HomeSouthlandSouthland: Where to fishMavora Lakes

Mavora Lakes

 

The Mavora Lakes (the North and South lakes) provide excellent high country still water fishing for a good population of brown and rainbow trout in a remote and stunningly attractive setting.

Fish type Brown and rainbow trout
Situation The Mavora Lakes lie to the south west of Lake Wakatipu at 610 metres above sea level in a mountain valley.
Maps

Access map

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Description The Mavora Lakes are in fact two long narrow lakes that lie in a remote beautiful mountain valley. They are connected by and drained by the Mararoa River (the headwaters of which also feed the North  Mavora). But beware of the ferocious sand-flies that will destroy your day if you do not have a strong industrial strength repellent.
North Mavora Lake

Description

The North Mavora Lake is the bigger of the two and is surrounded by matagouri and tussock covered hills. It can get cold when the wind whisks down from the mountains which can whip up the water. The eastern shoreline is accessible on foot (and there is a rough track suitable for a 4 wheel drive along part of the shoreline). The western
shore is only accessible by boat.

Where the road meets the lake Maraora River drains the lake. The river here flows deep and in a powerful current. It is not easily fished and certainly not wadable. Vegetation grows close to most of the banks restricting casting - though those spin fishing will be able to target the fish that feed in the swirling currents.

The lake itself has a sandy / gravel beach around much of the eastern section allowing anglers to walk some distance around the lake and target the fish that cruise the lake edges. The section of the lake at the outlet is also good fishing as fish congregate in the current to feed.

Fish numbers and size

Good fish numbers with trout averaging around 1.5 - 2 kgs

Access

Access is via Mararoa Oreti Road

South Mavora Lake

Description

A much smaller lake that is surrounded by beech forest providing a degree of shelter from the strong cold winds that blow during much of the year. The best fishing spots are at either ends of the lake where the Maraora River enters from the North Lake and at the southern end where the Mararoa outlet is.

Around the lake there are a number of small bays where fish can be spotted cruising and feeding but casting can be restricted by the close vegetation in many places.

Fish numbers and size

Good fish numbers with trout averaging around 1.5 - 2 kgs

Access

Access is via Mararoa Oreti Road

Methods Both spin fishing and fly fishing are effective. During the warmer months trout will rise freely to wind blown insects that land on the lake. Harling and trolling are also popular (and probably account for most fish caught).
Recommended lures

Nymphs:
Pheasant Tail, Prince nymph, Black nymphs or caddis emergers.

Dry flies:
May fly patterns for most of the year and big patterns such as a Blue bottle, Humpy or Cicada when the weather is warmest.

Wet flies:
Try any small crayfish (koura) imitation such as a Red Setter. Alternatively bully patterns such as Mrs Simpson or Hamills Killer. And when all else fails try a green woolly
bugger

Spinners: Toby, rapala and Tasmanian Devil patterns.

Tributaries The major tributaries are the upper Mararoa River and Windon Burn
Regulations
Applicable to Mavora Lakes
Region Southland regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly and spinner
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region