Lower North Lowdown - 22 February 2024

  • Wellington Taranaki
  • 22/02/2024

Lower North Lowdown - 22 February 2024

Sunday Rain Welcome Relief For Rivers  

Fishing conditions look great across the Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game regions until Sunday when a band of weather will bring showers to some parts and rain to others - check the weather widgets below.

Although frustrating to get this over the weekend when you'd like to be out on the water, the rain will be welcome relief to rivers that are getting very low. 

Pictured above: Ben Ellison tries to wrestle a good Ruamahanga River brown from getting into the willows. Credit: Hamish Carnachan. 

This combined with some respite from the heat will be beneficial for the fish too, with water temperatures in some rivers reaching the threshold for salmonids.      

We're getting through our drift diving and are noticing changes in fish behaviour with the warmer water.

They're sitting deeper in pools where the thermocline offers cooler water, packing into riffles where the water is more oxygenated, or taking up lies in shaded areas.

While this may give you some pointers on where to look for fish, the trout may be feeding more actively early morning and at night when the heat from the day dissipates.       

So, make the most of the fine conditions before the front arrives on Sunday; when the rivers clear, though, the fisheries will be set up perfectly and the fishing will continue to fire.          


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 are running very low. The rain on Sunday is much needed and with fine weather returning on Monday the fish will be back on the bite with better flows and cooler water. Find out more about 'How To Fish the Hutt River' here.

The Hutt River at Melling 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 in need of some rain and hopefully this might come on Sunday. The showers and cooler air temperatures over the next few days could activate trout that have been lethargic because of the recent dry, hot conditions.    

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 continues to fire in the middle reaches with trout rising throughout the day. There are a lot of small fish coming to the surface but if you get a good vantage point you'll be able to spot the larger ones amongst them - fishing in pairs definitely helps with one angler spotting ands the other casting.   

The Waingawa River this morning. Credit Hamish Carnachan.



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

The Manawatu, Oroua and Pohangina rivers are low, clear and fishable. There have been some good rises in the middle Manawatu upstream of the gorge according to our reports. The mainstem continues to get warm, however, and this may see trout start to migrate to the confluences or tributaries to find temps in a more tolerable range. The deeper pools of the Mangatainoka and Mangahao will be holding fish.  

The Manawatu River at Teachers College this morning. Credit: Horizons.




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

Both the Rangitikei and Hautapu are at the perfect flow range for fishing and with little in the forecast they should continue to fire over the weekend. Dry fly action is heating up, with trout dialed in passion vine hoppers in the tribs - look for pools with overhanging blackberry and tutu, which the hoppers love.        

The Rangitikei River at Mangaweka yesterday. Credit: Horizons.


Taranaki Ringplain

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

All streams and rivers remain at low flow and if there is some rain on Sunday evening it will be most welcome. Cicada sound like they’re at their peak now, so an imitation drifted down foam lines, through pocket water or cast to feeding fish should be well received. Fishing the middle and upper reaches of streams will be most productive. 

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

The Patea River at Stratford yesterday. Credit: Allen Stancliff.



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

Waimarino streams have had a series of minor freshes over the last 30 days which has kept them in good condition for angling. Water temperatures are currently in the 13–17degC range preferred by trout, so there should be plenty of feeding activity. 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

Tom Eastwick with a stunning 6.5lb rainbow from a Rangitikei River tributary.

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:
    • 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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