Lake Ida - High Country South Island

Lake Ida is a High Country lake tucked in between Mount Ida and Little Mount Ida holding both Rainbow and Brown Trout. Lake Ida used to be one lake however a continually impeding scree has severed the lake into two with them now being separately named Lake Ida and Little Lake Ida. Previously you were able to drive right to this lake however land ownership changes now mean that walking access is the only option available. The walk is a generous 6 km return trip but worth the effort on a calm day. Due to the lake being at the southern foot of Mount Ida and in the shade throughout the winter months it regularly freezes over and is a popular destination for skaters and winter sports. An enclosure and hockey rink are found at the most eastern end of the lake. Fishing Lake Ida on calm still sunny days can be a fantastic experience but like many High Country lakes it is exposed to the predominant northwest wind making fishing difficult.

Fishing

Huts

Routes

The east side of Lake Ida

Arriving at the lake from the walking track you will come out near the southern end of the east side of the lake. This side of the lake has been modified as part of the iceskating rink to the right of the lake. It has a solid rocky base with a quick drop-off allowing for sight fishing but offers little cover.

Looking down the man-modified east shoreline

A quick drop-off to deep water

The north side of Lake Ida

This side of the lake has a walking track the full length. It has a steep gradient bank dotted with large beech trees and other native flora. Sight fishing is possible along the majority of this stretch but being creative with casting is often required. In the warmer months fish often patrol close to the bank allowing the opportunity to merge with some of the large overhanging trees and use the dapping technique or bow and arrow cast which can provide some fun close quarter action.

Elevated bank making for great sight fishing

The west side of Lake Ida

This side of the lake is made up from the slip that has severed Lake Ida into two lakes. Sight fishing is possible but with little cover making a cast to a fish without being seen can be challenging. Laying nymph traps over the shallows and waiting for patrolling fish is a successful method.

The south side of Lake Ida

The majority of this stretch is heavily clad in flax and matagouri. The majority can be walked and fished however there is a lot of ducking, diving and having to avoid thick patches of scrub. Good vantage points and good cover make for great sight fishing opportunities over the shoreline shelf.

Nearer the eastern end there is a stretch of clear area before hitting the thick scrub

The enclosure and hockey rink

Right at the eastern end of Lake Ida is the enclosure and hockey rink used for skating and winter sports. The enclosure can periodically hold fish in summer and offers great sight fishing due to the shallow depth and clear water. The hockey rink does not normally hold fish. Both of these freeze solid when winter conditions allow.

The hockey rink

The enclosure

The enclosure

Access to Lake Ida

The car park found on Harper Road between Lake Selfe and Lake Evelyn at the start of the walking track

The access sign at the start of the walking track

The track is well established with markers and is easy to follow

Lake Ida General Information

Lake Ida Camping and General Facilities

Lake Ida Fishing Information

Lake Ida Cautions and Safety Information

Author of this article: ADVGD(366)