HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishLake Moeraki

Lake Moeraki


Lake Moeraki is a small lake that holds a very high population of brown trout and some quinnat salmon.

Fish type Brown trout and quinnat salmon
Situation Approximately 30kms north of Haast Junction.
Setting A very picturesque lake set amongst native bush with the Southern Alps in the distance.

Access map

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Hokitika.
F&G pamphlet West Coast Sports Fisheries access pamphlet  >>>
Description A very beautiful lake to fish (but beware of the vicious sandflies!!!). This lake has limited areas where the angler can fish from the shore so a boat is the most successful method. The lake is fed by the Moeraki River which enters at the South Eastern end of the lake and this is a very good fishery in its own right. Trout can be sighted and fished to especially when using a boat to sneak up on them. Trolling a spinner or large fly can also be effective. Where the Moeraki River enters the lake there is a significant area of shallower water built up from silt being brought down the river. This is an excellent area to explore with small flies and casting to cruising fish (though again a boat will provide the best way to access this productive area.
Fish numbers and size The lake holds a large number of brown trout (some estimates state this lake is the best stocked on the West Coast). There is also a number of quinnat salmon between February and April each year as they enter the lake before moving up the Moeraki River to spawn.
Ease of fishing This lake is best fished from a boat as the close vegetation makes shoreline fishing very difficult.
Access The State highway 6 runs along the northern shore of the lake and a small gravel road leads of this to the only boat ramp. Some paths have been cut through the vegetation in places giving access to small areas of the shoreline (though it is possible to wade from there along the narrow gravel beach. See the Lake Moeraki access map.
Recommended lures Nymphs: When fishing the drop of a large heavily weighted fly such as a size 8 to 10 Pheasants Tail or Hare and Copper can be effective when fishing the deeper water. Darker patterns are the most effective in this water.

Dry flies: Small winged patterns such as Greenwell's Glory, March Brown or Adams or Royal Wulff can also work well especially at change of light. These are very effective when fishing to rising fish around the flax beds or in the shallower water around the edge.

Wet flies: Small wet flies such as March Brown, Greenwell's Glory or sedge emerger patterns.

Spinners: Small bladed spinners such as Veltic or Mepps or a dark Toby can also be effective.

Applicable to Lake Moeraki
Region West Coast >>>

Trout: All year

Salmon: 1 Oct - 31 Mar

Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sports fish: 2
Size limit (cm) Trout and salmon: 250mm minimum


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