Waiotaka Stream – Taupo Region

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The Waiotaka Stream is a small Lake Taupo tributary just North of Turangi township. This stream receives little attention from anglers compared to the other nearby rivers and lakes.

During winter when the spawning runs are in full effect, the Waiotaka holds great numbers of fish, walking along the bank often you can come across large schools of rainbow trout. The size and condition of the fish is usually similar to that of the nearby Tongariro River with most Rainbows averaging between 3-5lb.

The Waiotaka Stream also is home to a number of resident browns and also sees a mid summer and autumn run of fresh brown trout.

While the Waiotaka is definitely not lacking in fish numbers it can be a difficult river to fish with trees lining the edge, however this for some may be a welcome challenge and is a good test of casting accuracy. There are some spots which are more open than others that do hold good numbers of fish, however, the trout are more easily found in the more overgrown areas. 

Public Access Points

The Waiotaka has three main possible access points available to the public.

The lower river and the mouth can be accessed down Frethey Drive which takes you to the Stump Bay Carpark. You can walk upstream from here but don’t expect to get too far or encounter large numbers of fish. Most run through further up until they hold in a pool.

The second point of access is a signposted turnoff that reads “Waiotaka Fishing Pools”. This is about 500m North of the Grace Road turnoff. This section of river does hold fish and is worth a bit of exploration.

The third and recommended point of access by On The Fly NZ is on Waiotaka Road which takes you down towards the prison farm ford. Park at that ford and venture up or down stream.

Fly Fishing Methods

The Waiotaka river is best fished upstream with a nymph or a dry fly. Some prefer light gear here due to the size of the river and the delicacy often required while others go heavier as a good sized trout can easily get the better of the angler in this snaggy river with plenty of overgrowth. We recommend a set up anywhere in the 5 to 8 weight range depending on your preferance and approach to these snaggy river.

Here’s another tip, a friend with a net could prove valuable at landing your fish.

Dry Fly

The Waiotaka is well suited to dry fly and dry/dropper methods. Early summer lends itself to smaller dry flies. As the season progresses and cicadas begin to hatch, larger terrestials also do very well.

Popular day time dry flies include Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Blue Humpy and Cicadas.


Nymphing the Waiotaka River can be productive all year round. Being a smaller water it is best to go without the indicator, if you do want to keep the indicator, ensure it is small in order to avoid spooking fish. You can fish your nymph without one, watching the tip of your line for strikes or put a nymph below a dry fly. If you do choose to use an indicator make sure it is as small as possible in a less intrusive colour such as white.

Flies worth trying are Hare n Coppers, Pheasant Tails and Caddis Nymphs. Glo bugs and other egg patterns are worth trying in winter.

Wet Fly

Using wee wets such as a march brown with a floating line can also catch resident summer trout chasing emergers.

DOC Regulations

The Taupo Region regulations can be found here from DOC.