Lower North Lowdown - 15 February 2024

  • Wellington Taranaki
  • 15/02/2024

Lower North Lowdown - 15 February 2024

Fine Run Of Angling Continues  

We've got a truncated report this week while staff are making the most of the stunning run of weather and drift diving.

There's nothing in the forecasts for the Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game regions that is going to affect any fishing plans you might have this weekend - a few isolated showers for some parts is the worst it gets.    

Pictured above: Fox Carnachan with his personal best brown caught from the Ruamahanga last week. Credit: Hamish Carnachan. 

Fish are actively feeding off the surface in almost all waterways across the lower North Island.

This combined with the beautiful weather is offering spectacular fishing and certainly making up for the summer we didn't have last season.

Please note that water temperatures are getting very high, in some case above the threshold for salmonids.

Anglers should consider either keeping their catch, or fishing during the cooler parts of the day (morning and evening) if practicing catch and release.      


There’s an important survey being conducted by Tararua District Council trying to gauge recreational use on the Mangatainoka and Makakahi rivers to ascertain a consent renewal (most likely for water abstraction).

It’s vital that anglers take part in the survey, otherwise fish and fishing may be overlooked when it comes to resource allocation. You can do the short survey here. Please share with your fishing friends.   

Buy your fishing licence online

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 continue to run low and very clear. There's nothing in the forecast for the foreseebale future to increase those flows, so if you're finding the fish finicky it might pay to drop your leader size down and go for smaller flies. Find out more about 'How To Fish the Hutt River' here.

The Hutt River at Te Marua yesterday. Credit Al Markham.

Kapiti Coast

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

The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki are low and clear again. A few showers tomorrow won't have any effect and with fine sunny skies throughout the weekend the summer angling conditions continue. Still some cicadas around to get the fish actively feeding off the top.    

The Otaki River at SH1 yesterday. Credit: Phil Teal.



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

The Ruamahanga and all its tributaries are low and clear again. There are fish surface feeding everywhere in the mid reaches. Despite the clamouring of cicadas, the trout were more interested in small (size 14-16) Parachute Adams - perhaps they're dialed in on passion hoppers of which there is an abundance at the moment.  

The Ruamahangha middle reaches yesterday. Credit Hamish Carnachan.



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

The Manawatu, Oroua and Pohangina rivers are all back to flowing low and clear at time of writing. The benign forecasts means it's all systems go for the rivers in this part of the region including the Mangatainoka and Mangahao

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




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

Lovely conditions in the Central High Country see the the Rangitikei, Hautapu and other rivers looking stunning. The Rangitikei is heavily discoloured below Mangaweka, however, which is the flushing flows coming in from the Moawhanga Dam. Come Saturday the extra flow and sediment should have pushed through. 

The Rangitikei River at Pukeokahu yesterday. Credit: Horizons.


Taranaki Ringplain

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

All streams and rivers are now approaching their mean annual low flow. In the smaller streams this means trout will often be cruising a beat in the pools and casting a dry fly or small lightly weighted nymph and waiting for the fish to come back around can result in some exciting action. Sometimes fish can be stationed in the well oxygenated riffles entering pools, or in the larger rivers in pocket-water in the deeper runs. Cooler nights have helped keep water temperatures down, but best fishing will be in the middle to upper reaches of streams and in the mornings before the heat of the day.

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

The Te Henui Stream in New Plymouth yesterday. Credit: Allen Stancliff.



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

Waimarino streams and rivers are also at low flow and in recent days water temperatures have fallen back into the 13-17degC range preferred by trout. Fish will be sitting under foam lines, in the lea of willow trees and tails of pools, making for some good stalking. In the Manganuioteao River, trout will be holding in the deeper bouldery runs and in the well oxygenated heads of pools. Prospecting with a cicada imitation will be worthwhile. The Whanganui River is also at low flow and should fish well with spinners and paddle-tail softbaits.

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

Mike Hook from Stratford with a lovely Ringplain rainbow. Credit: Jo Simons.

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.    

Angler Alert - Hutt Riverlink Project to Start

A major infrastructure project in the lower section of the Hutt River around the Melling interchange will kick off this summer. This is part of the $1b Riverlink scheme aimed at upgrading transport connections in and around Lower Hutt City.

Wellington Fish & Game is monitoring the works closely, and we have a contract with the project team to ensure that the trout fishery is not undermined in this section of river, and if it is then mitigation measures must be enacted.

Staff have carried out assessments using drift diving, spawning surveys and electric fishing techniques ahead of the project starting so we can ascertain the baseline trout population. Surveys will be undertaken during the works and again after Riverlink is completed.     

While it is being built there will be a section of several kilometres around the site that is unfishable. We understand this is a nuisance for anglers, but we advise casting further afield – some of the best angling and highest fish numbers are in the middle and upper reaches of the Hutt anyway. 


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:
    • 13-14 Feb, 21:00-02:00
    • 12-13 Mar, 21:00-02:00
    • 30-01 Apr, 21:00-02:00
  • The algal bloom at Lake Ngangana, near Waitara, has now subsided and open to fishing for trout and perch.

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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