Lake Rotorua and Tributaries

Lake Rotorua and Tributaries

Lake Rotorua is one of New Zealand's best wild fisheries and perhaps the North Island's leading water for trophy sized fish. Rotorua city is tourism mecca, offering beautiful Maori culture education and a lifetime of adventures for young and old.

Local Knowledge

Lake Rotorua and it's tributaries cater to all styles of fly fishing.  A very popular fishery for good reason... There are lots of very large fish in excess of 10lb.  Both rainbows and browns can be targeted when fishing the lake, the tributaries and the intriguing Ohau Channel using different techniques.  The spawning streams hold good populations of large fish, offering sight fishing tactics in tight and twisted log jammed creeks that have kept the area famous for generations.

For current river levels at Ngongotaha stream, CLICK HERE

Fishing tips by Miles Rushmer

Winter / July

  • If it's a trophy brown you're after, try fishing the Lake Rotorua stream mouths after dark. Use a floating line or slow sink-tip and a lumo black marabou and a slow retrieve. These beasts feed best during vampire hours!

  • If it's monster rainbows that are your lure, then the Rotorua Lakes shoreline fishery is perhaps the best on the Planet throughout June, July and August.

  • Night time is often the best time to fish the shoreline spots at Lakes Okataina, Tarawera and Rotoiti, so whilst everyone else is watching TV, get amongst it!

  • The fish are trying to come in to the edge, so stay on the beach, or even back a bit, and let them come in. To wade is folly!

  • I use the Scientific Anglers fast sinking shooting heads and getting huge distance from the beach with them during the day too, using an oval nylon 'flatbeam' running line. It also doesn't matter what the wind is doing - you'll always get a straight retrieve!

  • The nearby Waihou River is only a short drive away in the South Waikato. Is a great system that fishes particularly well to European Nymphing tactics. Grab yourself a 10 foot 3 weight and give it a bash! It's a lot of fun, deadly on trout and a welcome change from standard winter nymphing.

  • If you've ever wanted to target a trophy Brown and Trophy rainbow in the same day then check out this link...

  • If looking to hire a guide for a day, it pays to invest in quality and experience.  Follow recommendations from other successful anglers and don't forget that you'll learn more in one day with a quality professional guide on the water than you will in endless days on your own... Ask your potential guide this simple question during enquiry..."Are you a full-time professional?

Pro Guides

Rushmer Guiding

Miles Rushmer

Eastern Region Eastern Region
Rushmer Guiding specialises in fresh water and salt water fly fishing in the sunny Bay of Plenty. Miles Rushmer is the top provider of double figure trophy brown trout in New Zealand. Master guide Miles, offers a variety of services from highly visual clearwater sight-fishing for trophy trout in spring creeks (the ultimate fly fishing experience), lake or stream mouth fishing to saltwater fly fishing at the world famous Bay of Plenty reefs.

Rob Fish Fly Fishing New Zealand

Rob Vaz

Auckland/Waikato Auckland/Waikato
Your Kiwi born fly fishing guide Rob Vaz is a mad keen angler based in the Central North Island. Guiding from Rotorua, Waikato and King Country, Turangi, Taupo regions. Rob offers not just a days guiding but an angling experience not to be forgotten, with plenty of humor and tuition when throwing the fly. Rob has over 20 years experience guiding in New Zealand. Rob has represented New Zealand competitively for over 15 years. Following success as the 2003 national fly fishing champion, Rob progressed to represent his country in two world championships in Slovakia and Slovenia and competed in Commonwealth and Oceania championships in Scotland, Tasmania and New Zealand.


Treetops Lodge & Estate

Treetops Lodge offers the ultimate in world-class luxury accommodation in the heart of New Zealand’s unique forest and thermal wonderland, trout fishing mecca and cultural capital, Rotorua. The presence of four lakes and more than 60 rivers on the 2,500 acres estate makes Treetops an ideal fishing destination. Treetops offers world-class fly fishing with some of the country’s top guides. We have a diverse range of waters available to us and with your guide you will fish some of the most beautiful areas in the country boasting some of the best year-round brown and rainbow trout fishing in the world. For anglers wishing to enjoy boat and fly fishing in the Rotorua region, Treetops offers daily guided fishing ventures with experienced, professional guides, whether it be by 4WD or helicopter.
Treetops Lodge & Estate - Reception, Ngongotaha Valley, New Zealand

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