The recent images of 13 pound Rainbows from Lake Otamangakau (“Lake O”) encouraged increased interest in this little lake – our local ‘trophy’ fishery.
At this point we should go on about TRM’s fleet of rafts available but the reason for this post is to encourage shore based anglers – refugees from the Tongariro River – to have a go from the shoreline of Lake O.
Even from TRM’s rafts or kayaks, most of the action is confined to around the shore line along the edges of the weed – where the outboard motors cannot penetrate due to the prolific weed growth.
It is this weed that provides a home for so many snails that make the trout so big.
Some older TRM library images and a short video confirm the success of anglers confined to the lake edge and along the inlet canal.
Even DOC’s website on Lake O encourages shore based angling – i.e.
How to fish
The fishing options on Lake Otamangakau are varied, and available from November to May.
For the boat based angler, techniques like harling, trolling, nymphing and wet fly will get you to the fish consistently, and for the shore based angler nymphing and wet fly will work well.
The type of fish that attracts anglers to Lake Otamangakau
The summer dry fly fishing on the lake can be spectacular at times too, either from boat or shore. Spinfishing is also very effective, either from a boat or the shore.
Where to fish
If you do not have a boat, there is good shore based fishing on Lake Te Whaiau upstream of the road bridge on the access road, or in the Lake O inlet canal downstream of the bridge. There is also shore based fishing around the boat ramps, or along the edge of the north arm of the lake, accessed from rough tracks on the northwest side of the lake.
For the boat fishermen, options are very open. From the boat you can target the many weed beds and channels, concentrating efforts on the edges of the weed and the deeper water with nymphs, dry or streamer patterns. Anglers can also access the hard to reach shorelines, and stalk cruising fish in the shallows with the same techniques. This is a very visual and challenging approach, and is a great test of your skills.
Below is Harry Moores eight years ago – in 2008 – showing how it is done from the shore of Lake O.