Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand, but the region is also home to connecting rivers. As such, fishing in the area is exciting, especially so because the rivers and streams are easy to access—you can travel by car, foot, and even with a helicopter to get to the best trout fishing spots in Taupo.
Today, I will share with you the six best trout fishing spots in Taupo New Zealand rivers that I have been to. Take note that you need a fishing license to fish in these areas.
1. Tongariro River
Tongariro is world famous because of the abundance of trout. The river itself provides plenty of ideal fishing spots. There are lower sections, and there are rapids—you can fish according to what your fishing style is.
The Lower Tongariro River is a slow-moving body of water, which makes it an ideal habitat for brown trout to grow. The fish here is trophy-sized, and one can see them jumping out to eat flies and cicadas in the summer.
You can access this by small boat. Some use a kayak. If you want to fish with an anchored boat, you can only do so up to the marker poles—designated areas with black and yellow stripes.
Those who go here by car can access the river by the Awamate road. If you want to have the best time, you must go here during the winter or spring. These are the seasons where you can target spawning rainbow trout.
On the other hand, you can also fish in the middle section, where there are small rock formations. This spot is best for angler fishing, and the site is packed during these two seasons so secure your fishing license early.
2. Tauranga-Taupō River
This river starts at the western face of the Kaimanawa Range. Then, it moves to the west side of Lake Taupo. The river has small and medium sections. The river goes through private land, so access to that part is limited.
During summer, the spot you want to fish in is the Tauranga-Taupō Falls. However, I do not recommend fishing above the falls.
You can access the mouth of the river via the Te Rangi-ita. To go to the middle sections, you track upriver along the southern bank. Because it is a small river, you need a light tackle. The most popular technique to fish used in this area is nymphing. In the summer, you can use a dry fly.
Just a word of caution: the river is prone to flash flooding, and the mouth has a steep drop-off. The tracks can also erode during flash floods, and tree debris can be a hazard.
By the way, this is the second biggest river in the region, and any anglers love it here as there are many types of fish to catch, not just trout.
3. Waitahanui River
The Waitahanui River is the closest river that one can find in Taupo. It is a spring-fed creek, and the beauty of it is that it has a stable flow. The water is clear, and there are pools that make it ideal as a fishing site.
The river has a bed of gravel, and the shallow parts are excellent for wading. Because the river is fed by a spring, it means that you can still fish here after a heavy downpour of rain. To fish here, you will have a good time if you bring light gear. Wading is also one of the most used techniques.
During winter, you can catch rainbow trout. In autumn, expect to catch brown trout. There is a limitation to public access, and you must know that you can only use specific entry points. For a better experience, I recommend that you get the services of a guide.
Because of the clear water, you will find it difficult to lure fish. There are also deceptively deep pools here and the river mouth as a drop-off. There could be falling trees from time to time because of erosion.
4. Lake Kuratau
This lake is the smallest in the Taupo area. As a compact lake, it has a reputation of producing small trout that are easy to catch—they respond well to different angling and fishing techniques. Because of this, it is one of the best fishing spots for children.
The lake has a high population of small and brown trout. You can fish from the shore or from a boat—a boat is better if you want to access more types of fish.
5. Waimarino River
The Waimarino River is only about 10 kilometres from Turangi. It is a small stream that has shallow pools perfect for wading. The river flows through an exotic forest, which means you can have more adventures.
The thing with this river is that it requires accuracy before you can catch a fish. You must carefully position your lures and flies. Winter is one of the best times to fish here, as it offers a wide variety of fish. The upper side is great for fly fishing, and it is an ideal spot for people who want to have a secluded area to fish in the afternoon.
One of the best techniques to use in this area is a light tackle. Nymphing is also a popular approach that anglers use here.
Although this river is shallow, there are deep pools enclosed with bushes, so be careful. The river mouth is shallow, but some parts have steep drop-ff that eventually makes the low lakes accessible. The tracks also have limitations, so wading is required.
6. Waiotaka River
Last on my list of best trout fishing spots in Taupo is the Waiotaka River. It is also a stream that leads to Lake Taupo just north of the Turangi. Here, you can fish for rainbows in the winter. During summer, the catch to expect is brown trout.
You can access this fishing spot through the mouth if you go through Frethey road. Take note that the parking spots here are limited. There is also a point of access for cars on the road that leads to Hautu Prison.
This river is small, so light tackle is the best to use. Like the other small rivers, nymphing is the most popular technique that fisherfolk use in this river. During summer, you can use a dry fly.
There are some hazards to watch out for, like deeper pools. If you wade, be careful not to drop in these pools. There are also drop-offs at the river mouth. You can also find some erosion on the tracks, so be careful.
The mouth of this stream is also an excellent fishing spot. It is easily accessible, but you must exercise caution at night. You can only wade if the lake level is low. At best, I recommend that you get a guide if you want to fish here.
Taupo is at the heart of New Zealand, and being the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, one cannot help but admire the crystal-clear water. The area is home to big wild trout. One will also see many species of water birds and several types of native fish.