Reel Life December 2020

  • Auckland/Waikato
  • 16/12/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Reel Life December 2020

The fishing is about to get good

Do not be discouraged if you have not seen a lot of fish in the early season.

Most North Island fish are migratory and will be on the move during the next month as their winter habitat heats up.

During mid-summer trout can only occupy about 15-20% of the habitat in North Island Rivers due to the high water temperatures.

The lower Waikato River is now over the 19°C mark and there will be a mass migration into cooler water over the next couple of weeks.

Similarly, fish in the Whanganui system will start to move into the upper river and the Whakapapa.

Staff also visited the Whakapapa last week to find plenty of green beetles about and lots of fat fish.

If you need any help planning your next trip please check out our Auckland/Waikato Fishing Travel Guide for dozens of great locations to explore or feel free to contact us at (07) 849-1666 or

Above Right: Whakapapa River below Owhango.

Plenty of fish in Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir


Staff member Clare Robertson with some Mangatawhiri rainbows.

Staff recently completed a survey of both Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir and Mangatangi Reservoir to check on the fish population.

Mangatawhiri Reservoir was full of well-conditioned rainbow trout with dark red flesh.

The reservoir was also full of Kōaro and other native fish that are thought to be excluded by trout lending some weight to the fact that both species can thrive in clean water with good habitat.

Fishing at Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir can only be done from the dam wall but there is plenty of room for spin or fly fishing along the large riprap wall.


Mangatawhiri Reservoir fishing area

To fish the dam anglers are required to park at the bottom of the dam near the gate and walk about 400 metres up the access road.

Camping is available at the base of the dam along with a small mountain bike park.

The Hunua Ranges are a great spot for a day trip or an overnighter within an hour of Auckland.

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