Lower North Lowdown - 14 March 2024

  • Wellington Taranaki
  • 14/03/2024

Lower North Lowdown - 14 March 2024

Target Smaller Streams This Weekend  

A cool southerly front is going to roll over the Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game regions on Friday evening.

This will bring a brief band of rain but at time of writing the forecasters are only predicting showers for most with some heavier falls for the Central High Country. 

Of course forecasts are prone to changing, especially as we head into autumn, so use the links we've provided below and check the live river flows Saturday morning before heading out.

Pictured above: Tom Eastwick with a stunning Tararua cicada muncher. Credit: Harry Eastwick

If you find the mainstem waterways are carrying a fresh, look to the smaller streams where early run fish may be holding ahead of imminent spawning. 

There's still plenty of great fishing action ahead but only six or so weeks until the main season closes at the end of April, so be sure to make the most of it.        

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Here's the outlook for the weekend:


Hutt River and Tributaries

Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Hutt Valley.

The Hutt and Akatarawa are sitting at their autumn flows and with water temperatures falling fish are starting to feed actively. Look for trout to start running to the spawning grounds now, so target the smaller tributary streams. Recent drift dives in the Waimuiomata River revealed good numbers of large browns - it's well worth a look before it closes at the end of next month. Find out more about 'How To Fish the Hutt River' here.

The Hutt River at a level similar to current. Credit Andrew Harding.

Kapiti Coast

Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Kapiti Coast.

The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki have good autumn flows but are cool and clear this morning. Watch to see how much rain the southerly front delivers overnight Friday. If it's fishable, the Otaki and Ohau are well worth a shot as our drift dives this week showed very good numbers of fish in both rivers and some very large, healthy specimens amongst them too.       

The Otaki River at SH1 this morning. Credit: Phil Teal.



Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Wairarapa region. 

The Wairarapa rivers and streams are all in great autumn condition and looking very fishy at time of writing. Anglers who have been hitting the Ruamahanga recently report fish schooling up ahead of spawning runs which should start anytime now. This means the feeder rivers such as the Waiohine, Waingawa, Tauhernikau and Waipoua should see pulses of trout pushing through on their way to the smaller spawning tribs.       

The Waiohine River this morning. Credit Hamish Carnachan.



Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Manawatu region.

A pulse of rain last night through this part of the region sees the Manawatu River carrying heavy flow and plenty of sediment load this morning. The Pohangina is also up but falling and could be fishable come the weekend; the Oroua is just rising at time of writing but looks clear at Almadale. The Mangatainoka hasn't had any rain through so could be a top pick for the weekend, certainly with the numbers of fish around the lower-mid reaches. Meanwhile the Mangahao registered a small fresh but is quickly falling back to fishable.   

The Oroua River at Almadale Slackline this morning. Credit: Horizons.




Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Rangitikei region.

You can see from the Rangitikei flow graph at Mangaweka that the river shot up rapidly overnight Wednesday following the flushing flow Genesis Energy pushed through from the Moawhanga Dam; subsequently it is still running very dirty as the live webcam shows. Upstream, however, it is clean and clear and should be fishing well over the weekend if the forecast front doesn't drop too much rain. The Hautapu is sitting at good autumn flow and is well worth a crack as run fish should be moving in from the Rangitikei.         

The Rangitikei River at Pukeokahu this morning. Credit: Horizons.


Taranaki Ringplain

Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Ringplain region.

Following a minor fresh on March 5, all streams and rivers have returned to low flow. Water temperatures are now down to their usual autumn range and trout are feeding well in readiness for spawning. A period of rain is expected on Friday as a front moves through, but Sunday in particular is looking good for fishing. Unfortunately, the early March fresh restarted erosion in the Pyramid Stream headwater tributary of the Hangatahua (Stony) River at Okato and it has been running milky. While it is slowly clearing, it remains to be seen how much additional material comes down in the next fresh.

The latest live flow data for Taranaki Ringplain rivers can be found here

The Waiwhakaiho River at Merrilands Domain yesterday. Credit: Allen Stancliff.



Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Waimarino region.

All rivers and streams are currently at low flow following a moderate fresh in early March, but a period of rain on Friday may well produce another fresh. While a fine weekend is scheduled, Sunday will be the better day for fishing, with spring-fed streams and the upper reaches of the Mangawhero River along the Ohakune town walkway worth a visit. Spin and soft-bait fishing in the Manganuioteao River adjacent to Rautiti Domain should also produce fish at this time of year. 

Live river flow information for the Mangawhero River can be viewed by clicking the highlighted river link. 

The Mangawhero River at Pakihi Bridge this morning. Credit: Horizons.


Hunting & Fishing Photo Competition - Win $300 To Spend in Store

Jarrad Hunt with a solid Hutt River brownie taken after a fresh.

Send in your favourite fishing photos from this season and you could be in to win a $300 voucher to spend in store at Wairarapa Hunting & Fishing.

We won't blow your secret spot, just include the name of the angler(s), photographer's details, and general location in the Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game region.

Click here to submit your entry.    

You can send us as many fishing photos as you like. By submitting images to enter the competition you acknowledge that Wellington Fish & Game can publish and use the photos for publicity material.

Entries must be in by 5pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024. The winner will be announced in the Lower North Lowdown report on Thursday, April 4, 2024.    


GWRC Weekly River Bulldozing Schedule

Don't get an unwelcome surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing impacting your day on the river.

For information on the weekly activity schedule, click here to see where and when they'll be working.


Notice Board

  • Moawhango River Flushing Flow dates for 2024 have been confirmed:
    • 30-01 Apr, 21:00-02:00.

If you have any information you'd like to have considered for addition to the notice board, please get in touch with us.

*This report was accurate at time of writing. For your safety please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.

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