Reel Life November 2020

  • Hawke's Bay
  • 17/11/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Reel Life November 2020

This season took a bit of a twist with the flooding and higher flows that have given the rivers a clean out and the trout a bit of a shake-up.

Rivers like the Ngaruroro are still running slightly high so remember to take care is needed when attempting to cross this river.

Field staff have begun been undertaking electric fishing surveys in the upper reaches of rivers and streams throughout Hawke’s Bay to monitor spawning and recruitment success.

Juvenile fish are temporarily stunned, measured and then released back to the river unharmed.

Above: Blair Whiting with a nice conditioned rainbow.

This helps us to monitor spawning success and will show trends over time.

We will keep you updated in the next few editions of Reel life as to how things are looking.

If you see staff out on the water please feel free to ask any questions you might have.

Oct – November Fishing Report – Blair Whiting

As I write Hawkes Bay has been through a record 2nd highest amount of single day rainfall.

Napier got 242.4mm in just 24 hours!

As expected, all rivers of the region rose very quickly and peaked at some very extreme flow rates.

This won’t be all bad for the trout, however. Once levels recede back to normal, the riverbeds can form entirely different pools and runs - I very much look forward to exploring the ‘new’ rivers.


The Tutaekuri continued strong right from opening, with most Rainbows averaging 3 – 4lb with a good number reaching 5 as we got into November.

The cicadas have begun to sing on the hotter days so it’s worth chucking a dry around.

Nymphing has been the most consistent method to fool the fish.

At times the flow has been higher than normal, so try some flashback or hotspot nymphs to get the trout’s attention.


Most fish seem to have dropped down from spawning now and begin to fill up the urban fishery from Ohiti road down to the mouth.

Some excellent fish have been taken on both fly and spinner; most seem to be averaging around 3lb.

When the flows are higher try to fish the backwaters, many trout congregate in them for shelter and food.

In my experience you can’t do better than a deeply sunk woolly bugger.


As usual with spring, the lower reaches of the Tukituki tend to fill up with small silvery Rainbows up to about 2lb.

These fish are excellent for beginners and great fun to catch when there is a mayfly hatch.

Quite a good number of larger fish up to 5lb are hanging with them too.

These bigger fish will only get more numerous as we get towards Christmas.

Remember to fish where there is willow cover, a heap of trout sit underneath them.

Lake Hawkston

Hawkston opened on the first of November and I was the first to head up to this quiet little lake, to have a look around.

The fishery seems to be in good condition, the amount of trout food in here is astounding.

These fish will be getting big.

With a bit of effort, I managed to catch a very fat Rainbow on a deeply sunk Damselfly nymph.

This place is an awesome place for a picnic too. (Make sure to contact Dave: 0275422665 before heading in)

Overall, the fisheries are in good health and even though there has been a lot of water through the systems, trout always find a way to bounce back.

Overall, December should see air temperatures rise again here in the Bay and the rivers continue to clear as we enter the warmer summer months.

Fishing dry flies to sighted trout can be a lot of fun especially once the cicada season really gets underway. Make the most of what this region has to offer and explore some different waters this summer.

If you do go fishing this summer, please ensure that you always carry your fishing licence on you.

It makes it much easier for a Ranger to check you on the spot so that you can get fishing again and saves you both having to walk all the way back to your vehicle or prove you have a licence somewhere at home!

Rangers will be out and about this summer checking for fishing licences and so if you want to go fishing for trout, make sure that you purchase a licence if you have not done already.

If you are visiting the Hawke’s Bay region to fish this summer, don’t forget to Check, Clean, Dry your fishing gear prior to arriving to prevent the spread of Didymo and other unwanted nasties.

It is good practice to clean your fishing gear between rivers within the region too as a precaution.

Tight Lines

Nick Page, Hawkes Bay Fish & Game Officer.

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