Lake Okataina is in a remote, extremely
scenic valley surrounded by pristine virgin native forest.
There is only one road to the lake that provides access to
just one bay.
map with topography
topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260
See the Environment
Bay of Plenty website for:
report card on the lake water quality
use map and lake closure notices
View the MetService
weather forecast for Rotorua.
Okataina info and basic chart (pdf file 113 kB)
lakes fishery (pdf file 491 kB)
lakes: Winter shoreline fishing (73 kB)
fishing information (pdf file 256 kB)
Lake Okataina's clear
water provides an abundance of food that ensure the fish reach
very impressive sizes. The lake is very deep and has very
cold water. There are a number of bays and long arms that
reach into long wooded valleys. This is a very beautiful lake
to fish and the quality of the fishing in a pristine wilderness
setting is very special.
Due to its remoteness and limited shoreline
access, most fishing must be done from a boat. A number of
small streams feed into the lake, all of which provide excellent
fishing opportunities, although again most can only be reached
by boat. Where the road ends on the lake shoreline there can
be good fishing for the land based angler. Those willing to
walk will also be able to move around the lake shore to a
few other bays. Fish are easy tosopt as they cruise the shoreline.
|Fish numbers and size
||Lake Okataina is renowned for its large
population of hard fighting rainbows that can reach impressive
sizes. Every year many fish are caught that are well beyond
the magical 10 pound mark (4.5 kg).
||There is only one road in to Lake Okataina
which turns off State Highway 30 at Ruato Bay on Lake Rotoiti.
This road takes you to the north end of the lake where there
is also a boat ramp. There is no vehicle access to any other
part of the lake. See the Lake Okataina/Lake Okareka access
||Lake Okataina is a remote lake where the only road in stops at the lakes edge. The only accommodation on the lake is Lakes Lodge though the lake is a beautiful drive from other accommodation in the area such as the Duxton
Hotel and Marama
The two most popular
methods of fishing Lake Okataina are trolling and jigging.
There can also be excellent fly fishing around Home Bay and
the Log Pool in late autumn and early winter when the trout
will often come very close to the beach.
Shoreline fishing is often best when the
water is being disturbed by a light wind and the conditions
The fish are generally
found deep, requiring lead core line or a downrigger. As the
water is also very clear, it is necessary to use a very long
When jigging, use non-stretch nylon or
fusion line to ensure the soft takes of the trout can be felt.
When fly fishing, use as light a line
as is practical (weight 5 to 6 are ideal) as the fish will
often become spooky if there is too much disturbance of the
water when casting.
Due to the depth of water it is necessary to use reasonably
weighted nymphs usually in Hare
and Copper, Pheasants
Tail and Halfback
patterns with a reasonable length leader. When jigging use
though a Globug
or muppit pattern
can also be successful.
Because of the abundant forest cover down to the water's edge,
a good supply of terrestrial insects land on the water throughout
the year. Good patterns to try in summer include cicada,
Wet flies / Streamers:
pattern such as Parsons'
Ghost or Taupo
Tiger and palmered flies such as Woolly
Buggers, particularly in green are effective during the
day and dark patterns such as Craig's
Poacher or Black
Marabou flies work best. Luminous flies are also popular
on dark nights.
most popular spinners are Toby's,
Flatfish and Tasmanian
Devils, though when trolling many anglers prefer to troll
a large smelt fly pattern in combination with a spinner.
||A number of small streams enter Lake Okataina
but there are no real tributaries. The lake is also unique in
that there is no known outlet and it is believed the water drains
through an underground aquifer.
||Lake Okataina except the areas below
||1 Oct-30 Jun
||Artificial fly, spinner
|Size limit (cm)
||Lake Okataina winter shoreline area - from
Te Koutu Point landmark to west of Okataina Lodge landmark extending
||All year: Artificial fly, spinner.
1 Jul-30 Sept: Fishing for trout from a boat is prohibited.
|Size limit (cm)