Wellington Reel Life December 2018

  • Wellington
  • 19/12/2018

Wellington Reel Life December 2018

We've kicked off our summer drift diving on the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa and numbers are looking good.

Right: Early season backcountry rainbow for field officer Hamish Carnachan.

Notably, staff sighted an enormous brown trout jack that would push the magic 10lb mark, not more than 50 metres from SH1... It's simply staggering that Wellington anglers have such easy access to trophy trout!

The weather has been up and down, sometimes making fishing the larger mainstem rivers tricky.

As we've mentioned before though, the smaller feeder streams clear quicker and are still holding very good numbers - more than normal for this time of year.

All in all, there's plenty of great angling to be had over the Christmas holiday period with a wealth of opportunities within easy striking distance for most of us living in the lower North Island.

Make sure you grab your licence and get into it!

Don’t risk disappointment by buying one of the discounted licence categories… only the Whole Season Licence offers you unhindered access to all the best spots.

Small streams firing

I often go on about small streams in my reports but there's good reason for this.

Anglers in the Wellington Fish & Game region will know that, given we have no notable lake fisheries, our options for fishing, when the main rivers are running high in spring or after rain, are somewhat limited.

After a weather event the tiny feeder streams, which have much smaller catchments, clear a lot faster and become fishable sooner.

While most trout drop back into the mainstem rivers when flows fall or settle over summer, the odd resident fish always remains in the prime spot, such as a deep pool with overhanging vegetation, that provides shade and cooler temps.

W 2 A good fish about to be landed from a tiny Wellington region stream

A good fish about to be landed from a tiny Wellington region stream (Photo Hamish Carnachan)..

The small streams really come into their own at this time of year though, and under the conditions that are prevailing at present; frequent stormy downpours that discolour the main waterways.

Larger numbers of trout stay longer in these smaller waters after spawning in winter because there is still ample (cool) flow and habitat (pools).

There is plenty of food, too, in the form of trout fry which are emerging in these spawning streams.

With food and shelter there is little need for the fish to drop back to the larger rivers and this means exciting angling for big trout often in tight conditions.

Don't despair if your preferred big water is blown out with rain - poke your nose up some of the small tribs and you'll find great angling action and you'll be surprised at the size of some of the fish you find in tiny water!

This information is an excerpt from Wellington Fish & Game’s Weekly Fishing report – if you’d like to sign up to receive our reports which cover much more including live weather and river flow updates.

Please email us: wellington@fishandgame.org.nz

Moawhango flushing flows

Please be aware of the flushing flows from the Moawhango Dam, which will cause the rivers downstream (including the Rangitikei) to rise.

Water will be released from the dam Tuesdays at 9pm:

- Wednesday 30 January 2019 – 5 hours

- Wednesday 20 February 2019 – 5 hours

- Wednesday 20 March 2019 – 5 hours

- Wednesday 1 May 2019 – 5 hours

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