HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishMapourika Lake

Mapourika Lake


Lake Mapourika is a scenic lake well stocked with  good sized brown trout and salmon.

Fish type Brown trout and salmon
Situation Approximately 10 kms north of Franz Joseph
Setting Lake Mapourika is a pleasant lake in the Westland national park area. It is fed by a number of small streams and one, McDonalds Creek at the northern end is closed for all fishing. The river is drained by the Okarito River which flows into the beautiful Okarito Lagoon and then into the Tasman Sea. Salmon and sea-run trout travel up this river to the lake in early summer.

Access map

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Description Lake Mapourika is a beautiful lake surrounded by pristine ancient bush. Large mountains loom nearby making this a beautiful setting to fish. The water tends to be tea-coloured though fish can still be easily spotted in the water. Much of the shoreline is difficult to fish as the trees come down close to the waters edge. There is a boat ramp however and this opens up the lake for both trolling or casting to the fish that seem to rise freely for the insects that land on the surface.
Fish numbers and size The lake is well stocked with both brown trout and salmon. Expect trout in the 3-5lb range and bigger salmon. There have been some larger trout up to 10lbs caught at times.
Ease of fishing

The lake offers few shore line fishing opportunities but if one has a boat the fish that range over the whole lake become easily accessible.

Glacier Country Lake Tours offer great salmon and brown trout fishing on the lake.

Access State Highway 6 runs along the eastern edge of the lake. See the Lake Mapourika access map.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Suspended nymphs that are just below the surface work well such as unweighted Hare and Copper or Pheasant Tail variants which can be cast in front of any rising fish.

Dry flies: The fish are often feeding on windblown terrestrial flies and so flies such as a Green Beetle in early summer and cicada patterns from mid summer on work well. Wasp patterns can also work well in the summer months. Caddis and mayfly patterns are good for the evening rise.

Wet flies: Large sunk flies such as a Hairy Dog, Mrs Simpson, Hamill's Killer or Fuzzy Wuzzy fished deep so that they skim just above the weed beds.

Spinners: Trolling or casting use Cobras, Tasmanian Devils and Tobys in dark patterns which all work well.

Applicable to Mapourika, Lake (except for McDonalds Creek which is closed)
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

Other fishing waters of the region


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