rainbow (some to trophy sizes) but also many large brown trout.
Otamangakau provides wilderness fishing on a lake to the south-west
of Lake Taupo. It is set is high in moorland with Mount Tongariro
in the background. It has a barren beauty and sense of isolation.
The weather can be bleak and cold, or shimmeringly hot. Being very
exposed, wind can be a problem at times. This lake was chosen as
one of the venues for the 28th Worlds Fly Fishing Championship in
The lake is reached by following State Highway
47 from Turangi and has two boat ramps.
map with topography
topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260
View a graph of the current
lake level at the Genesis Energy website.
View a graph of recent
rainfall at Turangi at the Genesis Energy website.
View the MetService weather forecast for:
created as a result of the Tongariro hydro power scheme, is a fine
fishing water which can be very frustrating or hugely rewarding.
The lake is know to locals as the Big O.
The fish in Lake Otamangakau are dependant on
insects for food, and the best fishing coincides with increased
insect activity over summer. In some years, large numbers of cicadas
are blown onto the lakes in late January and early February stimulating
some great dry fly fishing. As the lake is quite shallow, it is
best fished during overcast conditions. Most fish are caught casting
between the weedbeds.
Most angling involves fly fishing from a boat
using a floating line and small nymphs, or stalking and casting
to cruising brown trout around the lake edge. This lake is sometimes
fished using a float tube as this allows a stealthy approach to
the feeding fish. Whatever method used. don't expect the fishing
to be easy however; most trophy fish are hard earned.
|Fish numbers and size
is managed as a trophy fishery with fit and strong rainbow trout
commonly exceeding 4kg in weight. Large brown trout can also be
Before the 2009 season DOC reported that there
had been 3775 rainbow trout and 1165 brown trout through the Te
Whaiau trap which was a little down on the 2008 record rainbow run
but still about 6 times as high as the mid-90’s. The rainbows
averaged 1.9kg and browns 2kg so fish sizes are seen to be smaller
than in the past years.
||Get to the lake by following State
Highway 47 south from Turangi (approximately 15 minutes drive). See
the Lake Otamangakau access
|A 6 or 7 weight rod
A weight-forward or double taper floating line
A 6 metre leader with a 2.5 kg tippet
A spinning rod with 6lb line
Either a bubble float and suspended fly or dark bladed spinners.
fly: Cicada patterns, a Muddler
Minnow fished dry
Nymph: A dark green
or olive nymph such as a Stone
Fly or Hares Ear
that is almost black when wet.
spinners such as Mepps or Veltic
in dark colours.
Whaiau Canal and the Wairehu Canal
fishery area regulations
||1 Oct-31 May
Boat fishing is permitted
|Size limit (cm)