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Lake Grasmere

Lake Grasmere is a small high country lake that holds a good population of brown and rainbow trout, mostly in the 1 -2 kg range. It is a beautiful lake to fish.

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Fish type Brown trout  with a good number of rainbow trout liberated into the lake each year (1,400 were liberated by Fish and Game in Nov 2007). Fish average between 1 - 2 kg though fish over 3 kg are not uncommon.
Situation Lake Grasmere is located in a broad valley surrounded by  high mountains between Porters Pass and Arthurs Pass.

Access map
Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast for Christchurch.
F&G pamphlet The High Country Lakes access pamphlet
Access Access is via a track that leads of SH 73 just south of the small settlement of Cass.

Lake Grasmere is a small oval shaped lake high in a mountain valley. It is in a wide valley and mostly surrounded by distant snow covered mountains. The north-eastern shoreline is generally inaccessible being quite steep and rocky and with bush-clad banks. The rest of the lake is generally accessible though the shoreline can be quite swampy in places especially early in the season.

As the lake is also a bird and wildlife reguge, there is a high bird population and as a result the water quality is sometimes not the best. On clear days however fish are easy to spot as they cruise the shoreline. This is a very scenic lake and a pleasure to fish on a beautiful summer or autumn day. Being in the high country however, it can receive strong cold winds at times and can be challenging to fish early in the season.

Methods All methods work well on the lake. Dry fly fishing can be excellent from Dec through to March with Nymph and spinning / wet flies working well all the season. No boat fishing is allowed.
Recommended tackle

5 to 7 weight. 9 foot fast action graphite are ideal as these can cut through the winds that often blow in the area. Have plenty of backing as some fish are large and can make a very gopod run out into the lake. Tippets of around 3kg and leaders of 12 feet are ideal.

Spin rods capable of casting a 5 - 10 gram lure.

Recommended lures

Dry flies: Adams, Kakahi Queen, Twilight Beauty, Deers Hair Sedge, cicada , Black Gnat, Blowfly and Humpy in sizes 12 - 16.

Nymphs:  Hare and Copper, Hare's ear, Prince nymph, Stonefly  and Pheasants tails in sizes 10- 14

Wet flies: Bully patterns such as Mrs Simpson or Hamills Killer, Woolly Buggers in sizes 6-10

Spinners: Rapalas in green and gold patterns (dark patterns are best for this lake), Tobies and Mepps.

Tributaries There are no tributaries or streams of note for the angler. The outlet stream tends to be weed infested and overgrown.
Applicable to Lake Grasmere
Region North Canterbury regulations
Season First saturday in November to 30 April
Methods Artificial fly, spinner.
Fishing from boats is not permitted
Bag limit 2
Size limit (cm) None


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