Reel Life September 2023

  • Taranaki
  • 18/09/2023

While there is one fresh to go before opening day (likely on 24th September), the last four months have been drier than average and there were no damaging winter floods.

Flows have been trending downwards for quite some time and it’s looking like all trout streams will be low and clear for the opening.

Taranaki Ringplain

Taranaki ringplain streams have been pretty settled throughout winter with no major rainfall events like we received over the last couple of years.

Our ringplain streams will undoubtedly favor the flyfisher who will be able to sight fish to large trout on their feeding lies.

Spin fishing in the lower reaches of streams, or in the larger rivers, such as the Manganui and Waingongoro will also be productive.

The Hangatahua (Stony) River at Okato is currently running clear and there will still be a few rainbows that survived the April/May 2023 erosion event.

For those wanting a backcountry experience, the lower Patea River is located just an hour south of Hawera and the river between McColl’s Bridge and Patea Dam can provide fishing for large trout up to trophy size.

Lake Mangamahoe near New Plymouth (fly fishing only) has just received a new release of hatchery rainbows and there are also a few nice browns cruising the lake margin. Unfortunately, Lake Ngangana at Waitara has been closed to fishing, owing to an algal bloom.

Above Right: A nice winter rainbow caught just before the start of the new season. 


Some anglers reported hard fishing on the Manganui o Te Ao last season, while others had hookups during the mid to late afternoon hatches.

The fish are there, however they are very fickle and it is a case of being on the river when they come on the feed.

Spin fishing the Manganui o Te Ao at Ruatiti Domain.

The Mangawhero River in Ohakune township will also be well worth a visit.

There are some good pools accessible from the Mangawhero River walkway and further downstream along Burns Street and the old Mangawhero River Road (landowner permission required).

Unfortunately, we have lost access to Lake Namunamu due to logging activity starting in early November and continuing for the next three years.

The lake will be closed to fishing during that time.

This will mean no releases of trout into the lake for a number of years but once we regain access releases will resume and will be publicized.

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

Lower North Lowdown

The new season sees Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game working closely together as we move towards a formal amalgamation.

There'll be ease of access to information and fishing in the neighbouring region, which we hope will enable anglers to expand their horizons and explore new opportunities you may not have considered that are just 'across the border'.

We will expand coverage in our weekly fishing – the Lower North Lowdown - to include fishing forecasts and weather and river flow information from both regions.

If you would like to sign up for the weekly fishing report, delivered to your email every Thursday, click here  – or email with ‘Lower North Lowdown sign up’ in the subject line.

The aim is to arm you with the best information available to make your outings a success this season.

New Access Map

At this time of year, most anglers are already set on which water they want to target on opening day of the fishing season.

Although Taranaki doesn’t have a huge number of large waterways like the surrounding Fish and Game regions there are a number of points publicly accessible for fishing access.

There is now a new interactive public access map available on the Fish and Game website with all the known public access points within the Taranaki Fish and Game region, including the fishing regulations at each site.

It is also mobile phone friendly.

Click the link to have a look at the new map (

There is a drop-box labelled ‘Access Points’ at the top of the page which will also allow you to see access points in other Fish and Game regions that have added them so far.

The Wellington and Taranaki access points are linked so all will be visible on the same map. You might find a new spot to try! 

Lake Rotomanu Family Fishing Day

The Lake Rotomanu family fishing day is always a fun day out for kids and adults.

The 4th annual Lake Rotomanu Family Fishing Day will be held on Saturday 28th October from 8 am to 1 pm.

Taranaki Fish and Game will fund the release of 500 rainbow trout into the lake for the event.

Lake Rotomanu also supports a healthy 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.

You can get your child involved by; heading to the Fish and Game website link ( and obtain a free fishing licence if your child is aged under 12 on the 1st of October, or by going to your local Taranaki Hunting and Fishing store as both stores will have hard-copy registration forms.

This information will be used to write a permit that allows your child to fish at Lake Rotomanu all year.

Parents and caregivers are allowed to assist their children on the day even if they do not hold a licence.

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 Facebook Page

With the summer fish and gamebird monitoring season just around the corner staff like to find opportunities to show our license holders what we do and what we find out in the field.

Alongside the Reel Life/Both Barrel articles and regional newsletters we now use our Taranaki Fish and Game Facebook page to show pictures and videos of our monitoring practices and results, plus other bits and pieces we get up to.

If you would like to follow our page just click the link ( or scan the QR code.

All the best for the start of the season, 

Tight Lines,

The team at Taranaki Fish and Game

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