Reel Life September 2022

  • Taranaki
  • 15/09/2022

Reel Life September 2022

This year the new trout fishing season gets underway on Saturday, October 1st, meaning anglers have a full weekend to get back out on their local rivers and enjoy the peace and solitude that comes with the fishing.

Taranaki ringplain

Taranaki ringplain streams have had regular freshes throughout winter and spring, and a period of intense rainfall on the 18th and 19th of August 2022 caused many of them to surpass their average annual flood flows.

However, they cleared quickly, and most will be in good condition for angling come opening weekend.

Unfortunately, the Hangatahua (Stony) River at Okato has suffered another headwater erosion event, and its recovery will likely take several months.

While the Waingongoro River and Kaupokonui Stream had high flows during the August flood, they came through pretty well, and anglers have reported good results in the winter season reaches below SH45, which demonstrates the resilience of these valuable fisheries.

The upper Patea and Manganui Rivers are also in great condition, and they’ll be fishing well coming into the new season.

Above Right: Nice brown trout caught on the ringplain shortly after the 18th – 19th August rainfall event.

If the rivers are in fresh, Lake Mangamahoe will be worth a visit for the flyfisher and has recently been topped up with rainbow trout up to 1kg from Fish & Game’s Hawera hatchery.


Hawera hatchery rainbow trout being released into Lake Ratapiko.

For a family day out, Lakes’ Ngangana, Ratapiko and Rotomanu have also received good numbers of hatchery rainbows in recent weeks and along with the resident perch population, they’re a great place to take the kids on a sunny day.

For a relaxing backcountry experience, the lower Patea River downstream of Patea Dam is well worth a visit.

In recent years Fish & Game has released tagged yearling brown and rainbow trout into the river downstream of Patea Dam on behalf of Manawa Energy, as well as some larger 2-year-old rainbows.

The reach between McColl’s Bridge and the dam provides 15km of accessible water and the landowner is happy for anglers to park on the side of the road and walk across to the river, but please NO dogs!

The lower Patea fishes best at flows below 25 cumecs.

See website for flows:


No damaging winter or early spring floods in the Whanganui and Ruapehu districts have allowed the rivers to remain in great condition for angling.


The Manganuioteao River provides a wonderful backcountry fishing experience.

Spin fishing will be a productive method in the early season, with 7-10 gram tobies, mepps/veltic bladed lures and Rapalas all likely to take fish.

Pink T-tail soft baits are working a treat in the winter season waters, so give them a try on a 5.2 gram or 3/16 oz jighead.

For Whanganui anglers the area around the southern and western slopes of Mount Ruapehu provides some of the best angling opportunity, including the Manganuioteao River which supports a nationally significant fishery for brown and rainbow trout.

Trout in the Manganuioteao average 1.6 kg, but some fish reach 4 kg or more and the river is also notable for its outstanding scenic values and whio (blue duck) population.

Angling use is low by national standards and there are always easy to access, undisturbed fishing spots to be found.

In the middle reaches the river can be accessed from a delightful campsite at Ruatiti Domain.

Access to much of the rest of the river requires landowner permission.

Contact details are in the Ruapehu Fisheries section of the Fish & Game website, but phone before you drop into the valley as there is no coverage close to the river.

Flowing through Ohakune, the upper Mangawhero River contains a good population of brown trout and is another fishery well worth a visit.

The Mangawhero River Walkway (Ayr Street carpark) gives access to some good pools within Ohakune, and there is also access from the Mangawhero River Road and Pakihi Road bridges.

For more information on Taranaki trout fishing opportunities, go to and click on the “Taranaki ringplain”, “Whanganui” or “Ruapehu”.

Anglers are reminded that Fish & Game Rangers will be out checking on compliance, so please carry your fishing licence with you.

Lake Rotomanu Family Fishing Day


Hawera hatchery rainbow trout being released into Lake Rotomanu.

Following the success of last year’s event, the 3rd annual Lake Rotomanu Family Trout fishing day will be held on Saturday, October 29th, from 8 am to 1 pm.

Taranaki Fish and Game is funding the release of 400 rainbow trout into the lake for the event, plus an extra 150 rainbow trout from our Hawera hatchery.

In addition to rainbow trout, Lake Rotomanu also supports a good population of perch, a white-fleshed good-eating species and fun to catch.

The event will again be run in conjunction with the Inglewood Rod, Gun and Recreation Club and Taranaki Hunting and Fishing.

Families are asked to register prior to the day, either by visiting or phoning the Taranaki Hunting & Fishing stores in Oceanview Parade, Moturoa and The Valley MegaCentre, Waiwhakaiho (06 7572255) from early October, or emailing their details to

On the day, families are asked to bring what fishing gear they have to the Rod & Gun Club’s marquee tent set up on the grass by the boat ramp and volunteers will assist with gear set-up, lures, bait etc.

Families will then be able to distribute themselves at suitable fishing sites round the lake.

Volunteers will also circulate to provide advice and assistance where needed.

The objective of the day is to create an angling opportunity for families by providing them with the knowledge, skills and support to successfully fish Lake Rotomanu as well as providing parents and caregivers with the skills to be able to bring their children or grandchildren back fishing in the future.

Taranaki Fish and Game Facebook page


Taranaki Fish and Game Facebook Page QR code

Taranaki Fish and Game have recently set up a Facebook page as another way to keep license holders informed about what is happening around the Taranaki region and to show what staff are doing out in the field.

To make it easier to access we have created a QR code that links straight to the page.

All the best for the new season,

The team at Taranaki Fish & Game

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