Fishing in the Lake Taupo region

Keen to try fishing for trout? Lake Taupo and its surrounding rivers offers some of the best trout fishing in the world.

Lake Taupo, in the central North Island, is open all year round. A huge crater lake, (the same size as Singapore), it provides some of the best trout fishing in the world. Ranbow and brown trout can be found both in the lake and surrounding rivers and tributairies.

Some of the main rivers, up to certain distances, are open all year round as well. However there is a closed season for the upper reaches of the main tributaries of Lake Taupo from 1st June to 30th November. The Wilderness Rivers are closed for spawning from 1st July to 30th September.

Every winter prime rainbow trout, averaging five pounds and often twice that size, make their way up the rivers from whence they came. Spawning runs of large brown trout usually start at the end of March with rainbow trout following until the end of September. During the summer months, most of the fly fisherman's attention turns to the wilderness rivers and the superb dry fly fishing on offer. Clad in chest waders, you can nymph or wet fly fish till your heart's content, and when your arm tires you can enjoy the amazing scenery that surrounds you.

Lake Taupo provides the fly fisher with plenty of opportunity. From December onwards, the smelt come into the shallows of the lake to spawn, and are followed by the trout which gorge themselves on this once a year delicacy. Casting to the swirl of the feeding trout, and having the reel scream will provide you with an adrenalin rush that you'll never forget.

For something more relaxed, try your luck at the browns and rainbows as they line up at the river mouths, feeding and waiting for the spawning time to arrive. Night time is the most productive time for this type of fishing, although the Tongariro Delta is famous for its all-day action, casting from a small boat anchored in the river mouth. Over the years the stream mouths of the Western Bays of Lake Taupo have developed a reputation for providing some great action for the fly fishers. Access is by boat or helicopter.

The Taupo district requires a separate licence to fish in that district and these can be purchased from local sporting stores, petrol stations or from your fishing gudie on the day.

At Chris Jolly Outdoors, we have four launches available for private fishing charters, as well as experienced fly fishing guides who can take you out for a full or half day fshing experience. Wilderness fishing in remote mountain rivers by helicopter, is also avaiable. To find out more email

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