown and rainbow trout, many of which reach that magical 10 pound (4.5 kg) size. Brown trout tend to be larger on average than the rainbow trout.
Situation Lake Waikaremoana lies in the South Eastern corner of Te Urewera National Park and although it can be reached by road, it is mostly surrounded by virgin native bush-land.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast.

View the lake level.


Although used for hydroelectric generation, Lake Waikaremoana remains a pristine lake of clear water surrounded by high hills and native bush-land offering wilderness fishing conditions. Having a number of feeder streams means that there is a good population of wild fish. Trout were first released into the lake in 1896 but it was with the liberation of smelt in 1948 that saw the fishery improve to become one of New Zealand's premier waters that it is today.

In effect, Waikaremoana is two distinct fisheries. One is the shoreline fishery for the large brown trout that cruise the edge of the lake and the other the deeper rainbow trout fishery targeted by boat anglers.

Lake Waikaremoana is a very beautiful deep, cold lake. Its name translate to “sea of rippling waters" and care must be taken when fishing this lake by boat as the weather conditions can change rapidly, causing the lake to become quite dangerous.

Tagged Fish

Waikaremoana is basically a large wild fishery though some fish are released into the lake each year, most of which are tagged. Should you catch the tagged fish, the tags with details of the catch should be returned to the eastern fish and game office.


State Highway 38 (from Wairoa) runs close to much of the northern and eastern shoreline, providing good access to a number of fishing spots. There are boat ramps available for public use and a well-defined walking track. Department of Conservation huts can be found around the lake.

See the Lake Waikaremoana access map.

Methods Those wishing to target the brown trout that cruise the lake's edge can do so using a floating or intermediate line and cast to fish that can be spotted in the clear water.
Recommended tackle When fly fishing from the shore in clear light conditions use as light a line as possible. As this lake often has reasonably strong winds however, it may often be necessary to use a heavier line weight to make casting easier.
Recommended lures

By placing a lightly weighted nymph such as Hare and Copper or Pheasants Tail in front of a cruising trout and twitching it as they pass can be effective.

Dry flies:
Waikaremoana is not noted as a dry fly lake although during the height of summer Cicada, Blowfly and Beetle patterns can be effective, particularly in the evening.

Wet flies / Streamers:
The most effective fly patterns are those that imitate the smelt population. These include Dorothy's, Grey Ghosts, Parsons' Glory, Rabbit patterns, particularly yellow or green, and Jack Spratt. Patterns such as Mrs Simpson or Hamill 's Killer that imitate a bully pattern can also be effective.
During the night or in dark overcast conditions use darker patterns such as Scotch Poacher, Craig's Night-time or Black Marabou patterns.

Spinners: Any Tasmanian Devil, Flat Fish, Cobras, Tokoroa Chickens or Toby's can be effective when either trolling or casting from the shore.


The four main tributaries of Lake Waikaremoana are the:
- Mokau
- Hopuruahine
- Aniwaniwa
- Te Korokoro


There are also numerous other small streams that flow into the lake at various points around the shoreline and provide excellent fishing as trout congregate around the mouths in the warmer months and from April  as trout begin to move upstream for spawning.

Related Waters See also Lake Waikareiti, Lake Kiriopukae. Lake Kaitawa and Lake Whakamarino.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Lake Waikaremoana except the area below
Region Eastern region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner.
Downriggers, paravanes and metal or lead core lines are prohibited in Lake Waikaremoana (but the use of weights such as spiral weights are allowed)
Bag limit Trout: 8
Of which only 2 can be brown trout
Size limit (cm) 350mm minimum
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Lake Waikaremoana tributaries downstream of the Hopuruahine and Mokau landmark poles.
Region Eastern region regulations
Season All year
Methods Fly fishing spin fishing.
Fishing for trout from an unanchored boat is prohibited. Downriggers, paravanes, weights to assist sinking of trolled lures and metal cored or wire lines are prohibited in Lake Waikaremoana.
Bag limit Trout: 8
Of which only 2 can be brown trout
Size limit (cm) 350mm minimum
Regulations (3)
Applicable to Lake Waikaremoana's inflowing tributary streams upstream of the landmark poles
Season 1 Oct - 30 June
Methods Flyfishing only

Other fishing waters of the region


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