Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 17 March 2022

  • Wellington
  • 16/03/2022
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 17 March 2022

Switch to Autumn Angling Mode     

Pictured - Chasing large browns in a delightful lower North Island small stream (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).    

Cooler temperatures and shorter days definitely signal that the seasons are changing! 

Trout in the lower North Island have twigged to the cues too, and their behaviour is changing.

Last weekend on a small stream in the region the large browns were already showing aggressive territorial behaviour as they switch into pre-spawning mode. 

The numbers of fish present has also increased in the smaller waters as early-run trout move in from the larger mainstem rivers.       

Trout were still taking dries but some ignored the offerings, more intent on chasing competitors around the pools.

Successful anglers will start switching up their tactics as we head deeper into autumn. Check out our Tip of The Week below for more details. 

Meanwhile, the weather looks relatively settled again this weekend with just the odd shower coming through in some parts on Saturday. 

Make the most of it as the season is winding down.         

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries


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Great conditions in the Hutt Valley again this morning. Cool but warming up. The HuttAkatarawa and Pakarutahi are set up for the weekend. Drift dives on the Hutt last week revealed excellent numbers of large fish in the Heretaunga reach so if the wind is gentle this is the stretch to hit.                  

Hutt Totara 3.624cumecs Birchville

The Hutt River at Totara Park this morning (Credit: Al Markham)  

Kapiti Coast 


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The OtakiOhau and Waikanae are all low and clear and will stay like that all the way through to Monday when rain is forecast to return.  



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The Ruamahanga is low and clear which signals that the tribs, including the WaiohineWaingawaTauherenikau, will be in good shape too. Lovely conditions forecast for Wairarapa this weekend. Start looking toward the tributaries as fish move for spawning.         

Ruamahanga Wardells 248mm Gladstone

The Ruamahanga River at Wardell's Bridge this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)



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All systems go on this warm autumn day in the Manawatu region. The mainstem Manawatu River is low and clear. The Pohangina and Orua both look great too and more trout should start showing up in the smaller streams as we head toward the spawning season. The forecast is excellent for the next few days so get out and enjoy!           

Manawatu Teachers 472mmA

The Manawatu River at Teachers College this morning (Credit: Horizons)



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The Rangitikei River is looking superb again today. Reports from the Central High Country suggest there are plenty of fish around but there has been pressure on them. Look to walk a little further away from the easy access points and you should find fish willing to take. The trout look to be in superb condition too despite the floods that have ripped through this summer.            

Rangitikei 2756mm Mangaweka

The Rangitikei River at Mangaweka this morning (Credit: Horizons) 


Tip of The Week - Autumn Angling Tactics


A beautifully coloured rainbow hen from a Wellington Fish & Game region small stream getting ready for spawning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan). 

The trout in our patch are switching to spawning mode, so anglers need to adapt to the behaviour if they want to be successful.

Following are a few simple tips to help you increase your chances of hooking up on fish in what can be both a frustrating and exciting period on the angling calendar:

1. Trout will start congregating in their natal streams - the small waterways where they came from and return into for their own spawning. Concentrate on these before they close at the end of April. 

2. Check out the confluences of waterways. Often fish will stack up at these 'intersections' as they wait for conditions to run into their spawning waters. Cues to run could be a pro-longed drop in temperature, falling air pressure, or rain. 

3. If trout aren't cooperating and are ignoring your dries and nymphs, bring out the big guns. Switch to large streamers - the bigger the better (even articulated patterns). This can force an aggressive territorial strike if the fish aren't actively feeding.

4. Threadline gear and spinners can be effective in autumn for the same reasons as outlined above. 

5. Make them bite. When trout get the urge to spawn, often feeding is the last thing on their minds as they wait for mates or concentrate on defending their patch. If they won't feed, annoy them into biting. Often it can take up to a dozen or more casts at a 'doggo' trout, but if you're accurate enough and keep the flies or lures bouncing just past its nose eventually it will hit it, possibly out of sheer annoyance.        

Autumn certainly brings its own set of challengers for the angler. At times it can be very frustrating sighting large fish that won't take anything as they chase each other around, but other times they'll aggressively strike at anything that hits the water.

Try not to get frustrated. Instead mix up your fishing to suit the season.       


River Webcams

Click the screen shot below to go to Horizon's website showing the list of available river webcams.




  • Wellington Fish & Game has been advised of the following dates for flushing flows from the Moawhango Dam:

  9:00 pm Tuesday 3 May to 2:00 am Wednesday 4 May 2022 (river ecological state dependent)    

  • River Bulldozing - Don't get an unwelcome surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruining your day on the river. The upcoming activity schedule can be found here.

Email Wellington Communications and Field Officer Hamish Carnachan if you'd like any fishing or freshwater-related items posted to this noticeboard.

​*This report was accurate at time of writing. For your safety please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.

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